While the direct competitor to the Nintendo 3DS would have been the PlayStation Vita, in reality, it was the nascent smartphone revolution that put the 3DS on defense. As successor to the Nintendo DS, the 3DS built on a solid foundation, and many of the games made for the platform were indisputably exceptional.
If you opted for a new smartphone instead of the 3DS when it first came out, take this chance to discover what you missed. The Nintendo 3DS is a truly great gaming device. It just had really bad timing!