The Nintendo 3DS Was Released 10 Years Ago Today In North America

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Image: Nintendo / Kotaku

On March 27, 2011, Nintendo released the 3DS, its handheld successor to the uber-successful Nintendo DS. Since then it has sold over 70 million units worldwide and had a host of great games released for it over the last decade.


I was lucky enough to snag a 3DS around the time when it launched. While console shortages were a thing back in 2011, it was nothing like today. Here’s what I mean: My dad and I drove up to a store, perhaps Walmart, on a whim, about a week after the 3DS came out. We didn’t check online or call ahead. And when we got there we found four or five 3DS consoles behind plexiglass, sitting around, waiting to be bought. Can you imagine this today? I don’t see myself walking into a store a week or even a month after a big console release and just finding some in 2021.

Once I got the 3Ds I played a lot of Resident Evil The Mercenaries 3D because I’m a big idiot and I love Resident Evil games. I was also excited to play Revelations. The other memory I have of the 3DS at launch was playing around with the AR cards and games. Not for more than a few days, but they were fun and a neat thing to show people.

The 3DS is the last Nintendo console I’ve bought at launch. (Though if that Switch 4k ends up being not too pricey, I might buy a Nintendo console on day one again. We will see..) While it’s far from my favorite console, I still fondly remember my time with it. I even liked the 3D features. I left that slider on because it looked cool.

What memories do you have of the Nintendo 3DS? And who else out there played that Revelations demo in the Mercs 3D way more than once?


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The Nintendo 3DS is probably my favorite console/handheld/whatever ever. Customization was great, the Miis were put to WAY better use, and the remakes of Ocarina of Time and StarFox 64 were amazing.

One of my favorite features was StreetPass, especially when I used to attend Otakon. I practically had my 3DS open whenever I wasn’t in a room, scrolling through batches and batches of hits. And the games were actually pretty fun. Find Mii was simple, but addicting, and the first wave of deluxe games were a ton of fun. Was not much of a fan of the second wave (though the stock market game was good).

It also had some of the best RPGs on the system, what with being able to get GameCube-level graphics combined with the touch screen.

Unfortunately, my battery can’t hold a charge anymore, so I haven’t turned it on in years. IIRC, my most played games on the 3DS were Pokémon Shuffle, Hyrule Warriors Legends, Pokémon Y, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, Ocarina of Time 3DS, and Link Between Worlds.

Oh, and I almost forgot. The Badge Arcade was legitimately awesome and I’m sad it didn’t get a Switch version.