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FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437 Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece.  I strongly recommend anyone...

The 3DS Needs a Check-Up

Posted on Wednesday, July 13 @ 13:24:33 PST by KevinS

The 3DS Needs a Check-Up


KevinS
by KevinS
Ah, Nintendo, my old portable-producing friend. Y'know, I've heard a lot of smacktalk about your new 3DS these past few months, even though you've sold over three million units already (which ain't too shabby) and over 400K in June. So why are people giving you so much crap? Is it because the DS outsold you last month? Is there something in your past that might be keeping you back?

Oh yeah, the Virtual Boy. Funny thing about that. Back in August of 1995, Nintendo released gaming's first dedicated 3D gaming console hit the market… erm, stumbling. It was a big, honkin' gas mask that could only shoot red lines to create a 3D image, and like what people say about the 3DS now, the VB created headaches for everyone who dared look it in the eye (speaking as a man with experience with both, the VB might be why I wear glasses today: the world's cheapest Lasik).

Thing is, the VB was such a take-off specific to its own time that it shouldn't be thought about here at all. "Everybody" wanted 3D then, but the costs were far too high for anybody to have a massive free-standing module in the living room. Or, they could buy a red helmet that put the fire in their eyeballs. And it was pretty expensive too.

So maybe it's the price that's the issue? With the DS still selling well with a steady slew of titles released for it, this is definitely an issue. It pains me to say it as someone who purchased the 3DS at launch, but it could use a price cut to bring it to the forefront. $250 for a portable console isn't obscene - especially since it still feels to me like a portable Wii (complete with a funny-looking me just starin' into my soul) with better Internet usage. But looking at previous Nintendo handhelds, there is definitely some sticker shock, especially when the box is right next to the DSLite and XL.


This leads into another problem: The current 3DS line-up isn't considerably powerful (or, with a few exceptions, show the hardware to be much of a step forward), is still lacking a new big N property (sorry, but Pilotwings doesn't cut it and Ocarina of Time is a remake), and has a lot of big games either TBA or planning release at least a few months out. Put that platform right next to one that looks very similar, has a much larger line-up with the titles people clamor for, and is significantly cheaper by sixty bucks for the DSiXL (and double that for the Lite), and it's not surprising to find someone forgo the 3DS for the regular, slightly-older one.

Hopefully, when the big names start breaking out and the hardware gets a-running at full strength, the heckling will stop like it did with the DS… people made fun of it early on and didn't understand what kinds of games could be made, but seven years later it's turned out to be one of the top-selling consoles of all time, even selling significantly more than the Game Boy line. Who's to say it can't be the next… well, DS?


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