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The 3DS problem: why we could be looking at a failure

Thursday, 14 April 2011 08:41 GMT By Brenna Hillier

3DS launched last month to enormous fanfare and some large sales, but interest has already vapourised in Japan and analysts are predicting the same for international markets. Are we looking at another GameCube?

3DS

Topped Japanese hardware charts in its first week, but rapidly relegated to second place behind PSP.

Estimated 500,000 units sold at US launch.

Analysts now predict a decline in line with Japan.

Facing competition from Sony’s upcoming NGP and pressure from smartphone giants Apple and Google.

Nintendo is behind the two fastest- and best-selling consoles of the last decade, so it’s difficult to imagine such a major hardware launch as 3DS simply stiffing. What’s the handheld’s problem? Why have sales taken a nosedive? What does this mean for the upcoming portable wars – and what about the smartphone threat?

Who wants a 3DS?

Besides the dyed-in-the-wool Nintendo fanatic, of which there are a significant number, there are two kinds of people likely to consider purchasing a 3DS.

The regular gamer knows all about 3DS already, has likely seen at least one other console launch, and is reasonably likely to pick up a new machine if in a financial position to do so.

The casual or non-gamer outnumbers the first group. This person may already own a DS, a Wii, or even another console. They’ve heard about this cool new thing, and they probably want to try it.

They may be adults with disposable income or kids keen to get in on the current must-have. This demographic played a significant role in the success of both of Nintendo’s previous consoles, and is far larger again that the core gamer demographic.

Both groups are getting cagey about 3DS.

Core gamers

For the regular gamer, who can’t walk past a picture of Link without an increased heartbeat, the 3DS’s launch line-up is poor going on abysmal.

When the console was first announced, hype went through the roof – while E3 was still in progress, Nintendo released a list of games in progress for the machine, and it was phenomenal. The biggest console launch line-up ever, was the verdict.

A few months before launch, it became apparent that list of games had largely been composed of moonshine and hen’s teeth.

A few months before launch, it became apparent that list of games had largely been composed of moonshine and hen’s teeth.

For core gamers, Street Fighter IV was the number one draw – it’s moved a confirmed 1 million units – followed by a slew of Ubisoft ports, some nostalgia-trading, and a couple of series more easily and beautifully available elsewhere.

What does 3DS have to offer to rival the home system? Portability, of course, which leads us to our next problem: battery life.

Five hours with everything turned down is just about feasible, except that by switching off 3D and StreetPass you’ve basically got yourself a glorified DS with better graphics. Which highlights the question: why do you need one?

The effect is already public: sales have faltered. The early adopter has adopted, and it hasn’t adopted as hard as Nintendo had hoped. US sales are estimated to be 500,000 at launch, but analysts are warning that demand has dropped.

NoA has claimed 3DS has a Nintendo handheld launch record in the US – DS sold 500,000 units in its American launch week at the end of 2004 – but has failed to provide numbers. We may never know a final figure: NPD doesn’t issue hardware reports any more.

Screen Digest has warned that, in its opinion, 3DS will fail to come close to DS’s success, saying it expects 69.9m 3DS units to be sold by the end of 2014: DS had moved 90.9m by the same stage in its lifecycle.

Nintendo UK claimed 3DS had higher release sales than both Wii and DS, releasing an internally-produced figure of 113,000 units for its British opening weekend.

The UK press has been all over the machine’s launch, with the Sun claiming 3DS is seeing record return levels in Britain, a report Nintendo has staunchly denied.

Japan is better, but it’s clear demand has been nowhere near as high as Nintendo expected. 3DS sold 400,000 units in its opening weekend in Japan, but it was reported around six weeks later by Media Create that only half the launch allocation has been sold, leaving more than 600,000 Japanese units in stores.

Obviously, it’s unclear as to whether this situation has be exacerbated by the recent tsunami in Japan.

Yes, it’s sold. No, it hasn’t sold enough. And yes, Nintendo really is facing problems with 3DS.

Casual gamers

There are undoubtedly difficulties pitching 3DS at the core. What about that huge pool of purchasing power in the mainstream? These people aren’t keen, either. They’ve heard the same things core gamers have about the battery life, and while the available games may seem more appetising to them, they’re much more easily frightened off by the 3D horror stories.

Has anybody not heard them? 3DS causes headaches. 3DS makes you nauseous. 3DS can leave you dangerously dizzy and with blurred vision. 3DS shouldn’t be played by small children. 3DS hit my husband with a frying pan and stole his wallet.

A mainstream 3DS review – erroneous, but indicative.

The tabloids are having a field day with it. Even putting sensationalism aside, the reports are so prevalent as to be obviously worrying.

Turn the 3D off then, and, as before, you’re left with a glorified DS – something the mainstream is even less interested in than the core gamer.

And it doesn’t stop there. It’s not a pretty device. Its overhanging lip doesn’t disguise the fact that it’s basically a square clam shell. It’s got a stylus – someone call 1999 – and it’s really too large to fit comfortably in a pocket.

