No, your eyes don’t deceive. There is a new system update in the realm of Nintendo consoles, however, it’s not for the Nintendo Switch. That’s right, Nintendo has rolled out a system update for the 3DS family of handhelds. The update boosts the system firmware to version 11.14.0-46.
So, what do the patch notes contain? Well, it’s the return of Nintendo’s favorite explanation for a patch ever!
Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience.
The company has actually used this exact same note for every 3DS patch since Version 9.6.0-24U, which was released all the way back on March 23rd, 2015. That is, minus the random patch was released in December 2019, which addressed an issue with StreetPass. In fact, this current patch is the first since then; 11 months later.
It’s really interesting (and potentially sad) to think that there are still some employees being tasked to comb over the dusty wasteland that must now be the 3DS’ operating system, still searching for little bugs and security holes all these years later.
End of an era
After fervently denying that the 3DS would be put to bed after the release of the Switch and even the Switch Lite, the company finally came forward just this past September to say what many already knew: production officially came to an end.
The 3DS had a relatively long life cycle of nine years on the market, having first released in early 2011. While the handheld’s early months were in stark contrast to the success of its predecessor, the original Nintendo DS, after a price cut and subsequent release of more games, the 3DS found its voice. It even carried Nintendo’s main business for a while during the driest points of the Wii U era. As we now know, the reason for this is because Nintendo was busy trying to blitz the development of the Switch, which resulted in a record turn-around time of just shy of five years.
Nintendo Switch has effectively replaced the roles of both the Wii U and the 3DS, and Nintendo has actually admitted that it’s doing much better now that it only has to focus on producing hardware and software for a single platform rather than both. Even with the release of the Nintendo Switch Lite last year, the company is still focused on the Switch family as one rather than a split relationship.
As Nintendo cooks up its next system, it remains to be seen if we’ll ever witness the release of an individual home console and handheld ever again. Seeing that the Switch’s hybrid design has proved to be extremely successful, the 3DS may very well go down in history as the last big true handheld system.