Nintendo 3ds

Nintendo 3DS unit sales drop.. ORLY?

Wired is reporting that Nintendo has seen a drop in 3DS hardware sales since it’s recent release. The president of Nintendo claims that efforts need to “step up” to promote the 3DS. He also remarks that current 3DS owners are not using the built in software, such as Street Pass Mii Plaza. Let’s do a little reaction, shall we?

$250 is a lot of money: Earthquake or no, two and a half bills is quite a bit of coin to drop on a system that, on the surface, appears to have incremental improvement over the previous generation. Under the hood, however, is an entirely different story, but perception is everything. Oh, and have you heard the price of gas is up to $4, it’s just not in the budget.

3D is not a cure all panacea: I think Nintendo made a mistake by emphasizing the 3D capabilities in this system by naming it 3DS. At the present time, 3D offers only visual improvements to games, offering no real advancements in game-play mechanics… show me a game which requires 3D and we’ll talk. — Secondly, Nintendo provides warning in games that 3D is not to be used for children. Also, not every one can “see” 3D imagery, it’s a fact. So, when you put a slider on your hardware that effectively nullifies the core marketing principle of your system, you shoot yourself in the foot.

Wheres the beef? Or tofu for my non animal consuming friends. Let me be frank, there are very few games for this system. What I’m really looking for here are games that are not a.) shovelware and b.) ports of currently available games. Pilotwings Resort was a fun game, yes, but it was very short, offered little replay value, and didn’t take advantage of any of the 3DS hardware capabilities other than 3D (which, again, can be turned OFF). No wi-fi, no AR, no multiplayer, no tag mode, no play coin implementation. I’m still waiting for something that uses even two of these features simultanteously.

Built in software. Chicken and egg, my friends — If no one has a 3DS, how am I supposed to use Street Pass to tag other gamers as I walk by them? Mii Plaza has the Find Mii game, but it takes longer to grind away in that than it does in Dragon Age Legends; and that assumes that I gain 10 play coins every day by carrying my 3DS for 1000 steps each day. So at best the Mii Plaza offers about 5-10 min of interactive time per day. The AR games are fun, but again, same thing. Speaking of built-in software, where is the download store and Internet browser? There’s a button for the browser on the home screen, but tapping it greets me with a message that this functionality will be implemented in a future software update.

Its not surprising that 3DS hardware sales have declined. I consider myself a stalwart Nintendo fan, but I’m in the minority. How can you convince a parent to buy one for a kid when they already have the DS Lite / DSi / XL? It’s a hard sell, and I think Nintendo is to blame with a weak release offering from both 1st and 3rd party developers. I don’t want this thing to fail, but if I have to hold onto it until I can use it as a controller for the Wii 2, then so be it.


Hi, I’m one of the founders of Nerd Appropriate and the Rated NA podcast.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Justin

    I have one and hardly use it for pretty much every reason you listed in the article. I can’t believe they still have no internet or download store yet.

    1. Scott

      I got the system without a game originally. The first thing I did was look for the download store — thinking that surely there would be some cool 3D mini games to check out. Color me disappointed.

      I know there will eventually be some sort of Mario platformer or Zelda game, but Nintendo needed to make a stronger showing with the initial offering.

      1. Ryan

        Ah, Nintendo. Not happy with the launch selection? Just wait, there are assuredly Mario and Zelda games on their way!

        1. Ash

          Sure are Ryan… only problem, the Zelda they’re releasing is an old N64 game.

  2. Ash

    Nintendo really has lost touch with Western audiences. I too want them too succeed and may still pick up the system once RE: Revelations is released, but.. until then… nahh

  3. helloscientist

    I was in my local game store the other day and the display model had inexplicably lost it’s 3D capability. I don’t know the full story but could this be a Nintendo RROD situation? I hope not, this tech is pretty cool. Although my limited time with it made my eyes a little buggy.

  4. Micah G

    I don’t understand where exactly my brain tumor is located. But I never, repeat never, enjoyed a handheld game. I am not making the claim, as I often do, that they are bad. Obviously, the only purpose of this comment is to make a public statement of my personal handicap.

    1. Ash

      I agree Micah, it’s hard for me to get really “into” a mobile game. It bothers me when a great franchise like Valkyria Chronicles goes handheld… Metal Gear as well.. stop it ASIA!

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