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End of an era: Nintendo has discontinued the 3DS handheld
by João Carrasqueira
The original Nintendo 3DS model It has finally happened: Nintendo has discontinued the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, after nine years since the console officially launched. The company's Japanese website has been updated to indicate that the production of the system has ended, marking the end of Nintendo's last true portable gaming console.
The Nintendo 3DS originally debuted in March of 2011, with a launch price of just under $250. The system didn't immediately take off, thanks to the high cost and lackluster library of games, but within months Nintendo officially cut the price of the system to $170, and that holiday season saw the release of blockbuster titles such as Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7, which started to turn things around for the system.
Throughout its life, the Nintendo 3DS received entries in many of Nintendo's popular franchises. Remastered versions of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask were released, as well as original Zelda games in the form of Triforce Heroes and A Link Between Worlds; Mario got more representation with New Super Mario Bros. 2; two Kirby games were released - Triple Deluxe and Planet Robobot - and even dormant franchises such as Metroid were brought back with titles such as Metroid: Samus Returns a remake of Metroid II, and the original spin-off game Metroid Prime Federation Force. It wouldn't be a Nintendo handheld without Pokémon, and the 3DS welcomed two generations of games in the franchise, starting with Pokémon X and Y in 2013, up until the release of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon in 2017.
New Nintendo 3DS XL The console also had its fair share of revisions in its lifetime. The Nintendo 3DS XL was released with bigger screens in 2012, and in 2013, Nintendo introduced the 2DS, ditching the clamshell form factor for the first time since the GameBoy Micro in 2005, and also removing the 3D feature to bring down the cost. All three models would eventually get upgrades, with the New Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL arriving at the same time in 2015 with upgraded processors, controls, cameras, and 3D, and a New Nintendo 2DS XL releasing in 2017, bringing back the clamshell design and stereo speakers at a lower price point. All in all, Nintendo has sold 75.87 million units of the 3DS family, and even though we might see those numbers go up a bit more as the stock is cleared from stores, it's safe to say it will stay in that ballpark.
In 2017, the Nintendo Switch launched, and being a hybrid console, it was clear that the 3DS would eventually leave the stage. Nintendo kept supporting the handheld, mostly with remastered or enhanced versions of previous games releasing between 2017 and 2019, but its biggest efforts have been on the hybrid. Last year, the company introduced the Nintendo Switch Lite, a handheld-only version of the console, which pushed the 3DS even further out of the picture. Now, the company has finally pulled the plug completely.
Did you own a Nintendo 3DS? What memories do you have of the system and its games? Let us know in the comments!
Neowin's holiday gift guide for Nintendo fans
by João Carrasqueira
Just like that, we're already closing in on this year's holiday season, and for many people, that means it's time to start thinking about buying gifts. Whether it be for your loved ones, family, friends, or even yourself, this is the time of the year when you'll be spending a lot of money, and we want to help you spend it wisely.
This is Neowin's holiday gift guide for fans of Nintendo games, so naturally, it's mostly focused on the Nintendo Switch, However, if you're on an especially low budget and you know someone who has a member of the Nintendo 3DS family, we'll have some game recommendations for it at the end.
Disclaimer: Prices for products on Amazon are for products bought in new condition directly from Amazon, which is our recommendation. Prices from third-party sellers may be presented by default on Amazon's website. Additionally, for games, prices are for the physical version when available.
Nintendo Switch hardware
The Nintendo Switch has been out for almost three years now, but this year got a refreshed model that's much more power-efficient, which means it will last a lot longer on a single charge. If you haven't bought a Switch yet, this is the model you'll want to get, and it completely replaces the previous model, so it costs the same as before.
We also got the Nintendo Switch Lite, a cheaper, smaller version of the Switch that can't be connected to a TV, and we actually quite liked it in our review. If you're planning to use the Switch exclusively in handheld mode, the new Switch Lite is a fantastic option, and you can get it in either gray, yellow, or turquoise. There's also a special edition for Pokémon Sword and Shield which is just gorgeous and costs the same as the other models.
Nintendo Switch Lite - $199 Nintendo Switch (2019 revision) - $299 For Black Friday, Nintendo is selling a Nintendo Switch bundled with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for $299, which means the game is basically free. However, this is the old Nintendo Switch model without the battery life improvements. The deal starts on November 28 and runs while supplies last.
