I don’t own a 3DS.
Sure, get all snippy about me not truly knowing about the product that this post is all about, but hear me out. The real question here is ‘why don’t I own one?’.
Let’s look at the background, shall we? If one were to cast an eye around my bedroom, they’d see Nintendo paraphernalia everywhere: posters, figurines, a remote controllable Mario Kart, and a collection of home consoles ranging from the NES to the GameCube. No one would question my love for this company and their history.
Financially, there’s no real reason for me not to own the console either: I work full-time and am lucky enough to have a decent bit of disposable income every month. All the factors for an automatic purchase are there, but it’s just not reaching that logical conclusion.
It’s hard to fully explain my lack of desire for this product. There are factors, that’s for sure: an incredibly lacklustre launch, coupled with the vague promise of better software on the way; an unappealing but much touted, headline feature in the form of glasses-free 3D; and a piece of hardware that seems to fail on a lot of critical levels, particularly in comparison to the upcoming PS Vita (which brings a far more technically advanced piece of hardware for a shockingly similar price point) and any Apple product running iOS (which brings a simple, cohesive and intuitive user interface and more robust online capabilities).
I’ve had plenty of hands-on time with the 3DS, and I’ve tried all the flagship titles that are on the way with much excitement. I definitely can’t ignore the allure of a new Paper Mario, Luigi’s Mansion or Star Fox. But until Nintendo gets their act together and matches their impressive software collection with hardware and a user experience that seamlessly blend together and ‘just works’, then there’ll always be a pitiable lack of desire for me.
It’s ludicrous to imagine that the 3DS will be a complete flop.
Granted, all this is possibly moot. I’m sure Nintendo know all this and are ever so slightly panicked about the future of the console. While it’s ludicrous to imagine that the 3DS will be a complete flop, there is a good chance that Nintendo’s dominance of the handheld market will be toppled, and not necessarily by the Vita, it’s next closest competitor. The market is so overly saturated with devices that it could be anyone. In the meantime, I’m certain that a redesign of the hardware is well on the way, but given the architecture of the current console, it’ll be almost impossible to make all the changes without cannibalising the existing hardware and infrastructure. Having said that, I would hope that the 3DS and any successive iteration are the eye-opening products that Nintendo needs to see before they start truly embracing what consumers really want.
On the other hand, Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney is going to be AWESOME.
So, the Nintendo 3DS. No doubt my adjacent friend is ranting about how much of a failure it is. I agree that the launch of the console early this year seemed very rushed, but the hardware itself seems pretty solid – the lack of games is the real killer at the moment.
For whatever reason, Nintendo decided to release the console with no ‘real" first party games, which was a bad move. They’ve had poor sales because of this, and the huge price drop only months after release is evidence of their desperation to move some units. I doubt the price is the issue holding most people back from purchasing a 3DS, though – there’s just nothing to play on the console. As soon as this changes, 3DS sales will start picking up.
I doubt the price is the issue holding most people back from purchasing a 3DS.
They really should have given it another six months – I’m sure the 3DS would have been better received if they released the Ocarina of Time port at launch, with the promise of Star Fox 64 3D, Paper Mario, Luigi’s Mansion 2, Super Mario 3D Land, and others within the next few months. Instead, critics have taken great pleasure in Nintendo’s lacklustre launch of the console.
I’m not really sure what Nintendo were thinking when they released the 3DS, but I assume it was something to do with corporate accounting (release the new console before the end of the financial year to increase profits, or something along those lines). There could be all kinds of shifty tactics being used – it sure as hell doesn’t cost Nintendo $80US to give out 20 free games to 3DS owners who bought one before the price drop. And I’m not even going to go into the "expansion slide pad" that adds the extra analog stick, aside from saying that I hope that it remains optional on all games that support it.
None of that really matters to me, though. The DS is my favourite console (portable or not), and I firmly believe that the 3DS will recover from its faulty launch and rise to be just as good as the original. In the end, what will make that happen is the games. For me, already announced titles like Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney, Paper Mario, and Resident Evil Revelations are what I need before I will buy a 3DS. I’m also fervently hoping for sequels to games/series such as Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Golden Sun, Trauma Center: Under the Knife, and The World Ends With You, to name a couple.
You can’t help that think that Nintendo might have shot themselves in the foot with the 3DS launch. With the lack of games, huge price drop, and the bulky expansion slide pad, it seems that they’re not very prepared for this new console generation. Couple that with their history of hardware revisions, and many people are already wondering if a "3DS Lite" is just around the corner. Time will tell, I guess.