The 3DS is a beloved handheld console from Nintendo, and since its release in 2011 the little machine has sold approximately 76 million units worldwide. It’s no surprise then that the system had tons of incredible software to help it reach that high number.
Recently though, rumors have spread that Nintendo will be removing the option to purchase from the 3DS and the Wii U using the credit card option, as well as removing the ability for developers to submit games for either console, becoming effective January of next year. While support for the consoles is pretty much nonexistent at the present, this may well be the final nail in the coffin for either system.
With interest and support for the 3DS dwindling, many of its games could find renown life on the Nintendo Switch. The Switch has a larger install base after all, selling close to 85 million units in only four years, and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
Many games ported from the Wii U to the Switch have seen great success. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore reportedly sold 17% stronger during its launch week than it did on the Wii U. Also, the incredibly successful Mario Kart 8 was even more successful when it made the move to Switch, and it currently stands as the best-selling Nintendo Switch game. Needless to say, porting to the Switch definitely doesn’t seem like a bad idea.
The 3DS library has plenty of titles that could fill gaps in the Switch’s line-up. An updated Super Mario 3D Land could piggyback off of the stellar sales of Super Mario 3D World, giving Switch owners yet another adventure starring the plucky plumber to play. Likewise, the 3DS exclusive Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon could attract fans of the more recent Luigi’s Mansion 3.
The 3DS game Miitopia has already been ported to the Switch, so why not bring the even more successful Tomodachi Life to the Switch as well? Both games incorporate users Miis, which unfortunately haven’t had much use on the Switch compared to some previous consoles. It’s gameplay is also similar to the incredible Animal Crossing series, and that’s certainly not a bad comparison.
The Legend of Zelda franchise feels like it’s more popular now than ever before, with Hyrule Warriors, Breath of the Wild, and the recently released Skyward Sword HD all proving to be amazing hits. The 3DS has some amazing Zelda games in its catalog that would be perfect for the Switch. A Link Between Worlds provided a unique adventure while letting players explore a classic world, and although they are already ports themselves, the 3DS upgrades to the N64 classics Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask would be welcomed by any Zelda fan with open arms.
Kid Icarus: Uprising is one of the 3DS’s most praised titles, but many complained about its clumsy controls, as players had to use the stylus to aim and move the camera. The Switch could help rectify this with its dual analog controllers, as well as using the motion technology of the joycons to help simulate the stylus controls.
The 3DS has tons of RPGs that remain exclusive to the console. This is little surprise, as handhelds are perfect ways to experience these long adventures, letting players experience them at any time, anywhere. The Switch, being a handheld itself, would lend itself well to these role-playing games. Titles like Fantasy Life, Ever Oasis, Bravely Default, Shin Megami Tensei IV, Persona Q, various Etrian Odyssey and Monster Hunter titles, the Yo-Kai Watch franchise, as well as numerous Fire Emblem, Mario & Luigi, and Pokémon titles have never seen life outside of the 3DS; the Switch could be the perfect way to bring them back to life.
Of course porting to the Switch isn’t as simple as one may think. For starters, most games would need some serious sprucing up so that they appear better on the larger screen and better hardware; many gamers will prefer to play on their home TV screens after all, and without being formatted correctly even the best 3DS games will look pretty horrid on a 50 inch screen.
The 3DS’s dual screen technology also makes it difficult to replicate some games on the Switch. Many times, one screen is dedicated to providing important information such as a map, player health, available items, and more, freeing up the other screen to show more of the game’s action rather than crowding it with a messy HUD. There are also touch controls incorporated on the bottom screen, something that the Switch could not do if its docked. The joycons could help with the touch technology, as described above when discussing Kid Icarus: Uprising, but information on the second screen would have to be revised in other ways.
Lastly, the Switch lacks the Street Pass function, and some games used this to provide bonuses to their players, such as Bravely Default allowing gamers met via Street Pass to aid in building the user’s town. This would have to rectified using the Switch’s online capabilities in some way, or these features removed in their entirety.
Do you see more 3DS games coming to the Switch, and if so, which ones do you think would be the best fit on Nintendo’s hybrid gaming console? Do you think porting many games would prove to be a challenge, or is it an easier process than I’ve made it out to be? I’d love to hear what you have to say!