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The Top 7… Ways Nintendo can save the 3DS

#8… Lower the price of the 3DS. Check!

Yes, that’s a joke, but bear with us because it makes for a good introduction. The Nintendo 3DS debuted costing almost as much as a smartphone, with polarizing 3D and an incredibly weak launch lineup of short, high-priced games the only things justifying that price tag. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised, then, that the handheld ended up with poor sales numbers. If Nintendo really wants to save the 3DS, however, the company will have to do more than offer a $80 discount or 20 free oldies. Here are a few more ideas…


7. Lower the price of games

Forty dollars?! How did that seem like a good starting price for every 3DS game? The competing (and much more successful) mobile platforms sell titles for an average of five bucks. Here’s a particularly egregious example of the discrepancy: Monkey Ball on 3DS has a suggested retail price of $40, while the iPhone version is $2.99 and HAS MORE LEVELS. Is Nintendo really claiming that 3D makes a game 1200% more valuable?

On that note…


6. Don’t depend on 3D

Hollywood and the box office have taught us that 3D is not for everyone. Whether the reason is eye strain, stigmatism, glasses or a viewing experience that isn’t all that compelling, more and more theatergoers are opting for cheaper, simpler, traditional 2D instead. Even Nintendo has gone on record to say that while 3D can enhance a game, it can’t necessarily make it better. Super Street Fighter IV on 3DS gives players the option to turn off 3D (not just the analog slider, but an actual menu toggle) and the result is an improved frame rate, longer battery life and arguably smoother gameplay.


5. Update Street Pass

Street Pass / Mii Plaza is one of the best things the 3DS has going for it, and one of the most engrossing and accessible social games on any platform, anywhere. Think Foursquare, if the people in your neighborhood could be brought into battle and win coveted in-game treasure for you. It’s fun, simple and the infrastructure’s already in place for updates – just add new dungeons, hats and puzzle pieces every couple of weeks.

Knowing Nintendo like we do, however, the company won’t update Street Pass nearly enough to keep them interesting. (Looked at your Wii channels lately?) Today brought news that the feature may be updated by the end of the year, but by then, Mii Plaza could already be a ghost town.


4. Develop original eShop games

Nintendo has made no substantial, first-party contribution to its own eShop other than porting/emulating games over a decade old. Meanwhile, it was recently reported that Sony invested 20 million dollars for downloadable titles. What, you think that’s all going into PSN? Heads up, Nintendo – a new contender is about to enter the handheld arena, and potentially with a lot more firepower.

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Nintendo Top 7

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  • NeoTechni - August 4, 2011 8:20 a.m.

    "The PSP just went in the wrong direction" The fact that it sold more than Gamecube, Dreamcast and XBOX combined says otherwise. It did so well because it went the other direction from Nintendo. PSTWO quality games, not 1. Vita has NO PS3 games. They are all new entries in their franchises I did want 3D. So quit claiming no one wanted it
  • NeoTechni - August 4, 2011 7:58 a.m.

    "And the 3DS has those reasons – the best analog stick and the most powerful hardware currently available in the handheld market" False. Very false. PSPs is better. The texture prevents slippage. And Xperia Play is multiple times more powerful. This is the slap in the face Nintendo needed. To make them realize they cant pump out crap like the DS/Wii and remain on top forever, like Sony thought they could with PS1/PS2. That slap in the face made PSP/PS3/Vita the awesome systems that they are, and I hope it does the same to Nintendo. Hell, Im surprised people are letting them get away with WiiU just ripping off RemotePlay I want a proper online system. The buddy list on 3DS is useless. They need a trophy system, Nintendo has admitted they cant ignore social media. So stop ignoring it! You have the Miis and those hats, that’d make the perfect system! Let games add clothing and other items like 360 and PS3/Home do. Streetpass is by and large, useless. Even the playcoins went largely unused. At one GDC, Nintendo promised pseudo 3D layering effects in 3DS’s virtual console, (no, Im not talking about remaking them like the 3D classics) then forgot to do it. Well do it. The GDC tech demo was the only reason I rebought Links Awakening. My cart and GBA SP still work fine. Better DS backwards compatibility You should be able to use the web browser in-game like you can in 3DS games. Its obvious the 3S has plenty of RAM to share and we know they support sleep mode. Better dashboard Nintendo is releasing 20 free games to 3DS owners who got it before the price drop. 3DS only supports 60 items in its dashboard. I emailed them, suggesting they add folder support. Their reply? Just delete the games you dont play and redownload them later. Thats bloody inconvenient and just tells me they dont want me buying more than 40( – the # of built in apps) games Better web browser 3DS’s browser is horrible. There are sites it cant render but PSP’s can! PSP’s also supported tabs, saving pages and viewing them later, flash 6, and was faster. Better trailers in the store Every trailer Ive seen is too bloody quiet. Can barely hear them at all. Many game trailers are postage stamp size! Where are the demos? Better multimedia support -3D youtube support for starters -Merge the photo and audio apps into a single program, so we can listen to music while browsing our photos. Yes there is the photo visualizer, but you cant pick which image it shows. And where the hell is video support? Why cant we play our own videos? PSP could, SEVEN years ago. It also lets you listen to music and sort through your photos at the same time!
  • rockbottom - August 3, 2011 6:50 p.m.

    @UsernameLoser @Moondoggie1157 Thanks, you saved me having to write my comment out. Totally agree with both of you.
  • Moondoggie1157 - August 3, 2011 5:34 p.m.

