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Is the 3DS worth buying in 2023?

In March, Nintendo will close their eshop and support for the 3DS, so on the surface it may seem like the 3DS is a dead handheld but actually would this be the ideal time to purchase one?

Is the 3DS worth buying in 2023

Let's be honest, as much as we may love the Nintendo Switch- its catalogue is rather bare and I'm comparing this to the consoles of past, like the Wii U, 3DS and even the Wii itself.

Now I'm not saying that the switch isn't great but lately it feels like the games that the company is pushing out are either buggy or just feel incomplete *cough, cough- Animal Crossing* and recently, I've found myself getting lost in my 3DS once again.

Initially released in 2011, the 3DS was marketed as a handheld console that looked similar to Nintendo's previous handheld, the DS, but it boasted better graphics, an analogue stick along with a DPad but it's main selling point was that you can experience the games in 3D.

Over the course of the years, many different versions were released from the XL, which has a way bigger screen and even a 2DS version.

Not only was the hardware pretty impressive at time and boasted an amazing catalogue of games- so with that said, Is the 3DS worth buying in 2023?



It's relatively cheap. Depending on the model, the 3DS can be pretty cheap these days. If you're willing to compromise, the original version with the smaller screen can even be purchased 2nd hand for less than £100- making these budget friendly.

The games are still amazing. There's a whole catalogue of amazing games that are worth going back to, even today, this includes: Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Super Mario 3D Land, Pokemon Sun/Moon, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS, Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds, Professor Layton and The Miracle Mask, Tamadachi Life- to name a few!

It has backwards compatability. One thing that I HATE about the Nintendo Switch is that it isn't compatable with any of the previous consoles but the 3DS is. If you have any DS games, these will work on the 3DS no problem!

The battery life is great. Battery life is relatively good on them too. My 3DS will typically last for a couple of days before it would need to be charged, compared to my Switch that drains whenever I play a very demanding game- like Animal Crossing or Pokemon.

it's more portable than the switch. I use to take my 3DS everywhere I went. To work. My ex's. These things are so handy to have when you have a lot of travelling to do and due to their size, they usually fit comfortably in any bag.


No more eshop. From the 27th March 2023, you can no longer buy games from the eshop. One thing, that I loved about the eshop for the 3DS (even the wii), was the ability to purchase older games for cheap. On my 3DS, I purchased plenty of the old school pokemon gameboy games and have thoroughly enjoyed playing through them again. It's a shame that Nintendo will be stopping this and have shown no signs of bringing this to the switch.

Some of the games can still be quite pricey. Unfortunately, some (not all) of the games are still almost the same price that they retailed at roughly 10 years ago- give or take. So, unless you have plenty of money to splurge, building up your physical game collection wil ltake a little while- but I will have a list of recommendations coming soon to get you started.

Games aren't so easily accessible. These days not many retailers on the highstreet sell 3DS games anymore however you can still pick these games up from second hand retailers like CEX or even websites, like Amazon. Fortunately 3DS isn't too old, some games aren't impossible to get.


My opinion:

Even though it's a huge disappointment that Nintendo will be ceasing all support and closing down the shop, limiting user experience, I still think that it's worth buying as the handheld itself is still fairly solid and the catalogue of physical games that you can buy is amazing and worth while.

If you're getting sick with the way Nintendo is heading currently (I know that I am)- I think that the 3DS is an amazing alternative to experience the company during an amazing period of time.


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