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dedicatedtogamers (User)

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The 3DS just can't catch a break

dedicatedtogamers | 1667d ago
User blog

My condolences to the early adopters who bought a 3DS. We are going to see Nintendo's greatest decline in the handheld market directly due to the 3DS, and I'm here to lament and complain and laugh.

Am I jumping the gun and drawing conclusions waaaay to early? After all, the 3DS "just came out". Actually, I think the writing is on the wall and the writing has been on the wall since before 3DS even launched. Let's count the ways the 3DS just can't seem to catch a break.

#5 - Brand Confusion. Anyone here who works at a retail store already knows this one, but the public's confusion about the 3DS's name isn't quite so apparent if all you do is read online gaming journalists. But the brand confusion with the 3DS is very, very real. Is it a DS with 3d? Is it a new system? The game cases look almost identical to regular DS cases, and the 3DS itself (at first glance) simply looks like a DS with an analog stick. The brand confusion hurts the 3DS's case quite a bit.

#4 - No reason to upgrade. When you take a 20+ million seller game and put it on your new handheld and it sells like crap, what does that mean? It means that people don't see the reason to upgrade. I'm talking about Nintendogs and the DS crowd, of course. There's no denying that the DS crowd is a diverse bunch, but apparently they're not diverse enough to see the need to jump into the 3DS swimming pool yet. And I don't blame them. The DS is a hard act to follow. It has a massive library compared to the 3DS. While I'm not a Nintendogs fan...C'MON! It's Nintendogs. You would think that it was the perfect launch title, yet it flopped. That's because "teh casualz" are smart enough to know a cash-in when they see it.

#3 - What's the point of 3D? Even before the system came out, there were warnings that the 3D would affect children's eyes. "You can turn it off," it was screamed at anyone who said the 3D gave them a headache. Okay, Nintendo, so you're alienating one of your biggest audiences (kids), and you're telling people that the main feature that justifies the 3DS's $250 cost can simply be "turned off" if you don't like it? Riiiight, good job building confidence in your system. Beyond these issues, what really IS the point of 3D? So far, it has not added any gameplay enhancements. Sure, when the DS was announced people asked "what's the point of the dual screens?", but at least there were tangible game applications. What does 3D do that can't be done in the traditional sense? Right now, Nintendo is content to simply goof off, create the exact same games they've been making, and then add in 3D to say "see? It's a totally new game!"

#2 - the Games! I wouldn't say that the internet is exactly ablaze with the news that MegaMan Legends 3 was cancelled, but the fans who were excited for that game are certainly angry, especially after Capcom's recent Resident Evil 3DS "one save" nonsense. But other developers like SEGA and Ubisoft are also putting a hold on some of their 3DS games. Even the games coming from Nintendo are a bit...disturbing. Luigi's Mansion 2? Okaaaaay, what about a sidescrolling Metroid, a new F-Zero, or even a Pokemon Snap clone (okay, kidding on the last one)? Kid I the only one who remembers that this game was once a PLATFORMER? The 3DS Kid Icarus is just...some bizarre shoot-em-up/action game that does not resemble Kid Icarus in any way. What about the new Mario game? ANOTHER 3D Mario in less than 5 years? Okay, I like 'em, but if the sales of the two New Super Mario Bros games tells us anything, Nintendo has a lot of fans wanting sidescrolling Mario, not 3D Mario. There are remakes up the wazoo, but no one seems to care. Why should we be excited to pay full-price for an easy-to-acquire console game (Ocarina, Starfox, Metal Gear, SF4) just because it's in 3D? Judging by the sales, a lot of other people have been asking the same question. Looking forward to upcoming games isn't going to cut it when there aren't any worthwhile games on the system right now. "But what about MARIO KART?" you might say. What about it? The game looks like it's becoming even more eccentric and bizarre. Hanggliders? Underwater tracks? Does any of this stuff make Mario Kart better, or is it just flash? More specifically, will 3D make Mario Kart any better? No, not really. And more importantly, will Mario Kart be a system seller? There's no doubt that Mario Kart sells a lot, but Mario Kart is an assumed entry on any Nintendo console. It's not going to set the sales charts on fire, you can mark my words. While the lack of games (and lack of sales) is a big problem, it is not the biggest problem...

