I've recently purchased myself a Nintendo 3DS XL. Not only was I late to the whole fad but I'm actually glad I got it. To make it much more interesting, this is the first Nintendo console I ever owned.
I confess, unlike most of you, I grew up not playing any Mario, Zelda, Metroid or any Nintendo exclusives. Not even Pokemon, although I did watch the show when I was a kid. From the 8-bit era to recently, I've only gamed on the Atari, Sega Genesis, PC and all of the Playstations (including the portables). At the time, I wasn't really exposed to any of the Nintendo consoles so I lacked the interest. Also, financially, my family and myself aren't really well off to own multiple consoles per gaming generation.
Another confession - I sucker at graphical prowess, thus the N64, Wii and Wii U was out of my list.
Why the 3DS and not a Nintendo home console?
Easy answer: time. I'm really caught up with my work. Really long working hours especially when deadlines are involved. Even after work, I'll opt to go back home to sleep or hang out with friends instead. But with the 3DS, I can game on the go. Especially when I commute to work or on break. The same reason why I got myself a Vita.
Speaking of which - its inevitable, but I had to compare the Vita and the 3DS. Hands down, the 3DS wins because of its extensive library of games as well as it's arsenal of features and gimmicks are well utilized in almost every game that was developed for it. The Vita's features felt forced and under-utilized in most games. As presented on the Wii, Wii U and the original DS - Nintendo's winning point is the innovation to give gaming a whole new and different experience.
The game library for the 3DS actually placed a big smile to my face. From RPGs, shooters to casual games - they're made to fit the console just nicely. Another plus point is the various types of RPGs you can play - turn based, tactical, action, simulation etc. I'm just so sick and tired of all the Monster Hunter-wannabes currently available on the Vita. The only RPG I spent most of my time on my Vita is Persona 4 Golden. I just couldn't be bothered with the rest.
Now on to the best part of the 3DS: The features. The glorious features.
For most games, the 3D screen display really blew me away. The ability to adjust the 3D depth slider located on the right side of the screen to your liking is just bloody convenient. The environmental effects in Fire Emblem: Awakening, such as fire burning to an eagle soaring in the sky was visually striking viewed in 3D. Some games didn't work well in 3D (well.. for me, personally). My eyes just couldn't keep up with all the 3D effects in Kid Icarus: Uprising and I just had to play the game with the 3D switched feature off.
Another beautiful thing about the 3DS is that you have tons to do without even booting up a game cartridge. Pre-installed and AR games aren't the best around but its one of those things you will go back to just to waste time. Although the AR games are great to showoff to your buddies of what the 3DS is capable of. And then theres the Mii plaza, containing mini games and puzzles to complete which encourages you to utilize the 3DS' main attractive feature:
Streetpass. Streetpass should be a sin, a form of addiction or even a disorder. With this feature, you'll be able to tag and add other 3DS users into your Mii plaza to play games together and to share and collect puzzle pieces. Consider this a fine warning: YOU WILL CHECK THE NOTIFICATION LIGHT ON YOUR 3DS EVERYTIME YOU GO OUT. YOU WILL HAVE A SENSE OF HOPE THAT IT FLASHES GREEN TO NOTIFY A STREETPASS. YOU WILL BECOME FURIOUS THAT YOU DON'T GET ANY STREETPASSES AFTER A WHOLE DAY OF BEING OUT. YO- *froths from mouth*
Streetpass is not necessarily a bad thing. Its actually a great social feature when you own a 3DS. Its like having OCD or like taking cocaine. You will come back for more.
So consider me another proud owner of the Nintendo 3DS as well as a newcomer to Nintendo gaming. I can finally join you guys playing series like Phoenix Wright, Fire Emblem, Legend of Zelda and maybe Pokemon as well.