When you stop for a moment and think about Nintendo’s classic (and more than a little iconic) handheld 3DS, the games that come to mind are probably Animal Crossing: New Leaf, A Link Between Worlds, or maybe a Pokémon game. We can guarantee that a game you certainly don’t think about is an Elden Ring 3DS port.
Now, however, thanks to a fan’s post to the Elden Ring subreddit, that’s about the change – forget the best Pokémon games! In a clip shared by the poster, you can witness the 2022 RPG running on the 2011 console. The game appears to be running, before freezing after a few seconds. As one commenter said, echoing our feelings: “Never, not even in my wildest dreams, did I ever imagine being able to see Elden Ring on a fucking DS!!”
Or can you? Is everything as it seems to be? Elden Ring isn’t on our list of the best Nintendo Switch games because it isn’t compatible with the console, so surely it can’t run on the 3DS, right?
Well, kind of. It’s complicated… Making use of a crafty homebrew app called PinBox, the Reddit user who posted the clip of them ‘playing’ Elden Ring on Nintendo 3DS isn’t actually running the game on the system. The 3DS, of course, isn’t anywhere near powerful enough to run a game the size and scope of Elden Ring. Instead, with PinBox, Elden Ring is being streamed to the handheld console, from PC.
So that solves that mystery. But, at least for one brief moment, we all lived in a world where we believed that some witchcraft was allowing Elden Ring to run on Nintendo 3DS (and, maybe, that’s a world we need more of).
Sadly, the reality is that even when the Nintendo Switch 2 eventually launches, propelling forward a new generation of handheld gaming, games like Elden Ring may still be confined to PC and the latest consoles. The system demands and requirements are just too high. But, this is a trade-off that most of us are willing to live with in order to enjoy the portability and convenience of the Nintendo Switch, and its predecessors like the 3DS. Perhaps, eventually, gamers will be able to have the best of both worlds.