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Great Gaming Reasons to Buy a Nintendo 3DS in 2019

With the recent sales success of the Nintendo Switch hybrid console, Nintendo has seen simultaneous success in both the handheld and home console markets. The Nintendo Switch is quickly replacing the Nintendo DS family of consoles, after over a decade of handheld gaming market dominance.

While Nintendo has shifted their focus over to the Nintendo Switch, 2019 has still seen a few new releases for the eight-year-old handheld. As of the time of writing, Persona Q2 appears to be the final major release planned for the device. Even though the 3DS is preparing to perform its swan song, the console is still worth purchasing in 2019 for its excellent library. Don your red M cap, and let’s explore a few reasons you may want to buy a Nintendo 3DS in 2019.

First up for discussion is form factor and design. The clamshell design of the Nintendo DS family of consoles, excluding the tablet-like early 2DS models, provides built in protection for the dual screens of the device. An additional screen protector may be used, though it is much less mandatory on the 3DS than on something like the soft plastic screen of the Nintendo Switch. The 3DS is also much smaller than the Nintendo Switch, making it the most portable of Nintendo’s recent hardware. While the Nintendo Switch is still a handheld console, it is much more suited to be carried in a bag rather than a pocket, unless you have enormous pockets.

Deciding which model of the Nintendo 3DS family to buy can be a big decision best determined by three factors, visual preference, function, pricing. Buying new gaming hardware, or anything else, is often a big financial decision. Fortunately, many of the 3DS family of consoles are now quite inexpensive. Deciding which model to buy begins with a budget that will determine what you can afford. Below is a breakdown of different options by price, lowest to highest. Know that the 2DS models do not display games in stereoscopic 3D. Prices are based on Gamestop listings. Also note that buying pre-owned or refurbished consoles from any source is a risk.

  • Pre-owned 2DS ($59.99). The crystal blue and crystal red variants are visually interesting, and the low price point provides instant access to a massive library of over 2000 games between the DS and 3DS libraries.
  • Factory new 2DS ($79.99) Most include a pre-installed game and matching visual design.
  • Pre-owned 3DS XL ($99.99) This appears to be the least most expensive way to buy a 3D capable 3DS family handheld.
  • Pre-owned New 3DS ($99.99) The “New” variant of 3DS and 2DS units boasts better performance and access to a few exclusive games, such as Super Nintendo Virtual Console titles and Xenoblade Chronicles. Also has a second tiny circle pad, though using it can be challenging.
  • Pre-owned New 2DS XL ($129.99) It is like the New 3DS XL, just minus one D. (Does not play games in 3D)
  • New New 2DS XL ($149.99) Many include a pre-installed game. Unlike the next entry on this list, an AC adapter is included.
  • New New 3DS XL ($199.99) No charger included! An AC charger will cost somewhere around $10.

That is a lot of options, but some are better than others, in my opinion. The two I recommend (and use) the most are the crystal color 2DS variants at $59.99 and the now collectible ($250+ on ebay) Metroid Samus Returns New 3DS XL variant (because it looks awesome). The low cost of the standard 2DS represents relatively low financial risk should a person decide they don’t like some aspect of the Nintendo DS line, and the New 3DS XL is the most feature-complete option at the highest price point.

With the core hardware out of the way, there are three accessories most worth mentioning.

  • A charging cradle allows for owners to charge their 3DS by placing it on the pedestal.
  • Augmented reality cards allow for the depiction of characters and mini-games in 3-D space, such as on top of a desk.
  • Amiibo miniatures are supported with the New 2DS and 3DS Hardware and can be used for different purposes depending on the game. They function by way of NFC (Near Field Communication) and can be used by older 3DS models with an official NFC adaptor

Now, what about the games? This article would be nearly endless should I attempt to mention every game worth checking out, so I’ll do the following. You’ll see a genre, and a few games that best represent that genre. I’ll have played the game and enjoyed it in order to justify its inclusion. Enjoy the list, thanks for reading, and happy gaming!

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