#1 - A Bad Direction. Some people might rememeber that - early on - the DS was being outsold by the PSP. The DS's early direction was much like the 3DS's direction. It focused on 3D games (Mario 64, Metroid Hunters). However, it wasn't until Nintendo started branching out and making more old-school and unique games that the DS took off. Initially, the DS was considered a portable N64. But when the sales took off, it became a portable SNES. If the DS had focused on traditional 3D games, it would never have taken off. But wait, apparently Nintendo thinks that the 3DS can focus on traditional 3D games and that's okay? Hah! The 3DS is following the Gamecube/N64's direction, and it doesn't look good. How can I say such a thing? JUST LOOK AT THE GAMES! Where are the unique games that made the DS such a hit? Where are the RPGs? Where are the touch-based adventure games? WHERE IS SIDESCROLLING MARIO? The 3DS is going in a bad direction, and by "bad" I mean "the same direction that caused the Gamecube to tank". The problem is that Nintendo won't simply change directions and make the 3DS like the DS. The entire identity of the 3DS is 3D. Old-school, 2D-style games have no place on the 3DS. They don't fit the direction. That's why we don't see any of those games in development. 3DS is caught in an odd place. It isn't powerful enough to enjoy the "sloppy seconds" ports that the PS Vita will get, but it's powerful enough to require better graphics (and bigger, more expensive dev team). Say bye-bye to niche games similar to Phoenix Wright, Elite Beat Agents, Izuna, and 90% of the RPGs on DS.

The bottom line is this: pay very close attention to the 3DS. You may be witnessing something unprecedented. Nintendo, the heralds and champions of handheld gaming, might lose their grip on the handheld market. No, it won't be the iPhone that does them in. No, it won't be the Vita. The thing that slays Nintendo's unbeatable handheld line will be Nintendo itself, because Nintendo refuses to respond to what the market wants.

Voxelman  +   1667d ago
Sad but mostly true...

The only thing you got wrong was that Mario Kart will set the charts on fire, unfortunately one game can't carry the console and there is not much else.

But the 3DS can be saved, they just need a change in marketing and a few key "portable" titles things like Pokemon, Monster Hunter, 2D Mario (which is apparently coming some time in the future), Brain Training etc, a price cut and a revision with a better battery and slightly bigger screens.
#1 (Edited 1667d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
dedicatedtogamers  +   1667d ago
First of all, I do think Mario Kart will sell nicely. It just won't sell like Mario Kart DS or Mario Kart Wii, nor will it cause the 3DS sales to skyrocket. Why do I say that? Because Mario Kart didn't sell very much (comparatively) on the Gamecube or the GBA. History shows that Mario Kart sells a lot on platforms that sell a lot. Mario Kart does not cause platforms to sell a lot.

Second of all, Nintendo needs NEW ideas for the 3DS to justify it. Would Brain Training help? No, why would it? Nintendogs didn't help. Did the Ocarina remake help (Ocarina is second perhaps only to FF7 in terms of fanbase demand for a remake)? No, Ocarina hasn't caused the 3DS to skyrocket, either. Brain Training and Nintendogs were popular partially because there wasn't anything else like it on the market.
Raf1k1  +   1667d ago
I don't see why old school 2D sidescrollers can't work on the 3DS. The 3D effect is pretty much made up of layers shown in such a way that you get the illusion of depth and 2D sidescrollers are made up of lots of layers. They could certainly make a sidescroller and still have it use the 3D effect IMO.
Godmars290  +   1667d ago
Its not just the 3DS or Nintendo, the whole industry has an issue with 2D. Most likely because of the irony they'd have to put more work and effort into make such a title worth the full price.
Ulf  +   1665d ago
Godsmars is right.

Ironically, doing good 2D animation, that looks good on a high def screen, costs more than doing 3D.

In the past, when blocky characters and 2-frame animations were acceptable, it wasn't such a big deal. Hiring pro 2D animators to draw the motions of animated high-def (3DS really is "high def" compared to older platforms) in a game such that it looks on par with games made by, for example, Vanillaware, but with the variety of gameplay many modern gamers expect, is hideously expensive.

Vanillaware games are very, very constrained, with regards to the amount and types of gameplay their characters can do, if you pay close attention. There's a reason they kept working on the PS2 and Wii when better platforms were available.

This is EXACTLY the same reason Disney now makes their movies in primarily 3D, and not 2D.

Man, now I want to go play me some Odin Sphere and Muramasa.
#2.1.1 (Edited 1665d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report
LightofDarkness  +   1667d ago
Good blog, guy.

The focus on 3D is indeed the biggest stumbling block right now. On a screen so small, the effect is negligible and forgoes much of what makes 3D so attractive: IMMERSION. It's hard to be immersed in a game world presented on a 3-inch screen, as it simply doesn't fill your field of vision like a large screen does. It's pointless.

Moreover, trying to keep the effect enabled is a struggle in and of itself. Slight movements cause the effect to be lost, and also cause eye-strain/headaches to ensue as your eyes constantly shift focus. And seriously, MOTION CONTROLS? When slight motions eliminate what is the eponymous selling point of your product? What a mess. Sounds like this project suffered from some serious scope-creep.

