What If the Nintendo 3DS Had Been Designed by Kids?

Geek Culture

I’ve been looking back at some of my favorite Gameboy and Gameboy Advance games with my kids over the last few weeks. While we have had a lot of fun revisiting classics like Super Mario Land and Top Rank Tennis, it made me realize how many features I now take for granted were simply missing back then.

With hindsight, it’s easy to see what technology lacks but it is harder to look ahead and detect blind spots. I thought it would be fun to get my kids thinking more creatively about the 3DS — they have talked about nothing else for a good month now — and see what they think it should offer.

Much to their excitement I talked them through the 3DS features, but then I asked them what they make the new handheld do if they were designing it. I was expecting some outlandish ideas (and indeed invisibility rays and rocket power got a fair few mentions) but in amongst this were some real gems:

Download Games into Memory: My son wanted to be able to download his DS games into the 3DS’s memory so he didn’t have to carry the game cartridges with him all the time. He also noted that this would stop him losing so many games.

Play GBA games: My daughter has quite a collection of Gameboy Advance games that she plays on her GBA SP, and was surprised to find that she still couldn’t play them on the 3DS. Her suggestion was to be able to link up the 3DS with the old DS Lite to access GBA games on the DSi and 3DS.

Play 3DS games on TV: My youngest still prefers playing games on the Wii. He came up with an idea that the 3DS should be able to link-up to the console via Wi-Fi so that you could play your DS and 3DS games on the TV. At first I thought this sounded farfetched, until I remembered the Gameboy Player that did just that via the Gamecube.

Transfer Mii to Wii: My daughter is also still obsessed with creating Miis for everyone she knows. It wasn’t surprising that one of her suggestions was for the 3DS to be able to transfer her Mii to the Wii via Wi-Fi. I told her this might be possible by saving them on an SD card but she wasn’t interested. “It should synchronize automatically, dad.” I didn’t even know she knew what “synchronize” meant.

Centralized Save Files: Another suggestion, that they all liked, was for the 3DS to provide a central store of save files. This would be able to collect together all your Gameboy, GBA, DS, Wii and 3DS saves and store them with your Mii. Then, when you went to someone else’s house you would be able to pull up your Mii and all your save files would be there.

Looking at our list, it seemed that Nintendo could have learned a thing or two from our brain storming session. I also really enjoyed hearing the kid’s imaginative ideas. What do you want the 3DS to do?

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