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3DS: Has Nintendo Screwed The Pooch?

Jonathan Lester
3DS, Crap, Features, Launch titles, Nintendo, Nintendo 3DS, Opinion, Pilotwings

3DS: Has Nintendo Screwed The Pooch?

In my recent hardware and onboard software reviews I was quick to hail the 3DS as one of (if not the) best consoles that Nintendo have ever produced. It's slick, solid, fast and runs on a great OS; boasting glasses-free 3D that feels like a gameplay innovation rather than a gimmick. Pre-order estimations were rampant, spirits were high and we were all ready for the dawn of a new handheld dynasty.

So why haven't I played the damn thing in over a week? Why are sales failing to meet even the most conservative projections? And how has the PSP overtaken it in Japan?!

3DS: Has Nintendo Screwed The Pooch?

It all comes down to software support - and unfortunately, Nintendo seem to be completely losing the plot. The launch titles aren't necessarily catastrophic by any means (Pilotwings Resort and SSFIV are really rather good), but it's clear that Ninty's marketing execs have snatched a potential disaster from the jaws of complete domination.

Let me explain. From a raw business perspective, offering only third party titles at launch makes perfect sense. Consumers only tend to have enough money for one or two launch titles, but are also practically guaranteed to buy into any first-party Nintendo franchise regardless of how recycled or hackneyed it is. So why bother offering a Mario, Zelda or Metroid title at launch when you can force consumers to splurge on third party offerings first?

3DS: Has Nintendo Screwed The Pooch?

After all, who'd buy Nintendogs or Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars over a Mario game? And why make them choose when you can get them to buy both!

It's utter genius. Or at least it would have been if several major killer apps were waiting in the wings later this month and throughout May. Except they aren't. Ninty have scheduled their heavy hitters for June at the earliest, forming a vacuum that's letting boredom and malaise set in... and sales to slump when they should be picking up steam.

Also, is anyone else worried about the 3DS' complete lack of identity? Every title (out or slated) seems to be a port or three dimensional re-release of an old game I've already played. Every new console has had its own defining early titles, be them Halo, Resistance or Wii Sports... but not so here. Even the hyped lineup of Mario 64, StarFox, Metal Gear Solid 3 and Ocarina Of Time are ports of games we've completed dozens of times before.

3DS: Has Nintendo Screwed The Pooch?

So, what's the future of the 3DS? Rosy, I hope. I've owned a Nintendo handheld for the majority of the time I've been on this planet, and want to love this latest one with the burning passion of a thousand fire flowers. But the Big N needs to start seriously whipping their first party software and third party studio partners into gear... if not into overdrive. The likes of Mario and Zelda aren't just becoming the main (and only) reason to own a 3DS, but the only reason to own a handheld in the first place. Apple and Android are snapping at your heels, Ninty - and mobile hardware will only be getting better throughout the 3DS' lifespan. Without a steady stream of beloved franchise iterations, you can kiss your handheld dominion goodbye - and us fans to boot.

To be continued...

Add a comment9 comments
Jerec  Apr. 17, 2011 at 20:52

Glad to see people are finally wiping the shit from their eyes. Nintendo have always been like that. I remember my DSi XL, loved to begin with then after a month never touched it, can't really explain, probably as you say, rehashed Nintendo games that I've played a 100 times before. So I sold it.

Sure this'll be the same, lucky I held off. NGP here I come.

Travis Touchdown  Apr. 17, 2011 at 22:02

So, you were really expecting a deluge of previously unannounced titles to be released before E3?

I'd have thought, really, that the listings on any online retailer would have been enough to indicate that these first few months were going to be pretty slim pickings so i'm not sure that i understand where the wounded tone of this article is coming from.

I0wna3ds  Apr. 18, 2011 at 12:36

Way to get your info, mario 64 is coming out? i don't think so, I think you'll find it's a brand new game. I'm happy with streetfighter and pilotwings although I have almost perfected all of pilotwings in 10 hours.

jhon  Apr. 18, 2011 at 12:39

Well, I think that the 3ds is the worse portable system from
Nintendo. 3d is a gimmick, is incompatible with the use if gyro
, batery life is ridiculous. In this days the online estructure is
very poor. No throphies/archievements or "friendly" friend list.

The dont need os 3ds, and dont want he.

I played for 5 minutes and may head almost explode... Headaches

tanto  Apr. 18, 2011 at 12:40

Where to begin with this terrible article

"So why haven’t I played the damn thing in over a week? Why are sales failing to meet even the most conservative projections? And how has the PSP overtaken it in Japan?!"

All launches are terrible. The ds and psp were no different. And guess what the psp was outselligng the ds in every region for a long time too. The psp is over 100 dollars cheaper and its at the end of its lifre

matt  Apr. 18, 2011 at 12:48

spitting rubbish the console has been out a few weeks and it has 13 games all with graphics comparable to consoles wii/360/ps3 and ur saying its dead dont be silly at E3 u will see a ton of amazing games u will be eating your words and when mario kart 3ds and super mario comes out not to mention MGS 3D and RE Mercenaries ect u even have Driver renegade out in 5 weeks followed by DOA Dimentions and starfox is out around the time of E3 not to mention lots of 3rd party games that are out before july lets see what happens when the system gets AAA games i mean its already selling well and its £200 on average so consodering the price i dont think nintendo expect sales like a £100 device in the DS lite/family ect it wont happen so expect 80 million sales in the same time it took standard ds to reach 123 million but also SSF4 has sold 1.2 million copies and counting so software sales will be 3/4 times that of ds

cristi  Apr. 18, 2011 at 13:09

dear Matt, the 3ds does not have graphics comparable to the ps3/xbox360, maybe more like ps2/xbo 180.

gilllyrmore  Apr. 18, 2011 at 13:11

Urmm graphics comparable to wii/360/ps3? wtf are you dillusional LOLZ... none of the games you've mentioned even remotely sound exciting. I use to like nintendo but apart from mario galaxy every other game is the same old rehash.

Lynx  Apr. 18, 2011 at 14:03

I'd prefer to buy an ipod touch, cheaper games and when im not playing games on it I can listen to my MP3s and when I'm not doing those things I can surf some websites and check emails with my wifi at home and it fits in my pocket, I already have a crappy mobile phone, so I dont want an iphone, just need to upgrade from my ipod gen 2 but Ive had it for 2+ years now and still works a treat.

I'm interested in seeing the 3D aspect of the 3DS but I dont believe it has any real use, now if you could 'touch' the 3D and manipulate it that way, now that would be cool, with feedback as well, long way off me thinks.

Ninty probably spends the most money on advertising too, just going by what I have seen, I see their commercials the most and with some heavyweight actors and singers to boot too.

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