I had my DS for RPGs and Castlevania, and that was about it. And there's no sign of anything like that on the horizon.
#3 (Edited 1667d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(6) | Report | Reply
theonlylolking  +   1667d ago
If there are two games that WILL make the 3DS skyrocket in sales then it has to be Pokemon and Mario Kart.
news4geeks  +   1667d ago
Reasons #5 and #4 will also affect the WiiU sales. Maybe Nintendo's dominance of this gen is finally over. Will the casuals actually care about another mario kart? Probably not. They already own one and they won't buy another for the very reason that they are casual gamers.
lex-1020  +   1667d ago
I think the major thing hurting the 3DS is price. Your point #2 is games. If we look at the DS library it is 70% casual/mini games/ 20% remakes and 10% new/hardcore games. The major focus of the DS has and always will be on children. Now let's look at that for a second. At $250+sales tax (depending on where you live) that's a lot of money. Children don't have that kind of money, hell I don't have that kind of money and I work a full time job (bills+school=no money). And what parent is going to want to pay $250 for a new system when the one there child has works perfectly fine.

Good blog
#6 (Edited 1667d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Pillville  +   1667d ago
"...simply looks like a DS with an analog stick."

Because that's pretty much what it is. It is STILL A DS. It still has EVERY feature a normal DS has and can play EVERY game a normal DS can (except GBA). They just added a bunch of new features.

I seriously think the 3DS would have sold better if they didn't include the 3D screen.

The 3D screen does 3 bad things:
Makes it seem gimmicky
Drives the price up
Can cause eye damage

They could have just added the other new features:
The larger upper screen,
Analog control,
New home screen/menu,
Motion controls,
More memory,
Faster processor,

and called it DS+ or something.
Misterhbk  +   1667d ago
The 3D screen does not drive up the price to be honest. The production cost of a 3DS is only $101 and some change. Nintendo just chose to charge more. They have major room for price drops.
FriedGoat  +   1667d ago
Its a shame all these weak eyed people are having problems, I have a 3d-tv, play my pc games and ps3 games in 3d, watch films in 3d and play my 3DS. Hey im not denying the 3DS was a huge mistake for me to get on launch and Vita will destroy it, but people seriously need to get better genes if their eyes are being "damaged" by a 3ds.
zero_gamer  +   1667d ago
Or simply turn off the 3D. It is optional despite of the system's name. People whining about the 3DS being so damaging to the eyes are crying about nothing.
#7.2.1 (Edited 1667d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(0) | Report
darksied  +   1665d ago
If you actually read any of the articles which discuss this, it's only children's eyes which MIGHT be hurt by using the 3D feature. I'm not saying that it will not happen to adults, but young eyes, they say, are still developing, and the 3D effect could harm that. I don't think "weak eyes" or "bad genes" have anything to do with it; excessive use, coupled with eye strain, maybe bad lighting, etc. will probably get the job done regardless of who you are.
FriedGoat  +   1665d ago
20/20 vision here my eyes don't strain and i play in variable lighting conditions and i don't take breaks. If they show me some proof i'll shutup but until then from my experience i have no problems with 3d so why should anyone else unless they have inferior eyes :P
pr0digyZA  +   1667d ago
"but people seriously need to get better genes if their eyes are being "damaged" by a 3ds".

I would pay to see you say that to someone face to face.
zero_gamer  +   1667d ago
Even with the 3D, the 3DS costs around $103 to manufacture and priced at $250. Nintendo could afford a $50-100 price drop and still make boatloads of cash because more people will go out and buy one. I believe the pricing is to blame for the sales of the 3DS. This is one big mistake by Nintendo.
IRetrouk  +   1667d ago
whats with all the negativity? the 3ds is a very good handheld and so far i have had a ton of fun with zelda, ridge racer, asphalt 3d, dead or alive, street fighter, resident evil, the no games argument is balls, plus it is more powerfull than a standrd ds, the 3d works well when you get used to it.
Ulf  +   1665d ago
Hate me for this analogy, but the PSP Go also has tons of games and some unique features, including being "more powerful" than a PSP-1000 (it has 2x the memory, and the battery lasts way longer, since the PSP-1000 battery was designed to last 4-6hrs at 222 MHz, not 333 which is the current PSP clock)

I love my Go, but I also understand why it flopped. I can see why lots of people prefer the DSi to the 3DS, too.
#8.1 (Edited 1665d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
IRetrouk  +   1665d ago
but the 3ds hasnt floped, neither did the psp go, only to fanboys, but the reasons in this article are bull.
bwazy  +   1666d ago
I HONESTLY had a dream about the 3DS last night, I STILL didnt buy it >_>
darksied  +   1665d ago
Jeez, for real? What were you doing before you went to sleep? :)
JonnyBigBoss  +   1666d ago
The 3DS is an extremely questionable device. I'd rather have a Vita on anyday of the week.
zero_gamer   1666d ago | Trolling | show
Xelestial  +   1666d ago
I only bought the 3DS because I was finally ready to buy a DS (I don't have one) and I got it for Mother's Day. True story. I like the system a lot, but then again my last portable system was the GBA, and the 3DS is backwards compatible, so course I'm happy. It satisfies me.
#11 (Edited 1666d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Kalowest  +   1666d ago
I'm still buying the 3DS, and I'm buying the Vita whenever its released. Giving my sister my DSi when i upgrade.

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