Why would you, oblivious to the charms of Nintendo properties like Mario, drop a couple of hundred bucks on this when you’ve already got a smartphone?

The Enemy

Nintendo head Satoru Iwata made an impassioned speech at GDC this year, which boiled down to an accusation that mobile, social and indie development is undercutting software prices in the games industry.

This is bollocks. Portable gaming is going down the drain financially because neither platform holder offered a compelling enough hardware experience with the software to back it up.

To say the least, DS sold like hotcakes: it’s moved 150 million units to date. But then, it launched in 2004, before anyone had heard of an “app store,” and its catalogue ultimately turned into a crowded minefield of overpriced shovelware. People stopped wanting to pay for those tiny bits of plastic in enormous cases for use in their oversized consoles, when they could download an app in moments – to a device they carry out of perceived necessity.

Nintendo chucking a public tanty doesn’t change this, and its tactic with the 3DS has largely been to cover its eyes, rock back and forth, and scream for it all to go away.

Not a compelling argument. Hear the one about the senior Nintendo UK PR quitting for Apple? It’s got a killer punchline.

The NGP is revealed.

The Competition

Not so Sony, the core portable rival. If there’s one thing Sony understands, it’s that devices have to be sexy, and it’s got not one, but two extremely attractive portables in response to the current climate. The Xperia Play and PlayStation Suite answer the question of how to pick up a piece of Apple’s market, while the NGP looks set to answer all the 3DS’s failings.

It looks like the kind of device you can produce in an adult situation and not feel a berk, as SCEA boss Jack Tretton vocally agrees. It’s got a number of different controls, including twin sticks, the long-hindering omission of all portable consoles so far.

It’s got a line-up of games we’ve already seen in action. It’s hooked into PSN, which Sony continues to expand and is showing sensible innovation in developing cloud services. It’s got a beast of a machine inside that sleek exterior. It’s promising social and inter-platform connectivity.

What’s the 3DS got? It’s got glasses-free 3D, a USP which requires the device to be stationary, and, according to the press, makes your brains come tumbling down your nose. And it’s got Zelda and Mario – soon.

NGP is certainly not a confirmed win for Sony, as the platform holder will have to deliver on price and catalogue, both historical weaknesses for everything PlayStation. But at this time, NGP’s already looking like a more sustainable model than the 3DS simply because, on paper at least, it had modern appeal.

The closest you’ll get to Ocarina Of Time
right now.

Strategy

Nintendo needs to act quickly, something it’s not famous for. Bad press on the 3D effects needs to be countered immediately with some hard data. We need a hardware revision which looks less like My First Console and can be relied upon to stay charged for a whole commute.

3DSWare needs to launch immediately, and it needs to deliver. How did Nintendo not perceive a robust online service as essential to a portable launch in 2011? Nintendo must promote digital content much more wholeheartedly than it did before, and harvest its back-catalogue at prices attractive to those who already own six copies of Mario games.

Third-parties need to be wooed, and once captured, put under the thumb; Ubisoft’s spamming of rushed ports isn’t improving the console’s reputation by failing to live up to its already-minimal hardware potential. 3DS needs unique experiences beyond the ability to make you cross-eyed, and it’s not going to get it by shoving major franchises into a tiny box.

If the behemoth cannot be turned at this stage, we’ll have another GameCube on our hands. Nintendo isn’t adverse to dropping hardware support, and we’re all aware of it. That thought lingers in the front of the mind every time I reach for my credit card, before putting it firmly away.

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49 Comments

  1. Blerk

    An interesting read, and I think Nintendo have good cause to be worried. But I don’t think it’s time to call it yet, this Christmas will be the real test of the viability of the platform.

    But it’s definitely a much harder sell than the DS was, especially to the casuals now that they all have iThings. They’ve even cut out a whole chunk of their kids market with the whole ’7+’ thing. And all those years pissing the hardcore off won’t have exactly enamoured them to that crowd either, especially when there’s a new PSP on the way.

    So basically… it’s a hard sell. To any crowd. Tough times ahead for Ninty, I suspect.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. PsychoboyUK

    Would be a shame to see it flop it is a nice wee machine!! mind you i said the same about the gamecube and the dremcast :S

    So hope its not the case not got mine yet lol!!!

    #2 4 years ago
  3. DejaVu

    The 3DS will sell imho. Sure – these are other times now as back then with the DS. The competition is much bigger. But I remember anyone crying back there “The DS has no chance against the PSP”. And now its more or less the same: “The 3DS has no chance against Apple and the NGP”.

    Good – it may be a harder fight and the 3DS will likely sell fewer units than the DS. At the end it will be a success.

