The best-selling video game system of 2013 wasn’t a home console from either this generation or last-generation.
Beating out everything from the Xbox 360 to the PS4 was Nintendo’s handheld superstar, the 3DS.
Today, the little system turns three-years-old.
In those three years, it’s amassed an impressive catalog of must-have titles, from the new Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, to the marvelous strategy game Fire Emblem: Awakening, not to mention Pokemon, Mario, Animal Crossing and the 3D remake of Donkey Kong Country Returns.
Just to rattle off a few.
By the end of 2013, Nintendo reported total unit sales of over 42 million.
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier argues that the 3DS is the best gaming machine on the market today, noting that “Not counting the PC, since it’s not a dedicated gaming machine, nothing beats the convenience and variety of Nintendo’s newest portable system.”
I’m not sure I’d go quite so far. From where I’m sitting, it’s pretty hard to top the PlayStation 3. (Some might argue the PS2 is an even better system, but it’s no longer “on the market.”)
The PS3 has a remarkable catalog of exclusives, including Demon’s Souls, the Uncharted series, and tons of other top-notch content. Even in 2014, as the PS4 pushes itself onto center stage, we’re still seeing PS3 exclusives like Persona 5 launch.
It may not match the convenience of a handheld, but if I had to choose just one console to have with me on a deserted (but connected to the internet, with electricity, etc.) island, it would be the PS3.
Nonetheless, I do think the 3DS is an impressive little beast of a machine, and there’s little doubt in my mind that 2014 will be another good year for the system. If that deserted island had cannibals or dire predators and I had to do all my gaming on the go, I’d pack a 3DS.
The next big release for the handheld is Yoshi’s New Island, which launches on March 14th.