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So, I finally took the plunge and bought a Nintendo 3DS, but not for the reasons you're probably thinking. Call it a perfect storm of hype, peer pressure and a desire to reconnect with the past.
Nintendo hosted its E3 Direct this morning, a decidedly low-key event compared to the show the publisher usually puts on each year. As far as 3DS news goes, we got a bit of new info for The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, learned about a new fairy type for Pokemon X and Y, and also heard about some upcoming titles like Yoshi's New Island and Smash Bros.
But none of that had anything to do with my picking up a 3DS (In sexy dark purple, no less). That decision was finally made Sunday night when I found my feet carrying me into a downtown LA Target and directly to the video games section.
The last Nintendo handheld I got into was the Game Boy Advance SE. After that, I made the switch to the PlayStation Portable and continued the trend with the Vita. For years, though, I've toyed with the idea of picking up a DS, then a DSi, and finally a 3DS. Put simply, I felt I didn't really need a second portable gaming console. One was, and still IS, quite enough.
But that thought wasn't enough to keep my wallet in my pocket Sunday evening. In the airport, getting ready to head to LA, if people weren't reading on an iPad, they were playing a 3DS. It was even worse when I got to the actual convention center, only to discover hundreds of my fellow games enthusiasts lounging in chairs, propped against walls or waiting in lines with their 3DS's in hand.
Sony's handhelds have always been the punk group of the portable gaming scene. They aren't the world famous rock super group that are Nintendo's handheld consoles, nor are they the hot new runaway pop group that is the mobile gaming market. The PSP and Vita are more underground, which, honestly, is part of the appeal.
Don't get me wrong. My Vita is overflowing with games I love to play and even more games I just haven't had the time to dip into yet. Despite the fact that Sony decided to give the console a pretty cold shoulder during last night's press conference, there are actually quite a few games on the horizon I can't wait to get my hands on.
All of that aside, I still found myself standing in a Target Sunday night, desperately wanting a 3DS (But Moooom, everyone else has one and look how shiny it is) and, of course, the new Animal Crossing that had released that very day. The original Animal Crossing holds some special gaming memories for me, which is probably why I called the two people who played the game with me so much back in college.
Jenn, my special lady friend, did the exact opposite of convincing me to walk away, telling me that she wanted to play Animal Crossing, too, and, well, YOLO. Alex, on the other hand, did his best to talk some sense into me. He advised me to check out some games on the show floor, spend some more time with the 3DS in my hands, then make a buying decision when I return home and am no longer caught up in the hype of E3. He presented some very compelling arguments, all of which I thanked him for and then immediately ignored.
So now I have a 3DS. I won't pretend I'm not looking forward to getting back to some staples of my earlier gaming life; reconnect with Mario and Co, play the umpteenth iteration of a pillar franchise, etc. That's all very exciting. But mostly, getting the thing has allowed me to take off my spike-studded leather jacket with the word “Sony” spray-painted across the back and step away from the “us versus them” mentality of only owning a single portable console. I'm still a punk at heart, but now at least I can head to that rock show from time to time.