End of an era: Production stops for the Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo has announced they are no longer producing the Nintendo 3DS. The handheld will be remembered as one of the best for the Pokemon franchise.

After running for the last decade as Nintendo’s signature handheld device, the Nintendo 3DS will be no longer produced for retail. The 3DS rang in a critical chapter for the Nintendo gaming era, bringing new titles to light and bringing back a lot of vintage classics for gamers to play once again. The Nintendo 3DS did a great deal in unifying a majority of Pokemon franchise titles under one system. Almost every single generation was present on the counsel and revolutionized the capabilities for every Pokemon fan to find their niche on the system. The Viridian Forest reflects and celebrates all the accomplishments the Nintendo 3DS raised the bar for the Pokemon franchise.

The Nintendo 3DS was originally released in the spring of 2011. The device was teased at the 2010 E3 Conference when Nintendo still had a staged event day alongside rivals Sony and Microsoft. A revolutionary device for Nintendo handhelds, it brought together many generations of gaming for dedicated Nintendo fans. The optimism of several generation Pokemon games coming to the Nintendo 3DS reached the potential that was considered unpredictable, especially for as many Pokemon games that were released for the counsel.

The Nintendo 3DS era of Pokemon brought in three generations of Pokemon. The first application that was made available for the device was the Pokedex 3D with the initial release of the handheld. The first application that featured Generation Five Pokemon from Pokemon Black and White was teasing the concept of what potential Pokemon was going to look like with future titles. What followed up after this application was the first Pokemon-themed game with Pokemon Dream Radar, a first-person shooter game that focused on catching Pokemon in a dream world that interacted with the 3D cameras of the Nintendo 3DS and even used the motion sensors controls when chasing Pokemon to capture. Catching some of these Pokemon were possible to transfer to the special edition versions of Generation Five with Pokemon Black and White 2.

With the initial release of Generation Five, Pokemon Black and White and Black and White 2 were initially designed to be released for the Nintendo DS. The release of the Nintendo 3DS kept up with the ability to have backward capability with games from the prior counsel. This is what made transferring Pokemon between the in-system applications and the Nintendo DS games more accessible and a process that would be used in future games. Other titles that were on the Nintendo DS were also accessible to play on the Nintendo 3DS included Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, SoulSilver, and HeartGold. All of the games that were accessible to transfer Pokemon to a Generation Five game played an important factor in future titles.

The first releases of Generation Six that were the first Pokemon core series games were Pokemon X and Y. The 3D features of this game were revolutionary from what trainers were normally used to when it came to the overworld player to even the new look on what battles looked like. These games of the same generation were complimented with remakes of Generation Three games with Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Both pairs of games were made for the capabilities that the Nintendo 3DS were built for. Having a better connection to wireless and internet better than its predecessor handheld, it held an important key for new applications that helped trainers even further with collecting capabilities.

The major application that used most frequently on the Nintendo 3DS was the Pokemon Bank which was a major component with first connecting the games from the prior counsel on the Nintendo DS. Pokemon Bank was the first cloud storage system that allowed trainers to store all of their Pokemon from Generation Five to Generation Six. The major connection of this feature was powered by Poke Transporter, which was normally paired with the distribution of Pokemon Bank. The connection of bringing Pokemon from prior games was a bigger triumph than transferring from Generation Five to Six.

Photo: Pokemon Home.. Image Courtesy The Pokémon Company International

During the 20th Anniversary celebration of Pokemon, the Virtual Counsel on the Nintendo 3DS brought back the original games of Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow versions to be played in the vintage feel for fans from the beginning of the franchise. The original style of the first games was even upgraded to the features of the Nintendo 3DS, making trading not from the classic link cable like the Nintendo Game Boy once did. It was more accessible with wireless features that upgraded these games even better than what they were once before. The Pokemon Bank features did not limit these games from transferring classic Pokemon to the recent generations. Trainers were able to move their Pokemon from Generation One all the way to Generation Six. This feature also enhanced when the virtual counsel was also followed up with Pokemon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, Generation Two games that shared the same features as the Generation One games.

Generation Seven was the last set of Pokemon core games that were ushered in during the 20th Anniversary celebration of the franchise. Pokemon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon were the final games that drove the 3D features of the Nintendo 3DS even further than what they were. Having more free movement of the player for the joystick on the handheld, it was the first time in Pokemon history that the playing character moved freely. Just like the prior and vintage games, these games were accessible to Pokemon Bank on the Nintendo 3DS. With the ability of one handheld, it had the opportunity to hold every single Generation of Pokemon in the history of the franchise.

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There was plenty of other spin-off and side games related to Pokemon that also hit on the Nintendo 3DS, including Pokemon Conquest and Detective Pikachu. Pokemon also played a role in helping core Nintendo games reaching the Nintendo 3DS be more mobile to the handheld, like Super Smash Brothers. Even with the connection of Pokemon Home synchronizing Pokemon Bank with the Nintendo Switch, the Nintendo 3DS played an important role in making that possible. An end of an important era in handheld gaming, the Nintendo 3DS will be commemorated as one of the best gaming counsels in Nintendo’s history; aside from Pokemon’s contribution alone.