Daily Illuminator

July 13, 2023: The Latest In (Old) Gaming-Table Tech

Nintendo 3DS

I'm always looking for interesting innovations to enhance my gaming experience. One such nut that I've often tried to crack is easily getting music to the table. I recently stumbled onto a possible solution in a very unlikely source: the Nintendo 3DS.

This venerable device from last decade has a surprisingly robust MP3 player. It has a visualiser with some attractive options, buttons that are easy to tap or access in the moment, and – most importantly from my perspective – built-in speakers. It's not incredibly loud, but the output is more than acceptable for a battle sting or ambient music/atmosphere to set the mood during a session. And the device folds up fairly compact and ruggedly, to reside in a backpack.

The 3DS also allows for self-inserted memory cards with a decent amount of storage (I have a 256gb card in one of mine), so you can keep a bunch of music or sound effects at your fingertips.

It does have drawbacks; not all file formats are supported, and it's sometimes a bit sluggish, especially with huge libraries. The speakers are also quite tinny (although I could add external speakers via a headphone jack if I needed better sound quality). I don't necessarily recommend going out and buying one specifically for this purpose. But if you have one in a drawer you haven't visited in a while, why not give it a try? You might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

-- Steven Marsh

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