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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Looking back, 3rd party support on the 3DS wasn't that great

Nintendo has typically been good about getting developers to support their handheld hardware, unlike the more spotty track record of their consoles. That being said, looking back in hindsight, the Nintendo 3DS was an anomaly in that for a Nintendo handheld, it was oddly lackluster in third party support, especially compared to the likes of the DS or GBA. 

First, western support took the biggest hit. Back in the DS days, you had everyone from EA, Ubisoft, even Rockstar releasing interesting stuff for the DS. Hell, the DS got versions of every CoD game since Modern Warfare. But with the 3DS, western developers dropped support for it as quickly as they took it up, and they never really picked it back up again either. Japanese developers fared a bit better, with Square Enix and Atlus heavily backing the system. But even that was a bit of a step back from the DS, as many of the more unique games the DS was known for were almost non-existent on the 3DS.

Even indie support was underwhelming. Due to the 3DS' lack of engine support and clunky hardware, many indie games skipped the platform altogether. So, yeah, the 3DS' 3rd party support was disappointing. I love the 3DS, it's up there with Nintendo's best on the first party side. But it's much more of a Nintendo box than some fans like to admit. At best, it's on par with the GameCube and Wii (that is okay, not great, not terrible), and at worst it's a massive step back from its predecessors. The Switch however looks to bring things back to DS and GBA levels of support, especially if more stuff like Octopath an Ninjala keep coming. 

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I'll wait for Rol before I have an opinion on this.

edit: What Rol said.

Last edited by vivster - on 30 August 2018

If you demand respect or gratitude for your volunteer work, you're doing volunteering wrong.

The 3DS is probably my least played platform that I have owned over the last 30+ years... I think the subpar displays and visuals play a big part of that. (I am a resolution snob.)
I mostly grabbed it for the Nintendo 64 ports. Aka. Nostalgia. Ocarina of time, Lylat wars etc' are amazing.

--::{PC Gaming Master Race}::--

Likely because devs/publishers who had smaller budgets and wanted to put out small titles could do it on consoles as digital titles.
So when a Ubisoft or EA wants to put out a title that would previously have been a handheld game now instead make a Child of Light or Unravel for consoles.

Compared to GBA and DS, 3DS was severely lacking in 3rd party support. I think what happened is those resources were moved to mobile devices like phones and tablets.

I have no regrets buying a 3DS, but I didn't play any JRPGs and I probably completed like 10 games at most. I spent more time with the Vita.

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Yeah it became the system for Nintenod's own franchises and visual novels. But at least Nintendo's own efforts were great

It's a good console but yeah lacked support. Like said before, they migrated to mobile devices and that hit the system hard. If it weren't for Nintendo's great support it would've flopped

Of course not. Which is why the Switch needed to be both console and handheld.

3rd Party Japanese games were plenty on the console though ;) Also, I could just buy DS games to play since retrocompatibility is available, if I wanted (which I did)

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It had it the place where it was needed, in terms of RPGs :)


Look at what Atlus did for the 3DS:
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker
Shin Megami Tensei IV
Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth

Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl (remake)
Etrian Odyssey II: Untold: The Fafnir Knight (remake)
Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan
Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth

Etrian Mystery Dungeon I
Etrian Mystery Dungeon II


Plenty of 3rd party put in effort to help the 3DS.

Last edited by JRPGfan - on 29 August 2018