    And yes: it is much to early to doom the 3DS.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. DrDamn

    I think the key factor here is time of year, agree with Blerk that Christmas will be the bigger test. If it fails to make an impact then, it’s time to revisit the topic. Launch line up wasn’t great, but which consoles have really had their killer titles ready for launch? Some, but not many. It’s in Nintendo’s interests to have these sort of titles ready for the Christmas push though.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Freek

    Lets not forget that people said the same thing about the first DS, for the same reason: shitty launch games.
    Then the killer apps started comming along, developers started to get a handel on how to make a good DS game and everybody on the planet wanted one, and then wanted another one and another one.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Erthazus

    Great article, but the biggest problem in my opinion is not battery life.

    but the old bulky design of it. As i said before and i will say again.

    3DS feels like a “sequel” to the DS series and not a completely new hardware. Thats the thing.

    Christmas will tell actually. They have Mario and Zelda remake.

    @Freek, except that at that time DS felt like a revolution in handheld space. 3DS feels not, because there are too much something that offers something new. Even NGP offers a touchpad from behind (something new).

    Also, 3DS feels like a sequel to the DS series and not a completely new device.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Rudderless

    It’s been out a month. Bit early to be dooming it to failure, no?

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Blerk

    What would you say was the first ‘killer app’ on the DS, Freek? That’s not a dig, I genuinely couldn’t tell you what it was that kickstarted the flood.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Christopher Jack

    There’s only 3 portable devices that have my attention right now, the Xperia Play, NGP & Asus’ EEE Slate (A tablet with an i5 processor, 4gb RAM & HD graphics-which are meh but is still bearable for a secondary computer). Although I have no intention to get a computer anytime soon since I have an upgradable tower with a Q6600 processor & a laptop capable of playing low requirement games, I admit I’m intrigued.

    The 3DS still has that kiddy/gimmicky feel to it that Nintendo is famous for but that’s the opposite of what I want. If Nintendo were to branch out & attract the hardcore demographic with new & exciting IPs, I may finally keep an eye on them, til then all their hardware is an instant pass for me.

    Side note: If Apple went with this for the iPad: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiotron_Modbook
    I would not have ignored what has now become a large iPod.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Mafro

    Bit of a strange knee-jerk reaction. It’s like the DS launch all over again, and look how that turned out…

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Rudderless

    @Blerk – Nintendogs and Brain Training. The former in particular, even if the latter ended up being the greater success.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. 2plus2equals5

    In part is true.
    Nintendo fans are addicted to mario & co, these are the only games that nintendo fans REALLY care, so no mario no 3ds.
    When mario & co will be released every mario addicted will buy 3ds.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. frod

    wtf is this, Spong?

    1. No killer apps at launch
    2. High price
    3. Non-holiday launch

    and yet it’s still breaking pre-order and day one sales records. Get a grip, reactionary tabloid bullshit website!

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Deacon

    I’ve said all along that the 3DS is a fucking awful idea.

    I hope sales continue to disappoint and people continue to trade-in their recently acquired 3DS’.

    Are people really fucking sad enough to fork out £200 to play Zelda or Mario in 3D on a 5 inch screen ?

    I really wouldn’t mind if Nintendo went software-only like Sega.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Sid

    I think there are a LOT of negative points that affect the 3DS launch:
    - Price (where is the Nintendo’s typical mass market policy?)
    - 3D is a considered by many as a gimmick
    - negative reports about 3D effects on vision
    - Line-up, well, meh
    - Packaging of games and communication, confusing for casual gamers, who see 3DS a DS evolution, not a brand new machine
    - 3DS design is ordinary, and too similar with the DS
    - Battery life
    - Lot of gamers wait for a 2nd generation; you can call this the DS Lite syndrome
    - Loads of gamers wait for the NGP before choosing between the two devices
    - Competition from smartphones
    - DS is still selling well, PSP too
    -

    I think Nintendo has made significant mistakes for this launch, and that the sales will continue to decline/stagnate. It will change when there will be games, a price drop, and a change of communication

    #15 4 years ago
  16. frod

    Are people really fucking sad enough to fork out £200 to play Zelda or Mario in 3D on a 5 inch screen ?

    What kind of a dumbshit argument is this? Are people going to pay money to play videogames? What the fuck?

    This website softens your fucking brains, I swear.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. RockTwist

    Way too premature imo. As others stated, DS started in exactly the same fashion.

    Perhaps at least wait till after Christmas when people actually aim to buy things like this? I suspect Zelda will spike sales and e3 is bound to have some Nintendo 1st party announcements.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. deathgaze

    It’s great to see more reporting like this coming out of VG24/7. Keep it up.

    It’s a shame that Nintendo still seems to be stuck in the pre-Internet age. They had a real chance to change the way that we play mobile games. But instead of adding features like multi-touch screens, a sleek and responsive operating system, an App Store worth looking at or analog sticks, we find Nintendo adding 3D.

    This is counter to Nintendo’s strategy in the last 7 years that deemphasized graphical performance and instead emphasized the way that we interact with games. The 3DS’s problem is that the hardware concept itself is flawed and runs counter to Nintendo’s strategy with the DS and the Wii.

