Sigh. It was inevitable. The second the Nintendo Switch was announced, the Nintendo 3DS was facing a death sentence. Not only was Nintendo’s new system designed for the home console market, but it could also be taken anywhere. It doubled as a handheld one. The Nintendo 3DS was no longer wanted, but what hurt even more, was that it was no longer needed. Post Switch release, a few games would continue to trickle out for the system. However, the writing was on the wall.
The 3DS was well and truly going to be phased out.
Now in March of 2022, 11 years after launch, Nintendo has announced the e-Shop for the 3DS and WiiU will close as of next year. Players will no longer be able to purchase and download games from the store.
While most consoles would kill for an 11-year lifespan, this whole ordeal just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. We’re talking hundreds of games that will now just … cease to exist. Of course, it would be ridiculous to expect every single eShop game to receive a physical release. But why can’t they be accessible elsewhere?
If anyone was hoping Nintendo would back flip on this like Sony did after announcing the PS3/PSP stores would be closing in 2021, you would be sadly mistaken. We’re dealing with Nintendo here. They flat out said they have no intentions of re-releasing these classic games in any capacity. Would you have expected anything else? Despite having the longest history of the big three console developers, they are very particular about drip feeding you some of their old content.
I just find it a shame that we can recover footage from movies filmed in the 1920s, but games released as recently as the 2010s will be unrecoverable via legal means. It’s another point for emulation in the raging battle regarding its ethicality.
So, as a very special boy who values video game preservation, I urge you now to go and download the must have games before they’re gone forever! And here today, I wanted to highlight two of my favourite digital download only games for the 3DS!
Nintendo Pocket Football Club
So I like sports simulation and management games right, and up until recently I was in a bit of a predicament. I found the management aspect of the FIFA games to be a little too stale, but found to ultra-realism of the Football Manager games far too intimidating. So lo and behold, I found my happy medium in the last place you’d expect, the 3DS e-Shop.
Hidden behind a low frame rate, pixel graphics simulated games of soccer, was one of the most satisfying and addictive management games I’ve ever played. This just scratched the exact part of my brain that gets the dopamine hit from watching the numbers go up. Training up my little chibi soccer players to go from nobodies in the beginner league to pros on the big stage has taken up more of my life than I’m willing to admit. I think I pumped about 40 hours into this thing in my first week of getting it, I was immediately hooked.
I also enjoyed the fact that you could name them whatever you wanted. So cheering on Elijah Ravioli passing the ball to David Alfredo for the goal was never not entertaining.
Attack Of The Friday Monsters
Simply one of the most wholesome, cosy games I’ve ever played. Perhaps the western poster boy for the incredibly niche game category of “Japanese child enjoying their summer”. In Attack of the Friday Monsters, you don’t do a whole lot. As a small child, you just peruse and trundle your way through cosy Japanese suburbia, talking to people over the course of a lazy Friday.
Your biggest problems amounting to where you fit in with the local children. And if you can beat them in the card game they’re all wild about. There are also whispers of there being monsters in the town?
It is the perfect ‘play in bed’ kind of game because it’s a short little adventure that exudes good vibes. Except for the whole, y’know, monster thing. But I’m not going to get into that here. Highly recommended.
In conclusion, I feel like this is truly the end of an era.
The Nintendo 3DS was a fantastic handheld console with a history that will never be repeated. A rocky beginning that slowly built into a titan of a console, and I will not stand for it being forgotten to time! There are so many more amazing digital only titles that I hope don’t get forgotten about, so do yourself a favor, and scour the eshop high and low for what could be your next favourite game!
So, what do you think of all this? Am I completely wrong about this one? Be sure to let me know down in the comment section below! Also, feel free to check out some of our other gaming blog posts here, or check out some of our other content over on our YouTube Channel.