The Troubling Case of the 3DS

An image of the new 3DS.
Will the Switch ever make it pass the 3DS’ shadow?

After years and years of pushing out hit or miss home consoles, there is always one thing Nintendo has going for it. It’s the fact that they own the handheld gaming market. Now, with the imminent arrival of the Switch, one has to wonder – where does the 3DS fall into this?

Despite the lack of a strong launch lineup, what the Switch brings to the gaming industry is unprecedented. It’s the perfect blend of console and portable gaming for a mainstream audience. It has the potential to capitalize on the success the 3DS, while at the same time, giving hardcore gamers everything they’ve come to expect from a home console. Now, the only problem is Nintendo’s apparent refusal to put the 3DS to pasture.

Yes, harsh. However, it’s the truth. The Switch seems like the natural evolution of the 3DS, but if you have been paying attention, Nintendo won’t let it go. “Our intention has always been to have Nintendo 3DS and 2DS side by side with the Switch,” says Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime in an interview with Polygon. These words spell trouble. The 3DS is Nintendo’s most profitable system. So, it’s not that hard to see why they won’t abandon it like the Wii U. However, that puts Nintendo in direct competition with itself.

In a World Without the 3DS

If Nintendo wanted to ensure the Switch’s success, they should kill the 3DS and transfer over its catalog of games. This would solve all of the company’s issues. They would lose the risk of the Switch not having any games and third-party will flock to what works. Just imagine if Nintendo had announced handheld superstars like Pokémon and Monster Hunter during its presentation last month. It would’ve been worthy of a day one purchase.

Unfortunately, Nintendo is Nintendo. This is often the way that they do things. We will see how well the Switch truly does when it arrives this March. It’s an amazing concept that I hope has a bright future. I just fear Nintendo isn’t taking the right risks to make it the console that it needs to be.


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