    To put it succinctly: There is absolutely nothing that you could conceivably ever play on the 3DS that the DS couldn’t. It’s just not the quantum leap in wildly creative hardware design that the DS and the Wii were. People know that. And they’re skipping it or holding out for a killer app that will probably never come.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Freek

    @8 I don’t know either, but I think we all remember that flood. Suddenly developers got it. No more Mario 64 DS (hey lets port something that doesn’t work) and more Brain Training, Advanced Wars, and Proffesor Layton. Games geared towards the strenght of the system.

    “How do you make 3D interesting from a gameplay perspective?” is probably something developers are struggeling with right now.
    The fact that the game needs to work with it turned off isn’t helping the sitatuation.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. polygem

    i would have loved to get a 3ds at launch day. i was more than ready. but there wasn´t 1 game i was really excited about. ok i love RR and SSF IV is a cool game…but i really want at least one blockbuster AAA game that makes me “wow” when i buy a new device. it was lazy from nintendo. lazy. the launch games ruined a lot imo. i also checked out the 3ds in a shop and imo the design is terrible, uninspired, 90´s, cheap looking. not superbad but not good either. looks rushed and tasteless, again nothing that makes me: “wow” this is sexy. i MUST buy this! the 3d doesn´t look that impressive as well. it´s cool. but like it is with 3d in general. it´s cool- but i don´t really need it. that said, i still haven´t decided not to buy the 3ds – but now i´ll wait for ngp obviously and maybe that´s a good thing. i don´t own a ps 3 anymore. so the advantages of XBL and the much prefered xbox controller at home /my taste-no judgement/ – in combination with sonys killer ip´s like resistance on the go as a mobile alternative with 2 analogsticks(!) seems to be the best of both worlds. i´d be a very happy kid…maybe there will even be some handheld news in the MS department this e3? that´ll be interesting.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Deacon

    @16

    IT’S A REMAKE OF A GAME MOST OF US HAVE PLAYED TO DEATH ALREADY.

    I simply meant that I’ll stand up and call anyone who spends that much money to play an already-existing game on an ugly fucking handheld that’ll probably just gather dust after a few months play A FUCKING IDIOT.

    I’m a gamer through-and-through and I’ve made no secret that I think the 3DS is a horrible idea.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Blerk

    Easter should prove interesting, it’s usually provides a decent sales-bump for Nintendo systems specifically. I’m curious to see when the next raft of software is arriving, though – what’s the next ‘big’ release?

    #22 4 years ago
  23. Zurtech

    I actually gotta say I think Freek is pretty much spot on. When the DS was launched people said it would fail. Truth is the Launch lineup for 3DS has a bout 3 decent games, but nothing special.

    I think as soon as titles like Zelda, Starfox, Animal Crossing and Paper/Mario are released we’ll start to see it take off. Truth is with any machine, games sell the console, not the other way around. When more titles people want come out you’ll see hardware sales boost up.

    As Frod pointed out too it’s still set pre-order and day one sales records. I just think a month after launch is a little too early to predict it’s a failure.

    Truth is, DS was a risk, 3DS isn’t. It’s all about brand recognition. It’s the exact reason Sony keeps the PS branding and Apple keep the i-branding. The DS brand has achieved this brand recognition status as a household name, just as the NES, SNES, Gameboy and Megadrive did in the 90s.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Erthazus

    “I think as soon as titles like Zelda, Starfox, Animal Crossing and Paper/Mario are released we’ll start to see it take off.”

    That didn’t helped Gamecube, Dreamcast, Nintendo 64 or PS3. For Nintendo fans Mario and zelda mean something maybe, but there are a lot of consumers that look for different stuff. Just for example. Nintendo Wii sold because of it bring to the table something new at the time where something new was something rare.

    So your statement is incorrect, and 3DS does a lot of stuff wrong for the consumer. As the device it brings nothing new except for gimmick features with bad capabilities in which iPod touch or iPhone with NGP kicks it in the face.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Lounds

    It’s double the price of DS at launch and it’s line up is medioca.

    NGP will be expensive but don’t all sony products have a price tag, i mean it’s that quality you get, I’ve not had a any problems with any sony products so far, i’ve had camera’s, psp, ps123, TV and not had single problem with them, hell I even dropped my psp in the sea on holiday and it still works.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. DrDamn

    @19
    “The fact that the game needs to work with it turned off isn’t helping the sitatuation.”

    Well actually it doesn’t matter – even without this restriction is there anything interesting you could do? It enhances a 2D image and can add immersion and spatial awareness to a game, but it doesn’t add anything you can’t do in 2D already. I’m saying this as a fan of 3D – I have a 3DTV and a 3DS. Can you think of an example which can only be done on a 3D display?

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Erthazus

    @25, same here. their stuff are always pricey as hell, but you get the quality.

