GAMING

The Nintendo 3DS and Wii U’s real legacy is how they brought players together

Despite it all, I look back on Nintendo’s years with the Wii U and 3DS fondly; and while the games that both systems offered are a major source of nostalgia, it feels almost overshadowed by how Nintendo really fostered relationships in ways that have yet to be replicated since. With features such as StreetPass and Miiverse, Nintendo gave players all the tools to make communities all their own, and it’s a pity they were left behind.

It may be a silly thing to reminisce about – aspects of these consoles that didn’t directly tie into the games most players bought them for. But for a specific type of Nintendo fan, I can assure you that having a connection to the other players meant the world to me. Setting up my Wii U at launch, and getting to discuss all the games I was excited to play – this was before I joined Twitter, and it’s not hard to wish for something akin to that lighthearted discussion board given the current state of social media. Scrolling through Miiverse not only let me learn about games I’d never heard of, it also helped me find others to play those same games with. As a Monster Hunter fan since the PSP, finding friends on Miiverse to play Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is still one of my fondest memories of the Wii U as a whole.

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While Miiverse eventually found its way to 3DS, it always felt a bit overshadowed by the system’s other major social feature. As I began to go to conventions such as Anime Expo and San Diego Comic-Con in my later school years, StreetPass became a revelation. If Miiverse helped players discover new friends and games across the world, StreetPass did the same for those around us. Taking a break from walking through convention halls to check the Miis you’ve accrued was a ritual that many convention-goers from the mid-to-late 2010s are all too familiar with. Finding out who you’ve crossed paths with, and the games they play were one thing, but seeing the impact that those same players could have in many games on the system helped make even single-player games feel like a community experience.

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