Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS in 2020

Well, 2020 is here and the Nintendo 3DS has survived another year.. Or has it? Only a tiny dribble of games can be seen releasing of late, none of which are anywhere close to ‘Triple A’ in nature, and developers continue turning their attention to the new golden child of the Nintendo portfolio – the Switch. It started with straight ports of handheld titles, but now developers can be seen choosing to continue their series’ elsewhere.

The 3DS was always going to wind down, of course, and were this any other console we’d be happy to condemn it to the depths of obsolescence. This is the 3DS however, and after almost a decade of service we thought it best to take some time and consider it’s place in 2020.


The 3DS in 2020: The Games

Nintendo 3DS 2020

This is where the 3DS shines, as anyone that has laid their hands on it will attest. The back catalogue can easily claim to house some of the best games of this past generation, along with an impressive array of first party titles from Nintendo themselves. But with all the attention moving over to the Switch, and some of the catalogue too, how does the 3DS fare in 2020?

For us, at least in terms of the games, it completely holds up. There’s a huge library of highly rated games available, from full Mario and Zelda games to the very best that third parties have to offer. These games aren’t throwaway handheld titles either, in many cases they’re mainline games; Monster Hunter, Fire Emblem and Dragon Quest to name but a few.

We could continue to list out the massive catalogue of games the 3DS has to offer, including the positively huge library of DS games, but that’s not what we’re here for – we’re here to decide if the games hold up in 2020. In this regard the 3DS rivals the very best of the current console generation, and we’d argue it’s still one of the strongest around. Of course, we’re not going to see any more being released, but the depths of quality on offer here will keep any gamer going throughout 2020 with ease.


The 3DS in 2020: The Features

Nintendo 3DS 2020

When it comes to additional features it’s hard to compare the 3DS to any other console, mostly because there’s nothing quite like it. All of the basics are in place; there’s a headphone port, the ability to increase storage via SD card and well, you can see things in 3D and on two screens, which is pretty damn impressive in it’s own right. But how do we judge it’s performance in 2020 then?

Well, we’ll start by naming some things that we really miss in 2020. For a start, we’d really like to be able to take screenshots, like really really. It’s woefully difficult to get screenshots for games, which is kind of required in our line of work you know, and there really is no official way of making it happen. The friend system is also a bit archaic, the menus can be a pain to navigate and features like the microphone are underutilised.

Realistically, despite their best efforts, the 3DS is just a handheld. Where some other consoles have come along and shown us the possibilities of newer technology, and the 3DS certainly introduced new and innovative features, what you’re getting is a piece of tech wholly focused on it’s games and making them better.

Just don’t roll up expecting to watch Amazon Prime and you’ll get along with it just fine.


So is the 3DS worth it in 2020?

That’s the real question now isn’t it? New players are finding gaming in some form or another every day, and eventually they’ll find themselves looking for new experiences. With the Switch flying high, it’s only natural that people will look into the Nintendo past. Is it worth them investing in the 3DS in 2020? More to the point, is it worth you investing in one now, whenever you read this?

For us the answer is a resounding yes. Perhaps one day we’ll consider it a relic, much like the ol’ green Gameboy is these days, but for now it still holds up as an excellent handheld gaming device. It’s catalogue is almost unmatched to this day, the form factor makes it ideal to keep on your person and the novel double screen means you’ll still find experiences unlike anything else.

The 3DS is still a great system in 2020. Get your hands on one and you’ll find a whole world of varied gaming experiences at your finger tips. The Switch and it’s current gen brethren will continue to grow and grow, and we’ll surely enjoy it too, but there’s just something about the little clam shell that keeps us coming back.

As consoles go, we’re not sure it will ever be eclipsed. We take ours everywhere and, even in 2020, you should too.


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