    I had a lot of Sony products and every one of them is working PERFECTLY.
    My grandmother still have 15 year old Sony TriniTron SD TV and it works perfectly and still is going to work for 15 years.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. DaMan

    it’s perfectly fine to buy 3ds to replay OoT among other things, since it will look better than last gen consoles on it.

    journos have been babbling the exact same thing about DS back in the days, as well as practically every console in existence, except perhaps the ones released with zero competition. and DS could barely handle 3d graphics at all, compared to PSP looking close to PSX 1.5.

    it’s a tad bit sad to see this website going the same route as similar pocketgamer’s articles.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. _LarZen_

    If I did not have a iPad2 I would probably buy a 3DS to satisfy my casual gaming needs….but with a iPad2 I have a huge library of games…no need for 3DS.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. Erthazus

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIikjdkgT6U&feature=player_embedded

    Lets microwave it for 99 minutes and 96 seconds!

    #30 4 years ago
  31. SplatteredHouse

    Playstation Suite looks like such a smart move from Sony. Nintendo are at least misguided to try to tackle Apple’s challenge on some moral level, like they have. I don’t see Apple as a threat to gaming, in fact, quite the opposite. Nintendo are dinosaurs.

    Their £3x game, on their rigid platform with their terms, insulting, patronising release practices and lacking software (notoriously resistant to depreciation) vs, Apple’s machine. It’s OS, windows-ready, its advanced connectivity, its vastly overwhelming comparitively speaking, wealth of software, all priced to move…Ports of titles, let’s face it “there’s an app for that”. If I want to play something, there’s a high chance, even if that game itself is not available, a hole in the market will have been identified and I can probably try a fan’s approximation of it, or something similar.

    I liken Nintendo to a frolicking teenager, drunk on its own success, that decided to dip its toes in the cool, fresh lake water, ignoring the bubbles amassing on the liquid’s surface, and oblivious to the piranha ready to take its feet out. Nintendo show again, that they’re no technology company, but this time they haven’t even got the software right, and compared to Sony and Apple are looking dangerously out of their depth.

    “It’s a shame that Nintendo still seems to be stuck in the pre-Internet age. ” Truly tragic, and great article in the first place, I agree with that.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. AHA-Lambda

    “Nintendo UK claimed 3DS had higher release sales than both Wii and DS, releasing an internally-produced figure of 113,000 units for its British opening weekend.

    This number is very different to the one Chart-Track sent through to subscribers on the Monday following launch. While we can’t tell you what it was for copyright reasons, it was a serious amount lower than the press released, official figure.”

    So nintendo lied to us? Cunts -_-

    #32 4 years ago
  33. SplatteredHouse

    One face for the media, another to everyone else. I do not find surprise in this point. At least someone with access to the facts and figures were able to point out the rat that they discovered from the inconsistencies. I have little doubt that without an article like this, we’d never have known more than Nintendo saw fit to tell us, already.

    @32: I’m reading the same thing as you, and I can find no other way to interpret these findings, nor conclusion to reach. This I am surprised about. I wouldn’t expect Nintendo to behave in such a way. :(

    #33 4 years ago
  34. Christopher Jack

    @31, Regardless they will succeed on the gimmick & Mario alone. Pokemon, Zelda & co will help boost it too.

    #34 4 years ago
  35. Patrick Garratt

    I’ve actually removed the remark about the official UK figure and the CT figure being different. There are always discrepancies between internal and audited figures, I’ve been told this morning. I want to make it clear that we’re not saying Nintendo lied about anything, and that implication was never our intention.

    #35 4 years ago
  36. DaMan

    .. Ds was the console which had games where you could connect with Wii.

    I’d say making a pocket sized home console for the second time in a row is what dinosaurs do.

    Nintendo have been releasing consoles way ahead of it’s competition in terms of graphics for generations : Snes, N64, GCN. it’s only after Gamecube that they decided to change that.

    #36 4 years ago
  37. SplatteredHouse

    Noted Pat, and maybe I’m thinking too much in to this, but when somebody states that they possess data showing there was a serious amount lower than the published figure from a released total figure of 113,000.
    I’d have to imagine they’re referring to tens of thousands difference, and then I need to consider what a reasonable margin of error would be, and try to understand how that works out, basically (or else wonder if it were more of a trifling amount why it were mentioned at all) – but, to my math it just doesn’t really add up.

    #37 4 years ago
  38. SOMI

    I hope it does fail, it’s crap and about time Nitnendo died.

    #38 4 years ago
  39. ManuOtaku

    Well for me one game really deserve the purchase right now, ghost recon shadow wars, i think is a great game a mixture between advance wars and valkyria crhonicles, i love it, but i think theres not to many more games besides ridge racer and street fighter 3ds.

    I think the 3ds will sell good and is early to tell otherwise, the DS had also a slow start, with not that many worthy of purchase games, and it did start to sell great numbers as soon as the great games kept coming, the 3Ds according to nintendo top it in all regions, so i think it will happen again the sales are going to increase in christmas time and when the big games start to show up.

