OK it’s no surprise to me that the 3DS isn’t hitting the numbers that Nintendo thought it would hit. I’m rather surprised that they didn’t see this coming. 3DS is potentially an awesome system, but it’s not there yet and here is why.

– Half-Baked system

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the 3DS is half-baked. Just because you have the option of updating a system after launch doesn’t mean that you promise features and then leave them out of the system and say they will be put in later. That’s like buying a car that is advertised as bluetooth-ready, but you have to wait 6 months for a new radio that has bluetooth in it. All and all, it’s just a lame practice and something that has hurt the system.

– Mediocre launch titles

There are none of the 3DS titles that really stand out as a flagship title for the console. Granted there are good games like “Pilot Wings” and “Street Fighter 4: 3D edition” but none of these titles make me want to go out and buy a 3DS (I was honestly thinking about just not getting any games at all).

– Over focus with 3D

3D is cool on the 3DS, but it’s not even the killer feature. Augmented reality, street and spot passes combined with the online store should take precedence over the fact that the 3DS can display 3D content. If Nintendo decided to put a little more focus on these other areas to show consumers out there that there is more to the 3DS then just 3D, then you might get more people who would want to get the system. Also the bad press about 3D in general doesn’t help.

Nintendo probably is aware of these things but I wonder if they will act on them. Honestly part of the 3DS’s downfall right now is that the DS is still on shelves and doing just fine. Nintendo isn’t hurting and I’m sure they have big plans for the 3DS. I just hope they get their butts in gear before the Christmas season. 3DS would be a nice present to get this year. And for Christ sake all you 3DS owners turn on street-pass (if you don’t already) and keep your 3DS on you always, there is an indescribable “high” you get when you virtually meet people just by walking around your town.


Jrow’s Take: Ever since my move in mid-April, I’ve yet to touch my 3DS. Heck, I’m not 100% sure where it’s at. Let me go check…….. alright, it’s where I thought it was. Probably needs to be charged up.

Xcom makes some good points. We talked about it on Episode 80 how the system will pick up steam later on, but boo on Nintendo for releasing a system with only half of its potential in March. Boo Nintendo for hardly even participating in the system’s launch; Pilot Wings was its only representative alongside the great Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition and some ports of average games. Mario doesn’t even make a cameo in any game, what the hell? I need to stop being a sucker and participating in launch-day festivities with Nintendo anymore.

I think Xcom would agree with me that the system was bought with potential in mind, but that our concern in this letter is why Nintendo was surprised by the less-than-stellar numbers. 3D is almost a nuisance at this point with some people; Nintendo itself warns of 3D and mainly suggests a minimum age of 7 to play the games; lesser people (joking) can’t handle 3D, etc. 3D is cool, but at the same time it is fighting an uphill battle for acceptance in an age where technology changes at an incredibly rapid pace and consumers feel it is being shoved into their faces.

I semi-agree with Xcom’s views about the “over focus” of the 3D. For a Nintendo system, there’s a surprisingly good amount of features the “hardcore” audience are interested in seeing more of. However, when it comes down to it, visuals will make or break the 3DS. 3D is to the 3DS as motion was to the Wii; it’s the be-all-end-all of the handheld and must be utilized really well to combat iOS’s Retina Display and the “PS3-rivaling” NGP (especially if a Wi-Fi-only version of NGP ships at $250 or even $300). The other thing I’ll comment on is the DS still being on shelves. The 3DS is currently suffering from “PS2 syndrome” where it’s cheaper, more popular and lesser-powered brother is still hogging the handheld market. The 3DS will find out the hard way what the PS3 had to work itself out of early in its lifecycle.

With the recent announcement of Star Fox 64 3DS having motion controls, I want to know just why? Gyroscopes are probably the norm by now in iPhones and other devices, but motion gaming can’t work with a system that has a dedicated “sweet spot” that you must view the screen. No 3DS game should be trying to implement motion controls, unless, as discussed several times on the podcast, you want kids to break their systems and force their parents to fork over another $250. iOS can get away with some motion gaming, but not the 3DS.