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Future of the Nintendo 3DS now up in the air

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Initial post: Aug 23, 2011 10:11:21 PM PDT
Waldo says:
Other interesting read:

Today's rumors of Nintendo entertaining the idea of adding a right thumbstick accessory to the 3DS are troubling at the very least. First, let me definitively say this: a right thumbstick attachment will not save the 3DS.

Unfortunately this bit of news sounds to me like an unwise gut reaction of a company very desperate to right the 3DS ship. But the thumbstick chatter isn't all that the latest rumors have suggested. Further rumblings seem to indicate that Nintendo is working on a completely redesigned unit that will stray away from what's now widely regarded as a 3D gimmick.

Let's also not ignore the other ramifications should Nintendo actually go through with this. By completely redesigning the system, Nintendo would be turning its back on the loyal early adopters who have already purchased the system (pre and post price drop), not to mention the developers who pledged their support from the start as well. In the short term it will almost certainly have an immediate impact on current sales; who would want to buy a 3DS after reading today's rumors?

But perhaps the 3DS was doomed from the start. A high price point, a serious lack of triple-A titles at launch, and a major focus on 3D, which not only raised health concerns, but also rendered mixed results in practice. This was especially evident in games that required movement of the system itself, which almost always caused the 3D effect to come undone.

GameSpot UK suggests that adding a right analog stick would increase the ease of porting portable games over from a platform like PS Vita. But if current console porting is any indication of how seamless such a process is, we won't see too many titles make their way from such a technically powerful platform down to a lesser system without some serious performance and graphical sacrifices.

Whatever Nintendo is planning, it seems the 3DS may become this generation's Virtual Boy should a completely redesigned device (that will most likely lose the 3DS name) hit the market in 2012. While I don't think a right thumbstick can save the 3DS, a completely rebranded and refocused effort may allow Nintendo to stop the bleeding. This means a bigger commitment to quality first- and third-party titles, reasonable and thorough access to the company's back catalog of games, a more robust online experience, and hardware improvements that are on par with other current-generation gadgets (we're looking at you, 0.3-megapixel cameras).

It's also worth considering that an extra thumbstick will almost eliminate stylus-based touch-screen functionality, so maybe the new 3DS will get rid of that lower screen altogether?

At any rate, the 3DS' future is now up in the air. Will a redesign afford the company a second chance at a portable gaming market it used to dominate, or has too deep a hole already been dug? What should Nintendo's next move be?

(Sources:, GameSpot UK, via 01net)

Posted on Aug 24, 2011 7:30:47 AM PDT
RJMacReady says:
People have short memories. The lack of titles stuff is said nearly every time a system launches. By the time the holidays roll around, they'll be plenty of quality games. And the price point has been fixed.

I doubt Nintendo would do something that drastic when the price drop has only just gone into effect. You never know though.

Posted on Aug 24, 2011 8:46:25 AM PDT
Another lame story based on rumors. How about fact based reporting? all I know is that 47 3DS games are not available and the fall line up looks promising.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2011 1:57:48 PM PDT
Cheezr says:
completely agree with you but imagine this: nintendo is between a rock and a hard place, they want to strengthen the "ecosystem" by announcing a blockbuster game but that game requires a peripheral to be played. They are gambling that the impact of the hardware change will be less than the impact of not announcing Monster Hunter which is a huge seller in Japan.
time will tell if their instincts are correct.

Posted on Sep 7, 2011 5:03:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 7, 2011 5:03:10 PM PDT
Waldo says:
Monster Hunter was just confirmed today for 3DS, via

Posted on Sep 7, 2011 8:14:45 PM PDT
timo wild says:
doomed, it sold 345,000 in japan in august (the ps33 sold 50,000 in refrence). Doomed i think not my man.

Posted on Sep 7, 2011 8:21:52 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 7, 2011 8:22:42 PM PDT
Waldo says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2011 4:20:59 PM PDT
timo wild says:
Oh my god so funny!!! You took my extra 3 and used it to make a joke? Wow!!! Cool dude!!! You know what I was talking about so grow up, and by the way.... you spelled PlayStation wrong right after you corrected me hahaahaaha

Posted on Sep 15, 2011 6:00:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 15, 2011 6:03:40 PM PDT
The most important thing that decides the life or death of any system is the games. Who cares if you have the most advanced system in the market but all the games for it suck? Once Nintendo releases its power house lineup of good, classic-Nintendo games, sales of the 3DS will pick up. I am a Zelda fan, so you already know I bought a 3DS so I can play Ocarina of Time 3D. However, if there are people who like Mario and/or Mario Kart games better, why would they buy the 3DS if their would-be favorite game for it is not released yet. Also, I don't think the price drop was made in desperation but for competition. Once the holiday season rolls around (which is very soon) parents are more likely to buy the game system that is more affordable and their kids like. On the issue of the 3DS just being a 3D gimmick, the 3D can be turned off. If you don't like 3D you can simply slide off the 3D slider, if you want to play a DS game on your 3DS you can do that. Essentially, it is a DS built into a 3DS. Furthermore, I very much look forward to downloading some of the games that will be released for the 3DS virtual console (currently I'm eying Metroid Fuzion).

In conclusion, the 3DS is not necessarily dead, Nintendo just needs to give people a reason to buy it. In my honest opinion, I only see 3DS sales rising come holiday season.

Posted on Sep 17, 2011 3:39:43 PM PDT
R. Solis says:
just wait till the new kingdom hearts comes out

Posted on Oct 25, 2011 6:31:15 AM PDT
Rebecca says:
This could just be rumor: Was told by Gamestop employee that Nintendo will soon stop making new regular DS games. Some 3rd parties may still release new games, he said, but Nintendo is going 3DS all the way. Also, new Mario games come out this fall and are ready for pre-order on many sites. I'm hoping for a special holiday bundle so that my daughter can upgrade from Ds Lite this year.
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Participants:  8
Total posts:  11
Initial post:  Aug 23, 2011
Latest post:  Oct 25, 2011

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