Hell Hath No Fury Like a Nintendo Fan Scorned

Posted by patrickklepek (3931 posts) -
When this image leaked from the latest issue of Famitsu, Twitter exploded with negative reactions and snark.

People are pissed at Nintendo today. You'd think the company contaminated the local water supply, based on the response to news that Nintendo's preparing a circle pad add-on for the 3DS to launch alongside Capcom's Monster Hunter Tri G. I added to the pile last night with a hyperbolic headline.

"That Horrible 3D Analog Rumor is Coming True."

I don't regret writing that headline; it was a knee-jerk emotional response to the moment, underscoring the collective feeling after learning this crazy rumor was true. I'd dismissed the idea of an analog accessory that sounded ripped from the mid-90s Sega playbook, and being confronted with this monstrosity featured had me glancing over at my 3DS with contempt.

The response is ironic, too, given how many called for Sony to release a PSP revision with a second analog stick. In the PSP's case, however, a good portion of its premiere games were handheld console games that would have benefited from the analog.

The 3DS as it is now. What it will look like next year, when a revision might drop, isn't known.

Sony never pulled the trigger, pushing the feature onto the next handheld--Vita has two sticks. The biggest reason fans have heavily scrutinized the 3DS since launch has little to do with a lacking analog stick and everything to do with a lacking set of even halfway decent games to play.

At this point, Nintendo's been forced to admit 3DS was overpriced, slashing the handheld from $249 to $169 roughly six months after launch--six months in Japan, five months everywhere else. The company mitigated most of the ill will with its 3DS Ambassador program, promising a dose of gaming nostalgia worth more than the price difference. It wasn't a perfect solution, but we were asking for games, after all.

There's precedent for Nintendo to cater towards the whims of Monster Hunter, easily one of the most powerful franchises in Japan. Nintendo worked alongside Capcom to tweak the layout of the Classic Controller Pro to ensure it would best compliment Monster Hunter Tri. That sort of collaboration with another company on a piece of Nintendo-produced hardware was basically unprecedented.

"Someone within Nintendo said, 'What? You're going to ask the development staff of another company?' said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. "But since we were going to make a new controller so that people who had played Monster Hunter before could play comfortably, I thought we should at least get the seal of approval from the game developers."

It's hard for us to understand why Nintendo would be so keen to bend over backwards for Monster Hunter, as the franchise hasn't gained much traction outside Japan. Monster Hunter is largely credited with saving the PSP over there. It's a big reason the machine's been viable, and for Nintendo to make sure Monster Hunter's core players are satisfied would be a smart move.

Monster Hunter is a huge "get" for Nintendo, even if you're like me and don't "get" it at all.

Herein lies the rub: there are so many details about this add-on we don't know about.

  • Will Nintendo charge for it, or will it be bundled?
  • Has this been exclusively designed for Monster Hunter 3G?
  • Will Nintendo's first-party games get behind this add-on?
  • Does this indicate the biggest addition to the inevitable 3DS revision?

The rollout of this announcement has been extremely poor. It's clear the full details will come next week, where Nintendo will be holding an event just prior to Tokyo Game Show devoted to talking about the 3DS. Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe are only acknowledging the add-on exists without divulging anything more. Lack of information leads to speculation, speculation leads to imagining worst case scenarios, speculation about worst case scenarios leads to a bunch of bitter fans.

There were new features in DS evolutions, like the eShop, but nothing like another set of buttons.

The last question is where the ire comes from. The price drop prompted a host of people to buy a 3DS, and just weeks after taking the plunge, there are indications Nintendo's set to fundamentally modify the hardware. When we took the leap from DS to DSi and original DS customers were unable to hop into the eShop, it was understandable. Application marketplaces weren't standard when Nintendo's revolutionary handheld launched, so the idea of the DS being incapable was acceptable.