    #39 4 years ago
  40. OlderGamer

    Handheld gaming is DOA anyways. I doubt NGP will fair any better out of the gate. The 800lb gorilla in the room is iOS, simple as that. Sony and Nintendo are offering expensive mostly one demensional devices. Plus the games will hold em back too. Most folks are going to want an Angry Birds experience rather then a console experience when they are the go.

    I think 3DS and NGP will both do alright world wide, but I don’t think they will do as well as either company(nor fans) will want. There are just other choices w/more function, less price, that better fit most peoples day to day life styles.

    #40 4 years ago
  41. Zurtech

    @ Erth

    I disagree, whilst I do agree that 3DS coulda done with a second analogue slider and the odd feature here and there. It is a new system, new processor, new graphics chips etc, it is a new and redesigned system. Had it not had backwards compatibility you can pretty much guess from the launch line up there’s be very few systems sold. It is a very nice bit of kit when ye got one in ye hands and you actually use it. It has a nice solid feel to it, it’s very responsive and feels very nice to use.
    Personally I see iPod Touch and iPad as things you’d play small games like Angry Birds or PvZ on for 10 mins at a time. I’ve found the touch screens to be fiddly in more.. well… game like games. Like GTA: Chinatown Wars for example, imo felt very clumsy compared to the DS and PSP versions. I just felt with the i-products the touch screen controls are a great idea, but with the lack of feedback to the player the end results when playing feel dis-jointed, just from my experience. My primary use for my iPod Touch is listening to music when driving, not sitting down for hours at a time playing games.

    I think NGP will do well if it keeps the PS branding. But as you pointed out it’s franchises will only appeal to certain people, it brings nothing new that’d grab the casual market. Saying that tho, I’d pretty much guess that, like Nintendo with 3DS, they’re wanting more of the core gaming market. Apple pretty much has the majority of the casual market and that market is happy enough to buy a new machine every 8 months. Least with both Nintendo and Sony, the hardware is standard for a good 5-7 years, regardless of aesthetic redesigns and releases of new colours, with both companies products you know where you are and that you’re future proofed for all releases. In my experience Apple has created a very wasteful throw away attitude to their products, releasing new expensive versions very quickly that increase power over the previous ones and make the older models more or less obsolete. So they kinda have an “upgrade or get left behind” attitude to their customers, this would be fine if we were talkin about £75-100 at most, but when we’re talkin about £190+ (around the same as a 3DS which some people say is too expensive) that’s very expensive for the consumer given that new apps now won’t work with their older model.

    #41 4 years ago
  42. Erthazus

    @zurtech, for you, The Gamer this system is something new, but for average person it feels just a SEQUEL to the DS series and not a completely new device.

    In the article Brenna mentioned the old bulky design and stylus. In 2011 this feels just old. OLD.
    Old services, intrnet browsers, conectivity.

    also, new processor and videocard is also outdated compared to other manufacturers that don’t have first party studios or gaming handhelds. Look at iPhone or iPod Touch. they are not gaming devices and theyhave much better specs then Nintendo 3DS hace. MUCH better.

    “I’ve found the touch screens to be fiddly in more.. well… game like games. Like GTA: Chinatown Wars for example, imo felt very clumsy compared to the DS and PSP versions. ”

    Thats because iO devices are not gaming machines, but for average person controls are the least problem when they play games.

    #42 4 years ago
  43. Zurtech

    @ Erth

    Aye, tis very fair enough. Going back to when Nintendo announced the 3DS they did say it’s aimed at the core market and isn’t meant for the casual market. I think the same could be said for NGP too.

    Only thing I would say I disagree with you over is that the ipod Touch and iPhone have better specs than 3DS, iPad2 on the other hand I would easily agree with that but not the touch.

    #43 4 years ago
  44. YoungZer0

    @6: I don’t know. It never stopped people from buying their previous handhelds before. The whole list:

    Game Boy Classic
    Game Boy Special Edition
    Game Boy Pocket
    Game Boy Light
    Game Boy Color
    Game Boy Advance
    Game Boy Advance SP
    Nintendo DS
    Nintendo DS Lite
    Nintendo DSi
    Nintendo DSi XL
    Game Boy Micro

    #44 4 years ago
  45. Dralen

    Very Interesting read. I have never really had any interest in Nintendo’s products; I’ve only owned the Gameboy (Because basically I was a kid and it was my first gaming experience), and a Gamecube (Because I wanted to try Resident Evil, the Metal Gear Solid remake, and the Zelda games) which I sold about six months after purchase.

    I’ve never owned a N64 (I used to play on it around my mates house) or a Wii (The Wii has always seemed like a kids toy to me) or a DS (although I did have one given to me, but after playing it for a while I sold that too).

