With the recently announced price cut and woefully poor sales many believe that the 3DS is simply a failed venture-A system relying on “finicky 3D” that many reviewers are (for some reason) comparing to the old Magic Eye illusions. Just for the record, I’m not sure if I can speak to that analogy or not since I was never able to see those “Magic” pictures (“I am concentrating! What do you want from me? Oh now I should relax my eyes? What does that even mean?!?!) But I feel that simply due to that fact I can discredit the comparison.
The best way I have come up with to describe the 3D images presented by the 3DS is simply this: It’s like looking into a diorama. There are multiple layers of distance that are easily discernable and in a way, quite magical. It’s like looking into a magical little world inside the game and no game so far provides a more beautiful magical world than Ocarina of Time 3D.
The fact that arguably the best game available for the 3DS is a remake of a game over a decade old highlights what I believe is the system’s biggest flaw-the lack of quality original content. Many speculated that a $250 price point was simply too high for a handheld and such individuals probably feel that they have been proven right by Nintendo’s move to cut the price by $80 starting in August. While this price cut may convince some consumers to finally upgrade from their DS Lite’s and DSi’s I don’t think it’s exactly what the system needs.
As a 3DS owner I believe I can say with certainty that what the 3DS truly needs is quality titles from Nintendo-content from franchises we all know and love that provides enough deep and extensive gameplay to justify the $40 per title price tag-as well as new and imaginative titles from big name 3rd party publishers showing that despite recent delays and cancelations, major game companies are still willing to give the 3DS a chance.
The best aspects of the 3DS arguably have little to do with 3D and have more to do with Nintendo’s promises to make the system their most connected and innovative system yet. The Augmented reality feature provides an immense opportunity for innovation and one that, I believe could truly evolve into a selling point for the system. I know that when I shared my 3DS with friends, by far the most exciting part for them was the augmented reality games built into the system.
Living in Chicago I was very excited about the StreetPass features assuring myself that being in a big city I would be able to fully enjoy them more perhaps than individuals from smaller towns and cities. As Nintendo fans do tend to be optimistic and willing to give Nintendo’s products the best chance to succeed, I have seen numerous groups pop up throughout Facebook and other social media sites devoted to the 3DS’ StreetPass feature and finding times and ways to meet up with others.
Despite all this effort I find myself with a paltry two StreePasses in the last 5 months and most individuals in such Facebook groups have indicated that a large percentage of their “hits” came from large local events like the “Taste of Chicago” or events in Millennium Park rather than their daily travel.
Now I do want to praise Nintendo for rolling out many new features and attempting to keep its promises concerning the 3DS such as the Nintendo eShop, the Netflix streaming app, and most recently the “Nintendo Video” service.
In my opinion Nintendo needs to release more content-that should probably be free-that encourages users to carry their 3DS’ with them and interact with them daily. More interactive software like the built in Find Mii mini RPG would, in my opinion, provide a compelling and enjoyable interaction that would help to justify the 3DS’ inclusion into users’ daily routine.
So what do you think Chicago users? Do you, like me, think that the 3DS has a chance to succeed if high quality content is released and Nintendo continues to support it with applications and content? Or do you think that the 3DS is doomed and that content providers will write off the system and leave it to its fate?