If we assume this will be part of a 3DS revision, what's confusing is how it runs counter to how Nintendo's traditional mindset. Nintendo goes against the grain not to be different but believing reactionary development is doomed to mediocrity. Rather than trying to cobble together better versions of what your competitors are creating, strike out on your own. This arrogance has lead Nintendo towards is greatest successes and failures. It's never a sure thing, but when an idea clicks, everyone around you is left in the dust, struggling to catch up. You might not like Nintendo's output, as many hardcore Nintendo fans would say about the Wii, but it's unique.

Maybe it's an add-on only Monster Hunter will use. Maybe Nintendo and some other developers will add token support, as was the case with many Wii accessories, making this mostly a niche product. Maybe it's our first hint at an updated 3DS.

It's easy to respond to all of this "well, I told you so" and blame early adopter syndrome, but adding a second circle pad can substantially impact gameplay. It's where the PSP criticisms came from. If a game maps the camera to the other circle pad, that's huge. When I purchased a 3DS, I knew full well the battery life was terrible. I swallowed that pill. This is different.

If Iwata steps on stage next week and shows a tweaked handheld with a second circle pad, he should be prepared to deal with his hardcore base looking for blood. And no amount of free games may make up for the one-two punch of a surprising, drastic price cut and being told your hardware's outdated. How many people are willing to gamble all over again?

Probably more than I care to admit, actually.

Staff
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (3931 posts) -
When this image leaked from the latest issue of Famitsu, Twitter exploded with negative reactions and snark.

People are pissed at Nintendo today. You'd think the company contaminated the local water supply, based on the response to news that Nintendo's preparing a circle pad add-on for the 3DS to launch alongside Capcom's Monster Hunter Tri G. I added to the pile last night with a hyperbolic headline.

"That Horrible 3D Analog Rumor is Coming True."

I don't regret writing that headline; it was a knee-jerk emotional response to the moment, underscoring the collective feeling after learning this crazy rumor was true. I'd dismissed the idea of an analog accessory that sounded ripped from the mid-90s Sega playbook, and being confronted with this monstrosity featured had me glancing over at my 3DS with contempt.

The response is ironic, too, given how many called for Sony to release a PSP revision with a second analog stick. In the PSP's case, however, a good portion of its premiere games were handheld console games that would have benefited from the analog.

The 3DS as it is now. What it will look like next year, when a revision might drop, isn't known.

Sony never pulled the trigger, pushing the feature onto the next handheld--Vita has two sticks. The biggest reason fans have heavily scrutinized the 3DS since launch has little to do with a lacking analog stick and everything to do with a lacking set of even halfway decent games to play.

At this point, Nintendo's been forced to admit 3DS was overpriced, slashing the handheld from $249 to $169 roughly six months after launch--six months in Japan, five months everywhere else. The company mitigated most of the ill will with its 3DS Ambassador program, promising a dose of gaming nostalgia worth more than the price difference. It wasn't a perfect solution, but we were asking for games, after all.

There's precedent for Nintendo to cater towards the whims of Monster Hunter, easily one of the most powerful franchises in Japan. Nintendo worked alongside Capcom to tweak the layout of the Classic Controller Pro to ensure it would best compliment Monster Hunter Tri. That sort of collaboration with another company on a piece of Nintendo-produced hardware was basically unprecedented.

"Someone within Nintendo said, 'What? You're going to ask the development staff of another company?' said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. "But since we were going to make a new controller so that people who had played Monster Hunter before could play comfortably, I thought we should at least get the seal of approval from the game developers."

It's hard for us to understand why Nintendo would be so keen to bend over backwards for Monster Hunter, as the franchise hasn't gained much traction outside Japan. Monster Hunter is largely credited with saving the PSP over there. It's a big reason the machine's been viable, and for Nintendo to make sure Monster Hunter's core players are satisfied would be a smart move.

Monster Hunter is a huge "get" for Nintendo, even if you're like me and don't "get" it at all.

Herein lies the rub: there are so many details about this add-on we don't know about.

