Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Eternal Struggle

Another day, another 3DS system update... and another howl of frustration from yours truly. I'm once again forced to choose between the 16-bit game emulation the system should have had officially since the new model launched last year, or online features like Miiverse that define the 3DS experience. What to do, what to do?

Well, I'll tell you what I wanted to do. I thought picking up a MOGA Pocket controller and turning my old LG Tribute into a handheld emulation station would finally free me from having to worry about Nintendo's vexing system updates. That... didn't work out so well. The MOGA Pocket was too cramped and uncomfortable to use (when it felt like syncing with my phone, anyway) and trying to flash new firmware on the Tribute to free some of its limited limited storage was a crashing failure. Like, a "stuck on the boot screen forever" failure.

So now I'm back at square one, trying to figure out a comfortable way to emulate arcade classics on the go. The PSP is suitable for that purpose, but not ideal... not with that lackluster D-pad, anyway. The Vita is a little better, but it's got the same problem as the 3DS, with constant firmware updates blocking access to unlicensed software. An Android device is a definite maybe, but prepping them for use as a game system has proven difficult, and there are so many of them that I don't know for sure which one is safe to buy. I sure as hell don't want to end up with another CX-919. Then I'd have to shop for a game controller, and I'd hate to be stuck with another paperweight like this MOGA Pocket.

It's a first world problem for sure... but it's nevertheless a frustrating one.


  1. OK, so this isn't the cheapest option, but what about having two 3DS systems: one for emulation purposes and one that can be updated regularly and used to play official games? I should think you'd be able to pick up a used OG 3DS pretty cheaply these days. Or am I missing the point here?

  2. Well, I do have a second 3DS, but it's the old model, which runs kind of crappily. It's no good for emulation, aside from games for really old 8-bit systems like the NES and Master System.

    Beyond that, it's my understanding (and I could be wrong) that you can only have your Nintendo ID assigned to one 3DS system at a time. It's not like Sony where you can use up to three Vitas or PSPs simultaneously.

    I'm thinking about having my 3DS hard modded. I'm a little worried about the procedure and it's kind of costly, but it might be worth it to keep Nintendo from taking away my emulators and custom badges.