After nearly a decade-long run, the Nintendo 3DS might finally be seeing itself relocated to the retro shelf.
With no new projects announced for 2019, all but the most faithful supporters are seeing this as the beginning of the end for the famed handheld platform. But is this an end or merely the start of something new?
Nintendo has long had a history of shipping and supporting portable consoles – more so than any other hardware and software developer on the market. While others have made attempts to enter the handheld arena, they have only dreamt of achieving the sort of success that Nintendo has.
Yet, the gaming sphere today is much different than it was even five years ago.
Mobile gaming has shown to be an absolute hotbed for investors, and convincing people that they need another proprietary device in their life for just gaming has become far more difficult.
Where Nintendo managed this in the past, the current playing field calls for something far more innovative.
The answer? A hybrid market.
Nintendo has long split their endeavours over two fields: the home console market and the handheld market. While the Japanese developer has released several mobile-exclusive titles in the recent past, they have upheld their belief that fully-fledged gaming experiences can be developed for a handheld console.
If we look at the production of 3DS games over the device’s lifespan, we can find no shortage of incredible singleplayer and multiplayer experiences offering hours of content that can rival even those of home-console games.
The increasing processing power of the handheld device allowed developers to flex their graphical and technical muscles, pushing the appearance and gameplay of handheld games toward home-console like levels.
Inevitably, Nintendo saw the writing on the wall: create a system that would embrace both the now-robust handheld experience and merge it with a method that could be played at home as well.
Without beating around the bush, the Switch encapsulates that vision flawlessly.
With the Switch’s dominance rising, it seems poised to knock out its older 3DS sibling out of the family’s current lineup of consoles – and perhaps it’s for the best.
The Switch is more than capable of holding one foot in each market as Nintendo has proven. Hell, despite owning ours for some time, we still find ourselves shocked that such a small piece of hardware can put out such an amazing performance in handheld mode.
While Nintendo appears to have all their bases covered, there is an unanswered question when it comes to the 3DS: where are all of those games going to go?
For Nintendo to throw away all of that software in favour of something new, we can’t help but feel that to leave all of those games on a sinking ship would be incredibly wasteful.
Now, the Switch certainly doesn’t sport the dual-screens that the 3DS does, but we’re certain that some clever engineers could find a way to incorporate a touch-screen control scheme.
Essentially, we’re at the point where we beg Nintendo to do what they always should have: consolidate their games catalogue into a singular system that extends its reach to both the home console and handheld markets – and usher in the new and rightful era of Nintendo dominance.
Hail Mario and all that.