Nintendo Switch Accessories
One thing you're most likely going to need if you own a Switch is a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, which is required if you want to play games online. Another thing that might be useful is a Nintendo eShop gift card, so your gift's recipient can buy games of their choice in digital format.
Nintendo eShop Gift Card - from $5 Nintendo Switch Online 12-month Individual Membership - $19.99 If you're shopping for someone who already has a Switch, or you want to bundle in some extra goodies, accessories may be the way to go. If the Switch is going to be used by a lot of people, a set of extra Joy-Con will be nice, or you can get a more traditional controller if you're about more traditional-style gaming. Here are some of our suggestions:
Joy-Con Set - from $66.99 Joy-Con Charging Grip - $24.97
If your Switch is often used by a lot of people, an extra set of Joy-Con will help make sure everyone can play. There are some new color combinations in 2019, too, such as the Neon Purple/Neon Orange set above. For Black Friday, the all-gray set and the Neon Red/Neon Blue sets will be selling for $59.99. The deal lasts from November 27 through 30 while supplies last. Keeping that extra set of Joy-Con charged won't be easy with a single switch, so a charging grip can be pretty useful, too. It lets you play and charge the Joy-Con at the same time. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller- $62.99 8BitDo SN30 Pro+ - $49.99
For more traditional-style gaming, Nintendo offers the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, which has bigger buttons, better grips, and almost all the same features as the Joy-Con, including six-axis motion controls, HD rumble, and amiibo scanning. 8BitDo makes some very good controllers, and the SN30 Pro+ offers one of the biggest feature sets of any controller for the Switch, offering button remapping and adjustable sensitivity. It misses out on some Switch-exclusive features, though. 8BitDo Wireless Adapter - $19.99 Satisfye SwitchGrip - from $26
If you already have a controller you like lying around, such as the Xbox Wireless Controller, you may want to use it with the Switch. The 8BitDo Wireless Adapter lets you do just that, and it actually works pretty well, allowing you to save some money. You can also use it with other devices, like a PC. The Switch's form factor makes it very versatile, but being so flat and thin isn't always ideal for comfort in handheld mode. If you want it to feel more like a classic controller, the Satisfye SwitchGrip is one of the most popular options, and you can get it bundled with a dedicated carrying case. There's also a version for the Switch Lite. HORI Tough Pouch - $14.49 SanDisk microSD card - from $5.99
If you're carrying your Switch around a lot, you might want to keep it protected, and this case also has slots for Nintendo Switch game cards and a pouch for extra accessories you might want to carry. There are also versions for the Switch Lite. HORI accessories are officially licensed by Nintendo, but you should be fine getting a case from other accessory makers too. No matter which model of the Switch you get, it only comes with 32GB of internal storage, which is going to run out very quickly if you install games from the eShop. SanDisk is one of the most renowned microSD card makers, and we thoroughly recommend its products. The sweet spot for price-to-capacity is the 128GB card, but you can always go higher if you need it. Nintendo Switch games
Of course, the whole point of owning a gaming console is to have games for it, and there's no shortage of great games on the Switch. Below are what we believe to be must-have titles, though it's ultimately up to personal preference. From November 27 to December 1, to celebrate Black Friday, Nintendo is slashing $20 off the MSRP for select games. This means they will go for $39.99 instead of $59.99 while supplies last - a big discount considering Nintendo games don't go on sale that often.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ($43.99) - One of the launch games of the Switch, but still one of the best games on it, it's very likely that anyone who owns a Switch already has this one. If they don't, it's almost impossible to go wrong with it. Breath of the Wild is the first open-world game in the Zelda franchise, and it's also the most expansive ever. It's incredibly easy to spend hours roaming around this world, and very hard to dislike this game. If the base game doesn't offer enough content, you can get the $20 Expansion Pass, too.
Super Mario Odyssey ($44.99) - This game can almost be seen as the Breath of the Wild of the Mario franchise. It's one of the most unique Mario games in a long time, with the titular character being able to take control of enemies and objects with the power of his hat. It also gives you quite a bit to do, especially if you get into the online-based Balloon World mode. It's also one of the earliest Switch games, but it's just impossible not to recommend it given how good it is.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate ($59.88) - Nintendo franchises have had some of their best entries on the Switch, and Super Smash Bros. is no exception. Living up to its name, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has the most amount of content ever in the franchise, featuring every character that's ever appeared in the franchise and then some. There's more content still on the way via paid DLC, including the Fighters Pass that can be bought for $24.99. It's an especially great title for multiplayer.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe ($49.94) - Mario Kart is another franchise that makes for a great game to play with friends, either online or locally. It's a bit more accessible than Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, so it's easy to enjoy even if you're playing with people who don't play games that often.
