It seems like it was just yesterday – when in fact it was 365 days ago – that I stayed up until midnight to meet the day the Nintendo 3DS was to launch. I couldn't get one then, nor was I going to at that time, but I still felt compelled to lay awake, anticipating when the clock struck 12 and the new innovative device could officially be put into the hands of the general public, and subsequently express my excitement with random people on the internet.
Now we come to the present day, and it's the 3DS's one-year anniversary in North America. Many things have happened in the system's initial 12 months, making it one of the more memorable out of any video game system I've followed. The system had a rocky start, with a launch with a few good games, notably Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition and Nintendogs + Cats, but for the most part, the launch titles weren't quite that extraordinary.
Some might say that the system entered a drought in the next few months, lacking any major or quality titles. The Nintendo eShop was launched, and at E3 2011, new, great titles were announced to be on the way, but they were months away. While great titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Star Fox 64 3D were offered by Nintendo, it seemed as if customers would need more than remakes of past games to sway them. The 3DS wasn't selling well, and the company was losing major money; something had to be done, and soon.
Then came the big announcement of the 3DS's price drop. The system, by then, had only been out for half a year, and already it was being slashed to $170 from $250, losing $80 and thus making Nintendo sell the device at a loss. However, this proved to be extremely successful, as sales of the 3DS skyrocketed. For early adopters of the 3DS, they were promised 10 free NES and GBA games, and were dubbed "Ambassadors." It was during this time that I purchased a 3DS, and hold it dearly to this day.
Nintendo was still determined to save their system. They released Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7, which turned out to be mega hits and strongly helped. The messaging system Swapnote arrived, adding even more to the 3DS's promising online compatibilities. With strong third-party titles such as Resident Evil: Revelations and Tekken 3D: Prime Edition on the way, in addition to first-party titles like Kid Icarus: Uprising and Mario Tennis Open, the 3DS has a bright future ahead of it.
As of March 2012, the 3DS has sold over 12 million units worldwide, as well as over 5 million units in North America and Japan separately. Let's take this day to celebrate all this system has meant to us, and hope that it has a great life ahead of it.
P.S. Today, you should also be receiving the Mii of Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime in your StreetPass Mii Plaza. European owners should have also gotten the Mii of Satoru Iwata a couple of days on the 3DS's anniversary in Europe.