The Nintendo 3DS is my favorite video game system of all-time; there's no doubt about that. The games, the portability, the gorgeous design of my midnight purple launch system; I could praise it for hours and hours if you had the time. Despite this, all amazing things must come to an end, and such is the case for the dual-screen 3D handheld.
It's time to say farewell to the 3DS and 2018 is the perfect year to do it. Last year, Nintendo boldly discontinued the Wii U with the launch of Switch, mirroring the jump from GameCube to Wii. Now that some time has passed since the end of the Wii U, Nintendo can now make 2018 a great close to the 3DS chapter of its history.
History Repeats Itself
Like with the similarities between the jump from Wii U to Switch and GameCube to Wii, there is a key part of Nintendo's history that helps indicate that 2018 should be the final year for the 3DS. Particularly, we only need to take a glance at the handheld's predecessor, the Nintendo DS.
Released in late 2004, the DS enjoyed a very long lifespan of almost eight years before receiving its final major games, Pokemon Black 2 & White 2, in 2012. There are a few interesting aspects of this worth considering. For instance, there's the fact that Nintendo released those two sequel Pokemon games the year after the launch of the 3DS.
Sound familiar? That's probably because a surprisingly similar situation occurred very recently between the Switch and 3DS. A couple of months ago, we saw the launch of Pokemon Ultra Sun & Moon. These sequel games came to an older system when a newer platform was already out.
Here we are in 2018 and there are still several great games confirmed to be coming to the handheld this year, one of which was announced today: Detective Pikachu. It is just one of the many games that can make this final year for 3DS a fantastic one.
Going Out with a Bang
It's far better for 3DS to go out with a bang rather than a whisper forgotten on the wind. If the system were to continue, there's no doubt that 2019 would be a disappointing year for fans still eager to play something on it. This is easy to see since this year, though great, is pretty meager in its offerings.
Of course, that could change with E3, but there's no doubt that developers are moving onto the Switch as sales begin to dwindle for new games releasing on 3DS (as reported by NintendoLife). Let's go over the games confirmed for this year in the West:
- Kirby Battle Royale
- Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology
- Detective Pikachu
- Sadness & Solitude
- Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux
- The Alliance Alive
- Dragon Quest 11
- Persona Q2
Even digging into the games confirmed for Japan only, there's not much more than that. However, that is a pretty solid lineup that any gamer with a 3DS should be excited for and one to certainly finish with.
Switch is the Future
This is a pretty obvious point, but everyone just wants games on Switch these days. Even developers and publishers are jumping ship from 3DS to Switch, including Nintendo itself. Take a look at yesterday's Nintendo Direct Mini and you'll see that it seems Nintendo is already preparing for the inevitable discontinue of the handheld. There was not one single mention of the 3DS in the short 14-minute presentation as was the case with Nintendo's E3 showcase.
Even more astounding is that The World Ends with You Final Remix is only coming to Switch and not 3DS, which is surprising considering we have other DS remakes coming to the platform this year, and Square Enix itself has Dragon Quest 11 coming to both 3DS and Switch. The same can be said for the Pokemon series, as The Pokemon Company typically puts its games where the most active player-base is.
The future of Switch is bright, having possibly the greatest first year of any video game system ever. With its hybrid nature, there really is no need to keep the 3DS around as was the case with Wii U. In fact, keeping it past this year will actually take away from Switch in terms of games and what its online service can do. 3DS has had a strong run, but it's time for it to come to an end and 2018 is the best year for that to happen.