3DS hardware production officially ends

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frytup

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Nintendo posted notices on their Japanese and UK sites today that 3DS hardware production has officially ended.

Funnily enough, I bought my first 3DS after I already had a Switch. Even though they mostly stopped making new games for it awhile back, there's a ton of great used stuff out there for cheap.

Pour one out for a great system.

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Justin258

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That's one hell of a run.

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stalefishies

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Remember when the launch was so bad they had to drop the price and give a bunch of virtual console games to everyone that bought it at the bigger launch price that they never released any other way?

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#4  Edited By BisonHero

Looking back on the 3DS, it's a great system, but I feel like the software really petered out like halfway through the lifecycle. The DS software library stayed a lot stronger throughout in my recollection.

High profile 3DS releases:

March 2011 launch

  • nothing

Late 2011

  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
  • Super Mario 3D Land
  • Mario Kart 7

2012

  • Fire Emblem Awakening
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Bravely Default
  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf

2013

  • Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon
  • Tomodachi Life
  • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
  • Pokemon X and Y
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (The last great release)

2014 (The Early Dark Times Begin)

  • Super Smash Bros. 4
  • Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (I guess)

2015

  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D
  • Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. (harbinger of the dark times)
  • Fire Emblem Fates

Mid 2015 (The Truly Dark Times Begin aka quick, everyone repurpose existing art assets or make bad multiplayer games)

  • Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes
  • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam

2016

  • Metroid Prime: Federation Force
  • Pokemon Sun and Moon

2017 (Sparse but weirdly strong games that probably nobody bought but me and professional game critics)

  • Fire Emblem: Shadows of Valentia
  • Metroid: Samus Returns

Still, overall a system I had a great time with. Had a good feel, had some top notch games in the first half, Streetpass was fun as hell.

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frytup

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#5  Edited By frytup

Yeah, I think that's fair. It's a system that definitely outlasted its library.

And as someone who never owned a DS, access to those games was half the reason to buy a 3DS.

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The 3DS is the system that got me to give up on handheld gaming. I probably enjoyed it more than any other handheld, and I genuinely had fun with Super Mario 3-D Land and Animal Crossing: New Leaf (especially the latter) but I just...I can't with handhelds. A combination of them being not very comfortable in my big meathooks (even with an XL) and the tiny size of the screen just make them a less than ideal way to play basically any game that I actually want to play. I really like a lot of the software library (can't believe that Pushmo and Boxboy haven't been mentioned yet) but I'd rather play just about all of it on a TV, or at least on a Switch sized tablet screen.

It's also interesting how little people actually care about the system's 3D gimmick, which seemed so essential to it at the time. I have 2 3DS systems because of it (I bought a New 3DS so the 3D would actually work) but it really never seemed like more than a marketing gimmick, even in games that used it well. It was really neat for about 5 minutes and then just not that interesting anymore.

I understand a lot of people have fondness for the thing, and it did have a lot of really neat features that it didn't do much with (remember all the AR stuff and the cards it shipped with etc?) but I'm happy to move on to the Switch, which I think gives everyone what they want. For people who like dedicated handhelds the Switch Lite is a little bulkier than the 3DS XL, but still pretty portable if you have a bag of some sort. And for those of us who prefer larger screens we don't have to put up with trying to play Fire Emblem on a tiny little device.

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frytup

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The 3DS is the system that got me to give up on handheld gaming. I probably enjoyed it more than any other handheld, and I genuinely had fun with Super Mario 3-D Land and Animal Crossing: New Leaf (especially the latter) but I just...I can't with handhelds. A combination of them being not very comfortable in my big meathooks (even with an XL) and the tiny size of the screen just make them a less than ideal way to play basically any game that I actually want to play.

I'm OK with comfort, but if anything is going to break my ability to play handheld it's Switch fonts. 3DS text was sized with handheld as the only option. Switch games have to handle both handheld and docked, and some devs are reaaaally bad at sizing fonts for both. Ouch, my eyes.

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bigsocrates

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@frytup: You say that 3DS text was sized with handheld as the only option, but there were definitely games that had issues, like Dragon Quest X. It's obviously a dev issue and not a hardware issue, though I agree it sucks. The Vita had a lot of font issues because it got more direct ports than the 3DS did, but when the 3DS got a direct port there was always a chance of font issues.

One other thing I didn't mention was...I felt like the 3DS to a large degree just gave up on the dual screens being actually useful. The original DS had a fair number of games that tried to use the dual screens in innovative and interesting ways, from Sonic Rush to Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure (shoutout to Henry Hatsworth!)

The 3DS sometimes used the second screen for inventory or status or whatever, but I am having a hard time recalling a game that made really good use of it like a Hotel Dusk or 999 or whatever.

Anyway, obviously devs should take the time to resize fonts for handheld mode for Switch games. It has a massive install base and a large portion only play in handheld mode, so it has to be worth whatever it costs in dev time to not get dinged in reviews for unreadable fonts.

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#9  Edited By BisonHero

@bigsocrates said:

One other thing I didn't mention was...I felt like the 3DS to a large degree just gave up on the dual screens being actually useful. The original DS had a fair number of games that tried to use the dual screens in innovative and interesting ways, from Sonic Rush to Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure (shoutout to Henry Hatsworth!)

The 3DS sometimes used the second screen for inventory or status or whatever, but I am having a hard time recalling a game that made really good use of it like a Hotel Dusk or 999 or whatever.

Yeah, this is a personal gripe of mine that I wasn't going to bring up because few people seem to share it. They fully abandoned doing anything interesting with the bottom screen. I feel like there must have been some initiative in the DS era to really push 1st party and 3rd party devs to have a cool touch screen idea, and that vanished in the 3DS era. Or maybe just every single dev got it out of their system in the DS era and the well had run dry. Note: this problem also afflicted the Wii U, which is essentially a giant DS, except any dev with a 2-screen game idea had already used it on the DS.

The bottom screen was a primary screen on some DS games, if you mainly controlled movement or something with the stylus touch controls (think about how Zelda: Phantom Hourglass was basically a point-and-click Diablo-style control scheme for all movement and attacks). Almost zero 3DS games use the stylus or touchscreen in any major way. The top screen is ALWAYS the primary screen since it has the 3D and is slightly larger. Since the bottom was usually a menu anyways, you could pretty much just use the d-pad to get to the menu options, further removing the idea that I would even bother to have the stylus in my hand at all. That stylus stayed in its holster for like 99% of my 3DS usage.

The two screen idea was largely wasted on the 3DS compared to how it was used on the DS. The 3DS honestly could've just been a single screen system that happened to have 3D and cost less than the Vita.

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FacelessVixen

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I was more of a Vita guy, but the 2DS XL gave me my fixes for Pokemon, Mario Kart, and the adult me puts kid me to shame as far as beating the hard route in Star Fox 64 multiple times when I could only do it as a kid once with a turbo controller.

I'll play Ocarina of Time one of these days.

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redwing42

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@bisonhero: Just to provide the exceptions that prove the rule, let me remind you of the Etrian Odyssey games (and Persona Qs) as well as Final Fantasy Theatrhythms. Both have essential functions on the bottom screen, though neither were particularly innovative.

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