The 3DS is a simple little handheld. But, despite its simple design and rather archaic hardware, it’s actually more of a multimedia machine than even that of the Nintendo Switch. The 3DS has apps for picture taking and even video watching like YouTube and Netflix. The system also has built-in support for music files too, and in Japan, there are dedicated music streaming services that have actually released dedicated apps for 3DS. While most folks may forget that their 3DS can do all this, it turns out that Japanese school kids are quite fond of the system’s multimedia capabilities, especially the music streaming service.
A data research company in Japan called Mobile Marketing Data Labo (yes, like Nintendo Labo) recently conducted a survey on a variety of age groups. From the data gathered, the company found out that the majority of middle school-aged children in Japan use the Nintendo 3DS as their main portable music player.
Considering that the majority of people these days, both young and old, tend to consume a lot of music (and most media in general) via their smartphones, this result may seem odd. Especially since Japan is known for its love of mobile devices. But, given the circumstances, it actually makes sense.
The report highlighted that most middle schoolers in Japan do not receive a cell phone from their parents until they reach high school. On the other hand, a lot of them do own 3DS units, so they make use of that for their musical media consumption.
Of course, this goes back to the point brought up earlier: the Switch is still technically inferior to the 3DS due to its inability to carry out tasks like these. Perhaps Nintendo does have plans to expand the Switch’s spectrum of capabilities, just as it recently did by adding digital game-sharing to the system in the 6.0.0 firmware update.