The Nintendo Switch’s main gimmick is its ability to “switch” between handheld and docked mode. It allows players to experience video games on their bigger television screens or on the go. Considering the portability of the Switch was such a big selling point, it made business sense for Nintendo to produce the handheld-only Switch Lites.
Personally, I wasn’t one to bring my Switch everywhere with me. I’d love to, but it’s not practical. I presume my boss would frown upon me playing Breath of the Wild while at my day job (I sneak the mobile version of Game Dev Tycoon instead). The few times we have packed up our Switch to bring with us out of the house, it’d be for a nice vacation or to our friend’s house for a video game night (who incidentally has her own Switch now, so ours is no longer needed).
In all honesty, as much as I enjoy video games, I was never the type to carry around my handheld consoles. Books, yes. Video games, no.
There was, however, one console that I didn’t mind sticking in my pocket while I was out and about due to one of its features: Nintendo’s 3DS for its Streetpass.
The Streetpass Mii Plaza was a feature that you turned on as you went out and about your day, and let it do its thing. Its thing was to connect with other folks using Streetpass on their Nintendo 3DS. After returning home, your little Mii would mention how many other Miis they passed and met, allowing you to see other people’s Miis visit your plaza.
While Miis themselves were simple, it was fun seeing how creative some folks could get when designing the little avatars. The Miis piped up what their player’s favorite or latest game was, which was always interesting to me. Certain games for the 3DS also linked up with the help of the Streetpass — I would recognize names from my Streetpass as trainers in Pokemon X and Y or as tacticians in Fire Emblem: Awakening.
The Streetpass also offered little minigames that the passing Miis could help out with. Miis would swap puzzle pieces of stills from some of Nintendo’s best 3DS games. There was a “rescue the Mii” dungeon-like minigame that your army of Streetpass friends would help fight your way through. Your Mii could raise a garden and swap seeds with other Miis. Fishing and racing were a couple of minigames, as well as a “monster manor,” where the Miis would give each other room pieces to find the stairs to reach the next floor of the manor. Aside from these few, there were plenty of other minigames and activities for your Miis to experience together.
Of course, Nintendo’s latest console has Friend Codes, allowing you to see what your friends are up to with their own Switches. Yet, I do miss the Streetpass feature that allowed us to more or less play together. Working with strangers to fight ghosts and grow gardens was quaint, and was a prequel to the camaraderie that players find nowadays in games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons or online Stardew Valley.
It was simple, yes, but I enjoyed the fellow gamers that I briefly met as we completed a puzzle of Miitopia before loading up Pokemon Y and battling each other. There was no voice chat, no messaging system, no need to set up separate online rooms. Just interacting purely within the games.
Do you remember the Streetpass Mii Plaza? Let us know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!