Nintendoh! Miss steps with the 3DS.

3DS

$249.99? oops we meant $169.99, our bad.


So the video game world is all a buzz about Nintendo’s announcement this past week about the shocking price drop of the 3DS from $249.99 to $ 169.99 just four months after its launch.( and 20 free games for early adopters, though if you have an original DS you can still play most of these games. ) The original DS struggled at first too and got its $20 dollar price drop 8 months after its release, then again $20 is no $80. So whats going on over there at Nintendo? Is this a major flaw in the mighty big N armor? A sign a of things to come? Or is it a miss step they hopefully are learning from?

First off $249.99….serious?

What was Nintendo thinking? Trying to replace a healthy DS in this economy for 250 bucks? Before you say hey, you got one on launch day right? Yes I did, Gamestop gave me $100 for a DSxl trade in, a move I have sorely regretted. Perhaps game journalist reactions at E3 made Nintendo think they had lighting in a bottle? But 250 bucks was a gross overestimation of the device and their own demand perhaps. Hey, Even Hitler was arrogant enough to attack Russia…and he failed too. Russia is a cold hearted woman, and so is the American market, If that 250 dollar device your peddling does not happen to make phone calls or have a bitten apple on the back, you better rethink your game plan….speaking of.

Nintendo did not bring their “A” game, or any games for that matter.

Sorely overestimating the power of the launch titles, a half hashed 16 year old Pilot Wings, the third version of a console fighter In Street Fighter, an 8 year old Tech demo that look like it could have been a 99 cent IOS game in Steel Diver, Oh and don’t forget NINTENDOGS! Granted Nintendogs sold well on the other DS platforms, but look who bought them? Mothers picked them up for their children, they more than likely have all three versions, why spend $290 for a new one?  Where was Mario? Zelda? Star Fox, heck even an F-Zero…serious Nintendo F-Zero, get on it! So far after 4 months where are the hits guys? Great you gave us a remake of a game that came out in 98. Nintendo we now how that usually works for you, but perhaps the milk from that milking well has dried up. We are on to you. GIVE US SOMETHING NEW!?

More Botches in that launch than in a psycho sid wrestling match!

Nintendo was ready to throw that 3DS at our heads, take our cash and fly to Fiji. The launch was awful, laced with poor launch titles. I mean you tell us you have this great new 3d handheld and after your going to tell us about all the great 3d titles we are going to play on it right….uh, a Dinosaur fighting game? Uh, are they wearing Mario hats at least, um no? NO DEAL! Nintendo said ” A lack of killer apps or launch titles is what is stalling system sales.” Who’s fault was that? Nintendo was way too fast with getting this one out the door. The system launch did not include the E shop, no Netflix, nothing. In this day and age you can not sell a console based on new features and stall those features( at least not for months), and being in the game this long Nintendo knows by now that good titles are a consoles lifeblood. Maybe they should have launched along side Vita this holiday with Star Fox, a Mario game, Luigi’s Mansion, and zelda titles all at a launch price of 169.99. It would have made the over powering side by side comparisons to the Vita a little easier to over look.

The Elephant in the room named VITA

After This years E3, Sony revealed more on the PS Vita, and Sony has struggled plenty in the handheld market. Some of Sony’s Mistakes with the PSP are some of the same that Nintendo are making right now. Sony seems to have a new focus and commitment with the upcoming Vita. The Vita is a feature full top of the line handheld that offers plenty of innovation, and when Sony announced that their new handheld would debut at $249.99 for the wifi only model, that was a shoot across Nintendo’s bow, and perhaps Nintendo took that shot seriously. When compared to the 3DS the Vita makes the 3DS look very old, outdated, and grossly over priced. Perhaps this is the only argument that makes Nintendo look proactive and not reactive.

The Breakdown.

One thing that can be said as praise in all these stumbles and miss steps is that Nintendo more than likely saved themselves this time. Nintendo was humbled, and looks like they might keep the 3DS from becoming the new Virtual Boy. Nintendo President and other corporate brass even took a 50% pay cut, which is very admirable.

The 3DS is still a nice system, that has plenty of potential only if Nintendo gives it the life it need. Perhaps this is all a sign that the dedicated hand held market is on its way out with IOS and Android gaming becoming more and more common. Maybe Nintendo customers are tired of gimmicks, or  this proves 3D is really a fad, maybe the DS had long legs left in it still? Hopefully this is a lesson learned and Nintendo will apply it to the upcoming launch of the Wii U, which looks like a mine field.

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