Nintendo 3DS 2 Months On

Having bought the Nintendo 3ds on launch day and having used it a fair amount since then, I feel that it is important to look at how Ninty’s latest handheld has been received considering the overwhelming success of the Nintendo DS line.

Nintendo released sales figures of the 3DS and it failed to meet the expectations of the company. Nintendo had expected to sell 4 million consoles in the first month and actually sold 3.6 million. This does still seem like a huge amount of consoles sold but when considering how big the video game Market actually is and considering the amount of early adopters that there are in the world, it is still a disappointing number. So why did the console fail to meet sales expectations?

Price and time of release may have a lot to do with it. The console’s price in the UK was not actually revealed at the Nintendo 3DS Europe press conference in January like it was in other parts of the world instead people were told that the price was being set by retailers which can be described as code for “this thing is going to cost a lot more in the UK than other parts of the world” or more simply “the British are gonna get screwed on this one as usual” and true to form we were. The console was revealed as costing $250 in the USA and people thought that that was expensive and then the news came out £230 in the UK. People knew straight away how much of a rip off this thing was and within weeks the cost of the console was reduced and reduced and reduced again indicating a lack of demand. Currently the console can be had for £160 which is a huge reduction considering this console has only been on the market for 2 months. Also, it was released in March in a time where people are more careful with their money. If they released it nearer to Christmas when more people are spending money, the could have and probably would have sold a lot more consoles than what they actually did.

The other main reason as to why the console has failed to take off is the current lack of games. Ask most people who picked up a 3DS at launch and the chances are that they will say they picked up Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition and possibly Pilotwings. The games are severely lacking for the console. When you can say that the best game on a brand new console is a port of a game that was released 2 years ago, you know that the console has serious issue with its game library. Since I bought the console at launch, I have only bought one game, Dead or Alive Dimensions which I have to say is a great game and has made me appreciate the graphics capabilities of the system and while it is a personal choice, it has become my favourite game on the system. Problem is, its another fighting game so the only good games for the console are fighting games. Where’s the variety? Thankfully, it’s coming. On June17th, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time is being released and will at last give players a reason to either pick up a 3DS or give existing owners a reason to play it. There is however one small problem, its another port. There may be a limit as to how many people will want to play a game that is 13 years old and want something new, but the past with Nintendo releasing Pokemon remakes on the Game Boy Advance and the Nintendo DS shows that the Nintendo faithful are willing to buy new versions of old games and The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time is seen by many as the greatest game ever made. But that’s not all, rumours suggest that by the end of the year, we will also see Resident Evil: the Mercenaries, Mario Kart, Super Mario 3DS, Paper Mario 3DS, Sonic Generations and maybe even Metal Gear Solid on the 3DS which shows that the console may not have the depth now but will have it in the very near future.

In conclusion, although at one point I was starting to regret buying the console, I do not feel that way now. I am very optimistic at the future of the Nintendo 3DS and the amount of support that it’s receiving. Right now, the Nintendo 3DS is a great bit of hardware with some great features, but in the near future, it will have an amazing game library with games for everyone. And with regards to sales, if they can sell almost 4 million consoles with an underwhelming launch line up, they should be able to sell many more consoles with a line up that includes Zelda and Resident Evil. Right now, the console is only half there but by the end of the year, the Nintendo 3DS will be considered as a must have handheld.

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