Getting my 3DS just a mere week ago, I’ve already fallen in love with the three dimensional, two screened machine. I’ve spend countless hours, late into the night getting destroyed by random strangers at Street Fighter IV and crashing into Mario’s castle in Pilot Wings. Not many experiences compare to the first moment when I turned the 3DS on and saw my little Mii pop up in 3D without those annoying glasses. And as much as I love the little device, I have just one problem: why do we need two screens?

In the three games I’ve had the opportunity to play (and all the little apps that come with the 3DS) on the 3DS, none of them use the bottom screen for anything more than menus or… well, nothing. Pilot Wings use it for menus, ones that could be used just as easily on the top screen. Street Fighter IV uses it for special attacks that could very well have been mapped to an actual button instead of one of the four giant buttons on the bottom screen. The Mii Plaza and the Augmented Reality games don’t even do anything with the bottom screen. This begs the question: Why does this system need two screens?

If Nintendo had opted to make the Nintendo 3DS a one-screened, they could have made the system half the size. They could have made the top screen (the important one) bigger and maybe had improved the performance of the device with the extra space. There are many possibilities to how Nintendo, being the creative bunch they are, could have improved their device had they had the extra real estate, and yet they added the extra screen, one that doesn’t even get used… at all.

The touch part of the bottom screen is obviously a plus; it makes for some interesting games and features. But why not just make the top screen touch as well (like the NGP). That would solve that simple problem.

Not to say that there isn’t a reason to have a bottom screen. Obviously, there wouldn’t be any backwards compatibility if they rid the console of the bottom screen. And of course there are many games (on the original DS) that DO take advantage of the bottom screen. However, do the pros outweigh the cons? Would getting rid of the screen make the console much better, or much worse? I guess we’ll never know, but I have a hunch; from what I’ve seen so far, the bottom screen is not getting used enough for it to validate its existence, so why not just get rid of it?

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