The franchise monster known as Nintendo released the 3DS not all that long ago, and then lately added a big price cut, because that’s what they do. Or because they realised that they weren’t selling enough, and that at the new price point, they still make a profit on each unit. (This, for the record, is something that few console manufacturers can claim.)
I bought one about a week after launch, through eBay, and getting a discount as such. I’m aware that I paid what I thought was a fair price, and I don’t intend to complain about that. However, the price cut reflects the puppy that is Nintendo widdling itself about the mistakes it has made.
Here is my summary of the awkward puddles Ninty has left all over the floor:
Grandma Average knows about her offspring’s offspring’s DS thingymabob. Grandma Average looks at the 3DS, and my word, she cannot tell the blindest bit of difference between it and the predecessor. How will she know about the increased processor power? She doesn’t even know the meaning of the word ‘processor’.
In short, the 3DS looks like a DS, with a warning label that says it will blind small children.
Yep, it was priced too high for parents to be comfortable with. Why, in the good old days, Gameboys cost £80… And ran on steam and whiskey.
In compensation for adopting before the price drop, I’ve been given Super Mario Bros, as well as 9 other NES games, and soon another 10 Gameboy Advance games to emulate. The NES emulator is absolutely top notch, I daresay this is about as good as you can get without having a big grey box under your TV.
The Games… Well, Pokemon
Pokemon White and Black, the racist editions of your favourite money-printing murder pets franchise, were released just a couple of months earlier for the good old DS. Had these been made exclusive for the 3DS, all the hungry manchildren who still masturbate over Misty would have bought into the console on launch day. Other than that, the launch lineup generally made critics critical, which really didn’t help the system get a kick start.
For the record, I bought Pokemon Black.
There is no way for independent developers to make their mark on this machine. Perhaps it’s just me, but how would an indie marketplace be anything other than awesome?
I suppose it could be too-awesome, a phenomenon that would make people reluctant to buy full price titles. But in regards to selling units, I have a hunch this would have doubled sales.
The eShop took around a decade to open up, and now it’s here, it’s about as user friendly as training a dog to light candles. Waiting for games. Waiting for 3D video recording. Waiting for Godot. Nintendo seems to be trying to make us ignore the fact that the 3DS should have released this Winter; I think the strategy was to be the market leader before the PSP 2 was even announced. Alas, they have failed! Poor Nintendo.
However, it isn’t a failure. It’s never been sold at a loss, and it would have been very hard for Nintendo to have completely failed with any DS sequel. They’ve made about as many mistakes as it’s possible to, and still they’re doing okay.
I’m looking forward to the future of the console. Ninty look at the world in a different way to every other manufacturer – they’re like the kid who wants to live inside a cloud. While Sony greases up its engine, Nintendo is eating sugar and going ice-skating. They work on the principle of doing things no-one else has tried, while Kinect/Move are examples of executives pointing at Nintendo and saying that motion control is the future. I believe Ninty will make their big 3DS break with a new series that fully utilises the Augmented Reality gaming – then, 3 years later, other companies will jump on that, while Ninty runs off to eat more sugar.
In conclusion, I’ve been selling some gadgets off, but I decided to keep my 3DS. I never owned a DS, so I’ll just play some more games I missed while waiting for the 3DS’s big break.
The DS had Professor Layton and Brain Training; the Wii had Mario Galaxy and Just Dance. The 3DS will have its moment; watch this space.