It would be hard to argue that the 3DS was well-received in the US. Nintendo didn’t provide a compelling reason to upgrade to the new system at launch; no Mario, no Zelda, no Pokemon. The support continued to be abysmal, with some of the biggest titles for the system being remakes of N64 games. While Star Fox and Ocarina of Time were great additions to the library of games, they are remakes of 10 year old games and not flagship titles. It wasn’t until late last year that titles such as Mario Kart and Mario 3D Land hit the console and provided a good reason to own the system.

Now we’re in 2012, and the horizon is looking much brighter for 3DS owners. With games like a real Resident Evil title coming to the system and Metal Gear Solid 3D not far behind, there are definitely a selection for the more mature audience. Kid Icarus is looking to be another solid title as well, and all of these are being released in the space of just 2 months; it’s making me start to eye my wallet and wish it were a little fatter.

Argue all you want, the addition of the second circle pad will be a good thing in the long run for the 3DS (though the Gamestop exclusive part of the equation is a bit concerning). Having two sticks is a must for most modern gaming setups, and the fact that it was omitted originally was another flaw in the 3DS’ design in the beginning. At least the Big N can admit that it made a mistake and provide a peripheral to remedy it.

One thing that would give the 3DS a boost would be the addition of 3D movies to the Netflix library already available on the system. The tech is there, all ready to go. While you may disagree about 3D movies in general, you’ll have to admit that they are becoming ever more prevalent, and people are paying to go see them. Having that experience as a portable would definitely help to move systems and be a cool selling point for Netflix on the device.

Is all of this enough to compete with Sony’s shiny new Vita? Time will tell. Nintendo is definitely doing a lot of things right with the 3DS, and 2012 just might be the year the system really shines.