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Today marks the sixth anniversary of the 3DS in North America. We’d like to take this opportunity to look back and reflect on how far Nintendo’s come with its successful handheld. Whether you jumped on the 3DS bandwagon at launch or decided to join the party at another time during its history, you’ve got to admit that the powerful little handheld has had a pretty fantastic run.

The 3DS introduced the world to stereoscopic three-dimensional effects without the use of 3D glasses, a feat no game company had accomplished or offered consumers in 2011. After announcing the system in March of that year, Nintendo officially unveiled the amazing device at E3 a few months later. Watching familiar beloved series like Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong grace the first promotional trailer alongside Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto was a thrill for anxious fans, and the sequence naturally helped build the hype for the upcoming release.


Throughout its lifespan, the 3DS has brought players features like social media app Miiverse, 3D cameras offering augmented reality, the Nintendo eShop, and a whole slew of fantastic offerings that fans of the system have come to appreciate and utilize on a daily basis.

With a variety of special editions and color options to pick from, and numerous model releases under its belt, the last six years have been jam-packed with new additions for Nintendo in the portable console department. Now that the Switch is here and in peoples’ hands, it looks like the handheld craze will continue to lead the way for the Big N. It only seems natural that the company would want to incorporate the portability aspect into its latest system, even if it is primarily a home console, as Nintendo has stressed on several occasions.

Reflecting back over the 3DS’ lifespan and the incredible, seamless usability of the Switch, it’s more than likely that the 3DS’ success is at least partially responsible for Nintendo’s decision to go in the direction of a hybrid device. It’s easy to view the 3DS as a stepping stone for the company– and its impact on the world hasn’t even come to a halt yet. Nintendo’s reiterated time and time again that it plans to keep the 3DS around at least until 2018. While that span might not seem like a long time to some, just figure that the next two years could very well give us fans of the system a lot more gaming goodness. From Virtual Console releases to brand new games, like Pikmin and Fire Emblem Echoes, it’s refreshing to see the 3DS still giving us something to look forward to.

And with that we’d like to wish the 3DS in all its forms (and yes, even the 2DS) a very happy sixth anniversary!

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Written by Lauren Ganos
Creative Director, Managing Editor

Designer and writer by day, gamer by night, Lauren dreams big when it comes to creative endeavors. Perhaps that's why she's taken on the roles of creative director and managing editor for Nintendo Wire. If she had a video game superhero alias, it might just be The Visionary, a true keeper of imaginative order.