Super Mario Maker 2 ($49.99) - Classic 2D Mario gameplay combined with level creation tools for players makes for a never-ending amount of levels to choose from, many of which make use of items in much more creative ways than Nintendo-made levels would. Unlike the original Super Mario Maker, the sequel also has a story mode, so there's content even if you can't play online. You can also get it bundled with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, which you'll need to play online.
Astral Chain ($57.99) - PlatinumGames has created yet another Nintendo-exclusive game with incredible action sequences, great animations, and a beautiful art style. Astral Chain may not be a game for everyone, but it's an absolutely fantastic title, as you can see from our review earlier this year, and it's hard to pass up if you like action games.
Ring Fit Adventure ($79.99) - It's not everyday that a videogame combines physical exercise with a single-player adventure and RPG elements, but Ring Fit Adventure does it wonderfully. This game will make you sweat a lot, and it'll motivate you to keep going, which is great if you want to stay active and don't have that much time to exercise outside your house.
Luigi's Mansion 3 ($59.99) - Mario's oft-overlooked brother doesn't get many games for himself, but the Luigi's Mansion franchise sees the shy green-clad hero make his way through houses full of ghosts. Seven years after the second game in the series, Luigi's Mansion 3 offers the most expansive adventure yet, with a distinct charm and variety of gameplay mechanics that keep the game interesting all the way through, and it's impossible not to recommend.
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield ($59.99 each)- Almost any Pokémon title is fairly easy to recommend for Nintendo fans, and Sword and Shield introduce some of the more interesting changes yet to the franchise. They introduce a free-range movement zone called the Wild Area, new mechanics like Dynamaxing, and, of course, it marks the start of a new generation of Pokémon games, which means there's new creatures and a new world to explore.
If you already own all of those games, or they don't really suit your taste, here are a few other great options you might like:
ARMS - $48.99 Splatoon 2 - $49.94 Mario Tennis Aces - $38.99 Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - $32.84 Bayonetta + Bayonetta 2 - $49.94 New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - $44.99 DOOM - $59.99 Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus - $50 Wolfenstein Youngblood - $19.99 (Digital download code) Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order - $49.94 Daemon X Machina - $49.94 Kirby Star Allies - $49.99 Super Mario Party - $49.94 The Witcher 3 - $49.94 Octopath Traveler - $44.99 Rocket League Ultimate Edition - $23.99 Overwatch Legendary Edition - $39.99 (Digital download code, includes 3-month Nintendo Switch Online Membership) The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - $54.95 Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition - $49.99 Minecraft - $29.49 Nintendo 3DS games
At this point in time, we don't recommend buying a Nintendo 3DS as a gift, since development for the platform has basically ended. However, if you're buying for someone who has one, many of Nintendo's best games on the 3DS are now part of the Nintendo Selects collection, which means they cost just $19.99 brand new. They may be a good choice if you have a small budget. Here are some options:
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D - $19.99 The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D - $19.99 The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds - $19.99 Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon - $19.99 Super Mario 3D Land - $19.99 Star Fox 64 3D - $19.99 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - $19.99 With all those options, we're sure you'll find something that suits your tastes. Happy holidays!
Ariana Grande fan goes viral after circumventing mother's Twitter ban with a fridge
by Paul Hill
A 15-year-old Ariana Grande fan, simply known as Dorothy on Twitter, has gone viral since her mother confiscated her mobile phone to stop her accessing Twitter. The saga all began earlier this month when Dorothy’s mother confiscated her mobile phone after causing a fire while cooking due to being “too distracted”. Following the ban, Dorothy, eager to keep her Twitter ‘mutuals’ hopped across several devices to stay active, to the hilarity of other users.
The first Tweet to come after the phone confiscation came from ‘Nintendo 3DS Image Share’ according to information provided by the Twitter mobile app; this prompted laughter from her followers and the wider Twitter community.
