This could have been Nintendo’s year — should have been Nintendo’s year.
And in a sense, it was Nintendo’s year, though it took some doing to get here. No one was supposed to buy the company’s shiny aqua-blue or whatchamacallit-black 3DS when it arrived back in February 2011 with a clamshell thud. Handheld gaming was doomed, proclaimed analysts like smug armchair oracles. Who’d want a bulky plastic pocket-brick that played games and games alone when they could play on their slender all-in-one smartphone — a device on which games exist in a kind of superabundant app-store-verse and typically sell for a buck or less?