    Yea, I see very little reason to buy a 3DS, it will fizzle out eventually (an amazing Pokemon game might sell me though, Pokemon Snap 2 anyone?). I love how Nintendo fanboys are the only fanboys who are self hating. They are so bloody smug haha. The resolution on the Vita will be less than the PS3, that's obvious... but on a hand held screen I really doubt it will be a huge deal. I love how people criticize the lack of game launches for the Vita, so cute. At least Sony didn't get its costumers hopes up with an amazing line up and then fail to deliver. If you are going to argue that patience is all the 3DS needs, that's fine, but just keep in mind what double standards are. We should be excited and patient for the 3DS (which has had months to save itself) yet bash the Vita before it has even launched? I haven't seen any false promises coming from Sony just yet regarding launch titles. I would much rather have a modest line up than one that doesn't exist... Come back, Nintendo... You are Sony's only real competition, quality wise. I miss warring between Sega and Nintendo, when Nintendo actually deserved it.
  • DanielAfro - August 3, 2011 1:17 p.m.

    I would say they would've got way more sales if they released the good games first they should have just pushed back the release date of the 3ds that way we would have more variety of games and we wouldn't have to wait for the good games. street fighter and pilot wings were good but they felt like they were made to show of its hardware power rather than appeal to gamer's
  • Killswitch1027 - August 3, 2011 2:49 a.m.

    Now that there is going to be a price drop I'm definitely going to buy one very soon. Can't wait to replay Zelda: OoT again.
  • jpbr139 - August 2, 2011 11:24 p.m.

    @UsernameLoser Yes, everybody knows that every mario game has the same gameplay, that is the reason people keep buying nintendo stuff, no need to change a game that is already AWESOME
  • snipes101 - August 2, 2011 11:14 p.m.

    For god sake nintendo come up with some original ip's for this thing. You haven't done anything original in years. At least anything that caught my attention (nintendogs? da fuck?)
  • MetaMoss - August 2, 2011 9:09 p.m.

    I'd like to say that the 3DS's early history is very similar in some ways to the PS2. In the first year of its run (2000), the PS2 was outsold by the PSX, and not until it got some competition (and more games) did it become the powerhouse we now know it as. And also, same statement about the DS not hitting its stride until a year later.
  • eliguy83 - August 2, 2011 8:42 p.m.

    If that Costco/Walmart info is true, then I am significantly more interested; I haven't upgraded since the DSLite. Also, it's "astigmatism", with an "a".
  • UsernameLoser - August 2, 2011 8:24 p.m.

    Yes, I lowered Nintendo to the level of some shit CoD.
  • UsernameLoser - August 2, 2011 8:22 p.m.

    What should have been on this list is to stop recycling the same fucking gameplay. Every 3D Mario game might as well be a remake of the last, I'm tired of the media and "hardcore gamers" (otherwise those who stick with Nintendo just for Mario) going batshit insane over the new Mario game, OPEN YOUR EYES, PEOPLE, EVERY 2D MARIO GAME HAS THE SAME GAMEPLAY. Everyone should shut the hell up over Nintendo's ability to make something old look newer than the next CoD, so-called "innovation". The only reason I own a 3DS is for the third-party games, like MGS and Cave Story. If you don't believe me, go play the original Super Mario and then the third one. The only difference is the goddamn map and power-ups, which are barely any different than Super Mario World. It's the fans' fault series like Zelda and Metroid are so stale. Think about it, when TP was announced, we already knew what to expect, dungeon-field-dungeon, the same "Item Get" bullshit, etc.
  • SteampunkJim - August 2, 2011 7:43 p.m.

    Also, Walmart won't price check unless it's in a printed advertisement. Foiled again!
  • SteampunkJim - August 2, 2011 6:41 p.m.

    I just trolled 4 costco's, and none of them were even stocking the 3DS until the price drop, let alone selling them for $170 right now. Bullshit, I say.
  • Turkeyboy094 - August 2, 2011 6:13 p.m.

    I think they can do it, I have never doubted Nintendo.
  • shawksta - August 2, 2011 4:54 p.m.

    @Aletheon I know, the 3DS is having a rough start and has allot thats coming for it but these guys are impatient. I find it rather pathetic how fanboys are using this to bash nintendo and everything they do, when all that happened was low sales leading to price cut
  • shawksta - August 2, 2011 4:43 p.m.

    @DSItroyingmasses Its resolution is great. Kid icarus says hi Its hardware is more improved than before, games are more important than tec.
  • Aletheon - August 2, 2011 4:40 p.m.

    It's trendy to hate NINTENDO now. Very sad state of affairs..... I think they still deliver some of the most exciting and fun game experiences. No company is anywhere near perfect, but brats today think they deserve every thing to be exactly how they desire at all times....otherwise they turn on you like a rabid gerbil going for blood.
  • Aletheon - August 2, 2011 4:33 p.m.

    Gamers have ZERO patience, and they aren't that informed.
  • shawksta - August 2, 2011 4:32 p.m.

    Seriously though, you guys are overracting, nintendo promised allot for the handheld especially the lineup but just because the launch was a bit crappy, you act like its the end of the world when its just getting started. Not even half of what was promised have arrived. Regarding 3D it doesnt matter, OOT is awesome in the game itself and doesnt rely on 3D to be great. The games I can think of that an make excellent use of 3D is Paper Mario and a brand new Warioware for the 3ds that can use it. 3D classics excitebike in 3D changes the view which is something that can be improved in future games.