    I look at all the Nintendo products and they all look like they are just not targeted at adults, yes they have a few adult games, but I can play most of the those on a 360 or PS3. There will obviously be people that disagree with me on this, but this is just how I feel about them.

    #45 4 years ago
  46. Crab of Thunder

    @44 Lol reading that list brings back some memories, I had completely forgotten about the micro and the SP.
    Just to add I rather liked the gamecube I thought it had some great games, since then however Nintendo have really fallen from grace imo.

    #46 4 years ago
  47. hitnrun

    @44: D’oh, I always post that list on threads like these!

    I don’t entirely agree with this armchair analysis. There hasn’t been a “good launch line up” since the Dreamcast, and statistically speaking, no one here even owned that.

    As for the casual gamer, their owning the previous systems hasn’t stopped them from wasting their money before.

    I think what you’re seeing here – if indeed there’s a problem at all – is a collision of high price, a bad time economically, and a 3D feature that for all but the most determined technophile is a hindrance to basic functionality. $250 is too much, way too much for unemployment-choked areas of the West, and way, way too much for the Japanese at the moment, who have other things on their mind.

    Thank God they implemented that clever analog slider, or we might be talking about another Virtual Boy. In any case, I think its fortunes will start to turn around within a year.

    #47 4 years ago
  48. gamewiz65

    Wow! What a stupid ****ing article. Seriously!?! This is why they never should have let women out of the house. This writer is soo off base. So, stick your credit card back in your pocket, your moron! Other than the Virtual Boy, Nintendo has never dropped support for any of thier systems, except when it was time for a new console to come out.

    Sure, the battery life sucks. Other than that, this article is bollucks and Brenna Hillier needs to be slapped for even thinking she can write. The apps on the Ipod suck majorly…those games are nothing but time wasters, thats why they are mostly free or only .99 cents.

    There might be a few good games like Angry Birds..but does anyone really even know the name of the developer of that game. I doubt many do. And 20 years from now, will anyone even remember the game Anrgy Birds? No. Though 25 years later everyone knows who Mario is and who makes Mario.

    Brenna Hillier just needs to STFU and learn how to write. And only a couple weeks from now, no one will know who Brenna Hillier even is or even care this person exsists. Next time you write an article Brenna, write about something you truly know about..or better yet…look for anther profession.

    #48 4 years ago
  49. tyfi1000

    For everyone who says that the 3D is a gimmick or Nintendo lied to us get over it. before the launch they specifically said that the 3d is controlled by the depth slider. key word is DEPTH SLIDER! for all who thought the 3d was to pop out and it is fake you clearly did not pay attention to all of the premieres for it. they said it was the depth slider because you get to see deeper into the game like it is real. so everyone who says Nintendo lied to us get over it and pay more attention to what they say the features are and how the 3d works.

    #49 4 years ago

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  • Here’s a sneak peek video for Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide

    Fatshark Games has released a sneak peek video for its upcoming Games Workshop title, Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide. Vermintide is a FPS, co-op action title coming to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and its set during the End Times of the Warhammer universe in the city of Ubersreik. Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare video shows Ascendance DLC early access weapon

    As you know, Xbox Season Pass holders now have early access to the Ascendance DLC Pack bonus weapons for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Now you can watch a trailer for the weapon. The OHM directed energy hybrid weapon can switch between an LMG and Shotgun “on the fly,” and it also includes the OHM-Werewolf […]

  • March PS Plus games include OlliOlli 2, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, more

    March PlayStation Plus titles have popped up on the PS Plus page. Noticed by NeoGAF user skynidas, the titles include: OlliOlli2 (PS4/VITA) Valiant Hearts: The Great War (PS4) Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty (PS4) Counterspy (PS4/PS3) Papo & Yo (PS3) Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment (PS3) A notice has also been posted on the EU PS […]

  • Sci-fi horror game Caffeine will release on Xbox One, PS4 alongside PC – new trailer

    Caffeine creator Dylan Browne has announced the Unreal Engine 4 game will be released on Xbox One. The game will be published through Microsoft’s Indie Program. As previously announced, it is also coming to PC and and now PlayStation 4. Caffeine is a sci-fi horror game which stars a young boy who has been abandoned […]

  • Xbox 360 Preview program invites going out this month

    Much like the Xbox One Preview program, starting early this month, invites for the Xbox 360 Preview program will start rolling out. Select invitees will be able to join program directly from their Xbox 360. A special Xbox Live message will be sent, directing users to head over to their Settings page. Further instructions are […]

  • Tron: Legacy director in negotiations for Gran Turismo film

    Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski is said to be in early negotiations to direct the Gran Turismo film. This is according to the Hollywood Reporter, which states Michael De Luca is still slated as one of the producers alongside Matt Milam, Dana Brunetti, Josh Bratman, DeVon Franklin and Elizabeth Cantillon. Plot details are still unknown […]

  • Fifth add-on pack for Alien: Isolation is available for download

    The Trigger, which is is the fifth add-on pack for Alien: Isolation, is available to download from today. In it, players will “compete against the clock” across three new maps in Survivor Mode. Set before the events of the main game, players step into the shoes of Sevastopol Station’s Ricardo who will do what he […]

  • HBO Go app now available on PlayStation 4

    Sony has announced the HBO Go app will be made available for download later today for PlayStation 4. The app works just like the PS version. Now you can watch True Detective, Game of Thrones, Veep and more through your console. Information on installation is available through the PS Blog.

