The lost nostalgia of the Nintendo 3DS

nintendo 3ds in aqua blue on Bluesky (aka Basil or “Plant”) wrote an apt personal piece on the Nintendo 3DS as “the friend she met too late”. For those of us who owned a device in the 3DS era, our experience likely differed but this part should resonate with most:

Even now after everything i don’t spend enough time with my 3DS. In some sort of pathetic defence, it’s been kinda hard to pick up anything these days that isn’t multiplayer, but still wish that motivation was there. I am grateful i have my 3DS, and grateful i got to connect friends as well. The switch following the 3DS in some way, even with my own retroactive perspective, feels a bit like a let down. There are no themes, there’s no home screen music, there’s no customization, badge arcade, or swapdoodle equivalent. There’s simply games and friends center. Obviously there were plenty of improvements made but seemingly at the cost of charm.

Like Plant, I missed the 3DS when it originally came out because the 3D effect hurt my head. I tried it out in a Toys ‘R’ Us and I was instantly turned off (even if it had a shiny aqua blue shell). And then I got a 2DS for my 25th birthday. And then Nintendo released the New 3DS XL and I took the plunge. And then I got another 2DS. And a 2DS XL. I was making up for lost time and magpie mode was in full effect.

I love hearing other people’s stories about the 3DS and what it meant to them, whether they missed out on some of it, or caught it late on. But I’m also sad about the online servers shutting down in a few weeks, even if I didn’t have any friends to enjoy it with. It brought out the best of that little handheld device, in a time when everyone was focused on their home consoles.

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