In 2022, I discovered the Nintendo 3DS handheld game system. I posted on my company’s internal gaming community about old Nintendo games and someone offered up their beat-up 3DS. They sent me photos. They said that it has been dropped and submerged in water (I didn’t ask if it was the toilet or not, I am okay not knowing). They said there were old Minecraft stickers and the paint is peeling off the shell. But, the “New 3DS” was functional and it had one game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds!
Everything they said was true about this old New 3DS. Even in this condition, my introduction to the 3DS was glorious. After spending a month with this plucky gaming system, I now say without any sarcasm that the Nintendo 3DS is the greatest gaming console of all time.
Catalog of Games. The 3DS is the successor to the DS. The 3DS plays all of the new 3DS games plus the entire catalog of DS games. This means there are over 4,000 games to play and all of your Nintendo families of games are presented: Mario, Yoshi, Metroid, Castlevania, Donkey Kong, and Zelda.
Dual Screen, Clam Shell Design. The DS part of the name means dual screen. The 3DS is two screens: one big display for the main game action and one touch screen for inventory and finer controls. I have lived with the 3DS for a month. I fold it up and put it into my back pocket and flip it open to play some Zelda. I really feel the portable, real portability of the 3DS, is a key differentiator. The Switch is great, but I have never once put it in my pocket and carried it around. The new Steam Deck is even larger.
Gimmicks. The 3DS includes 3D graphics, AR, cameras, and a step counter. All of the extras work and have a purpose. The 3D is gorgeous and doesn’t require special glasses. The AR games are fun and their fun lasts as long as you need them to. The step counter is wonderfully integrated into certain games and encourages players to interact.
The Feels. My first console was the Nintendo Entertainment System and I have been hooked on the gameplay, characters, themes, and style. Nintendo is the complete package.
Zelda. Only Nintendo games systems have access to the Zelda franchise of games. I really love t these games. Nintendo usually makes a Zelda game for each new console. The game exploits the gimmicks of the system and everything works really well together. The Zelda games on the 3DS are masterpieces. And, when I posted on Twitter about taking on Ganon, I got confirmation.
So, should you buy a Nintendo 3DS in 2022? Yes. It is a great gaming system full of experiences. Prices for secondhand game systems are high right now. And, the eShop is no longer active. These are two cons at the moment. On Craigslist, I see 3DS systems going for the same price as Switch Lite consoles.
What’s next for me and the 3DS? I am going to finish The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, write a recap of my experience with that game, and refurbish my new old New 3DS.