  • Skyrim mods no longer restricted to 100MB in size

    Bethesda has announced a beta for Creation Kit update 1.9.33, lifts the 100MB size restriction for Skyrim mod makers. The beta is for both Skyrim’s PC launcher and the Creation Kit which will allow for unlimited file sizes. Here are the notes: Creation Kit 1.9.33 Update Creation Kit now supports unlimited file sizes for mods […]

  • Mad Max release date set for September, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions canned

    Mad Max from Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios has been given a September release date, along with the new of a last-gen cancellation. The axing of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions were announced via Game Informer. Mad Max is the magazine’s featured game for the April issue. Avalanche, according GI, nixed development on […]

  • MGS 5: The Phantom Pain out in September, Kojima “closing the loop” on saga

    Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will be released in September, according to an IGN Italy video, which also features Hideo Kojima discussing “With Metal Gear Solid 5, I’m finally “closing the loop” on the Metal Gear saga. The video has since been removed, but an image cap of the date is posted above. […]

  • Forza Horizon 2 Rockstar Energy Car Pack now available

    The Rockstar Energy Car Pack for Forza Horizon 2 for Xbox One is available now, alongside the free car for March. The free car is the Acura Integra Type-R, and the Rockstar pack included the following vehicles: 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GRC 2015 Subaru WRX STI 1996 BMW 850CSi 2015 Jaguar XFR-S 1970 Volkswagen #1107 Desert […]

  • 3DS firmware update kills web browser exploit

    Nintendo has issued a 3DS firmware update which fixes a web browser exploit that was being used to run pirated Game Boy Color ROMs since January as well as inject code within downloadable games. Another piece of code, per Eurogamer, changed the setting on the handheld to make it region-free. The exploit was only available […]

  • Unreal Tournament video shows updated textures on Outpost 23

    The latest footage from Epic’s new Unreal Tournament has surfaced, and it shows off the game’s first high-textured map which is called Outpost 23. As you can see from Zaccubus’ video, its the same are which Epic showed in the flythrough video from last year, only with updated textures and some new areas outside. The […]

  • Final add-on for Sunset Overdrive arrives in April

    The final add-on for Sunset Overdrive, Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines, will be released in April. On April 1 to be exact. No, that’s not an April Fool’s joke from Insomniac Games either. Below, you can watch a fist-look at the new story, area, and traversal mechanic.

  • Heroes of the Storm playable at EGX Rezzed

    Heroes of the Storm will be playable at EGX Rezzed. This will be the first UK public hands-on with the online team brawler. Blizzard will also host giveaways and friendly tournaments at its stand. Tickets for all three days of Rezzed are still available, and you can purchase a pass through the official website. EGX […]

  • PES 2015 Data Pack 4 coming next week with Winter Transfers, new faces

    Data Pack 4 for Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 has been dated, and it updates the game with Winter Transfers, new player faces, and additional stadiums. The latest free update contains real-time player transfers made within the January window, and player ratings have also been updated. Additionally, a number of improved likenesses to key players will […]

  • Here’s the changelog for Dragon Age: Inquisition Patch 5

    Notes for upcoming Patch 5 for Dragon Age: Inquisition have been posted, noting improvements to gameplay and stability, and the new features outlined back in early February. Along with the new party storage system added to the Undercroft at Skyhold, players also have the ability to adjust the size of subtitles. Below you will find […]

  • Game of Thrones, Mortal Kombat X, Batman mobile games on the way

    Warner Bros. has announced free-to-play mobile titles spanning its DC Comics, Mortal Kombat and Game of Thrones properties. The following five new games under development are: Mortal Kombat X from NetherRealm Studios: The game blends fighting and card collection with cinematic gameplay and Fatalities. Play as both classic and fighters, and if you own the […]

  • Win! Beta access to new MMORPG Skyforge and DLC worth $70

    We have ten Wrath of the Gods Founders Packs to giveaway for new RPG Skyforge, worth over $70. All you need to do to win a Wrath of the Gods pack is enter your details in the form below and we’ll pick 10 winners at random on Thursday, March 5, after 3pm GMT. Skyforge is […]

  • PC gaming expected to be worth $35 billion by 2018

    PC gaming is alive and well. In fact, it’s expected to be worth $35 billion by 2018. According to game-business group Open Gaming Alliance, the PC gaming industry is expected to grow beyond its current $26 billion worth and to a massive $35 billion by the year 2018. The information is based on data collected […]