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The Top 7… Ways Nintendo can save the 3DS

3. Improve the hardware. ESPECIALLY battery life

We won’t bore you with tech specs, but the 3DS battery charges at roughly a 1:1 rate… meaning that, to get just five hours of life, you need to plug it in for an almost equal amount of time. That’s pretty bad, and pretty inconvenient, especially when you consider that the original DS could keep chugging for days while in sleep mode. Considering a lot of people aren’t happy with the current color choices, and that the color variants for the DS sold like sliced hotcakes, this could be a double opportunity for Nintendo. Take the 3DS back to the drawing board, beef it up, add colors other than black or aqua and re-market it as a special edition.

2. Expand the Virtual Console library

What Nintendo has that its competition doesn’t – that its competition will never have – is the strongest, most beloved library of games in the history of anything! Why the eShop launched so late, why the Virtual Console titles are coming out so slowly, why Nintendo has chosen the titles they have (1989’s Tennis?) and why there are no NES, SNES, N64 or GBA games yet is a mystery. It’s taken the near death of the 3DS to get obvious choices like Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda and Yoshi’s Island offered, but Nintendo shouldn’t stop with those – keep the classics coming through consistent new releases, with stratified pricing and intermittent sales.

1. Focus on the hardcore

The “lifestyle” approach worked for Nintendo last time, but that casual lightning is not likely to strike twice. Hardcore gamers, on the other hand, will never abandon Nintendo as long as they’re given a reason to stay. And the 3DS has those reasons – the best analog stick and the most powerful hardware currently available in the handheld market, not to mention buttons, something that touchscreen-only phones can never truly recreate or replace. While it might seem like the world is batshit in love with mobile and tablet apps right now, there will always be an audience for classic games and there will always be a need for the tactile feedback. Until recently, Nintendo chose not to market to the hardcore, but it’s a safe bet that Sony will scream to them from the mountaintop.

Aug 1, 2011


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