Once her mother had caught onto the fact that her daughter had been Tweeting from the Nintendo 3DS, that too presumably got confiscated as further Tweets started emanating from ‘Wii U Image Share’ until she uncovered the location of her 3DS and ran off to her friend's house.
A few days in, official Twitter staff caught wind of the story and Tweeted #FreeDorothy, adding to the humour. The hashtag would also be used by LG after the events that transpired next.
In what was probably the funniest thing to come out of the saga, Dorothy had all of her electronics confiscated and had begun to get desperate; she began talking to the fridge, prompting LG’s #FreeDorothy Tweet.
In the latest Tweet, made yesterday, Dorothy thanked Twitter and her followers and explained that she was in the process of trying to get her things back to continue posting like a normal person. Her mother’s Tweet managed to secure 88,000 hearts while the fridge Tweet made by Dorothy was retweeted 16,000 times. At the start of the events, she was thanking people for 500 followers, now she's at 28,500 followers. You can find Dorothy over on Twitter @thankunext327.
Via: The Guardian
Nintendo posts Q3 software sales bonanza fuelling increased hardware popularity
by Boyd Chan
The earnings reports have been coming thick and fast this week, with Microsoft having posted strong growth in its second-quarter report while Apple announced a record-laden start to its fiscal year. Now, Nintendo has released its nine months earnings report with lots of good news for the Switch to be found.
In terms of software sales records, Super Mario Party saw 5.3 million units shifted, while Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! managed to notch up a combined total of 10 million sales. However, one title managed to eclipse them all on the hybrid console, namely Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that managed to rack up a whopping 12.08 units alone despite being released one week into December. The latest installment in the Smash Bros. franchise managed to rack up the three million of those sales in the first 11 days, making it both the fastest selling title in the series but also on the Switch.
Nintendo also noted strong sales in Switch hardware, with 14.49 million units of the latter sold during the nine-month period, an increase of 19.5% compared to the same time last fiscal year. This was driven by a huge uptick in corresponding software sales, with 94.64 units shifted, a mammoth improvement of 100.9% year-on-year for the same period. However, the Nintendo 3DS failed to enjoy the same success with just 2.31 million consoles sold so far this year, representing a significant drop of 60.5%, perhaps signaling the beginning of the end for the aging platform. The company's hardware results were rounded off by its NES and SNES Classic consoles which racked up 5.83 million in units sold as of the end of Q3.
With respect to forecasts, the gaming company anticipates Switch hardware sales for the fiscal year to reach 17 million. If this projection holds true, Nintendo will have fallen short of its target of 20 million by 15% but titles such as Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and Yoshi's Crafted World could help entice further console sales in addition to other major releases from software publishers.
All in all, it's been a healthy year so far for Nintendo, with ¥997.2 billion (~$8.97 billion) in combined sales (up ¥140 billion year-on-year) and ¥220 billion (~$1.98 billion) in operating profits. Of course, it remains to be seen how well the company can round things out.
Source: Nintendo (1), Nintendo (2)
You can now buy Switch and 3DS titles from the Humble Store
by João Carrasqueira
Humble Bundle is now selling digital copies of games for the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS through the Humble Store, though only in the United States. The store's landing page is now greeting visitors with a banner announcing the newly-launched titles. The offering is starting relatively small, with over 40 titles to choose from, but it could certainly grow in the future.
It's not often that Nintendo makes its games available, specifically digital variants, through third-party retailers in an official manner, so it's very interesting to see this happen. At the same time, Humble Bundle also doesn't distribute titles for any other console aside from Nintendo's two platforms, which makes this launch all the more unique.
The titles on sale aren't just limited to the larger releases or even full games, either. You can buy Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions there, or the Expansion Pass for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. On the 3DS, Virtual Console games such as Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal are available to buy, too.
There are a few things to note about this launch though. Right now, all of the titles available are published by Nintendo itself, so third-party games are a no-go. The selection also seems to be somewhat random. On the 3DS, popular titles such as Super Mario 3D Land or Mario Kart 7 are missing, despite classic Mario games being available.
Most importantly, as of launch, there's no real advantage to buying from the Humble Store. None of the games offered are at discounted pricing, and they're not eligible for charity donations either. This does open the door for such things, though, which might make it a good option over Nintendo's eShop at times.
If you'd like to visit the new Nintendo section of the Humble Store, you can do so here, as long as you're in the United States. It's currently unknown if this sort of offering will expand to other regions and/or platforms.