  • Will Nintendo charge for it, or will it be bundled?
  • Has this been exclusively designed for Monster Hunter 3G?
  • Will Nintendo's first-party games get behind this add-on?
  • Does this indicate the biggest addition to the inevitable 3DS revision?

The rollout of this announcement has been extremely poor. It's clear the full details will come next week, where Nintendo will be holding an event just prior to Tokyo Game Show devoted to talking about the 3DS. Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe are only acknowledging the add-on exists without divulging anything more. Lack of information leads to speculation, speculation leads to imagining worst case scenarios, speculation about worst case scenarios leads to a bunch of bitter fans.

There were new features in DS evolutions, like the eShop, but nothing like another set of buttons.

The last question is where the ire comes from. The price drop prompted a host of people to buy a 3DS, and just weeks after taking the plunge, there are indications Nintendo's set to fundamentally modify the hardware. When we took the leap from DS to DSi and original DS customers were unable to hop into the eShop, it was understandable. Application marketplaces weren't standard when Nintendo's revolutionary handheld launched, so the idea of the DS being incapable was acceptable.

If we assume this will be part of a 3DS revision, what's confusing is how it runs counter to how Nintendo's traditional mindset. Nintendo goes against the grain not to be different but believing reactionary development is doomed to mediocrity. Rather than trying to cobble together better versions of what your competitors are creating, strike out on your own. This arrogance has lead Nintendo towards is greatest successes and failures. It's never a sure thing, but when an idea clicks, everyone around you is left in the dust, struggling to catch up. You might not like Nintendo's output, as many hardcore Nintendo fans would say about the Wii, but it's unique.

Maybe it's an add-on only Monster Hunter will use. Maybe Nintendo and some other developers will add token support, as was the case with many Wii accessories, making this mostly a niche product. Maybe it's our first hint at an updated 3DS.

It's easy to respond to all of this "well, I told you so" and blame early adopter syndrome, but adding a second circle pad can substantially impact gameplay. It's where the PSP criticisms came from. If a game maps the camera to the other circle pad, that's huge. When I purchased a 3DS, I knew full well the battery life was terrible. I swallowed that pill. This is different.

If Iwata steps on stage next week and shows a tweaked handheld with a second circle pad, he should be prepared to deal with his hardcore base looking for blood. And no amount of free games may make up for the one-two punch of a surprising, drastic price cut and being told your hardware's outdated. How many people are willing to gamble all over again?

Probably more than I care to admit, actually.

Staff
#2 Posted by Terra1909 (312 posts) -

Its like the 90s all over again

#3 Posted by MrCellophane (524 posts) -

really?

#4 Edited by EgoCheck616 (782 posts) -

Fuck everything about this. I hope GameStop enjoys their my used Nintendo 3DS.

#5 Edited by tehrevel (14 posts) -

It's hopefully just an addon, for this one game and not a sign of an upcoming revision.
#6 Posted by Springfart (307 posts) -

oh lawd

#7 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10827 posts) -

Well, I know I'm probably going to wait until some sort of revision that has that stuff built it. 

Moderator
#8 Posted by Mojokilla (36 posts) -

wow

#9 Posted by Dragon4234 (133 posts) -

Man handhelds are to the point where people are ready to spill blood? Crazy times we live in.

#10 Edited by leejunfan83 (956 posts) -

lmao what's going on in the world?

#11 Posted by endaround (2142 posts) -

Yeah, only Apple is allowed to screw its fans like this!

#12 Edited by wolf_blitzer85 (5253 posts) -

And I will continue to love and play my 3DS regardless of what happens.

Throwing your hand up and flailing about in anger only make you looks silly.

I also find it a little funny that Patrick has to mention the bad battery life in every single 3DS article ever.

#13 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2497 posts) -

Nintendo simply has to know that they cant make this part of a revised 3DS. Support would just go out the effing window if they do - but note that they DID come out with the Wii motion +, which effectively split their userbase there (although only a comparatively low number of games use that).

If we were to use the new wii-mote with built in "+" functionality as an example, then maybe they will add this on - but colour me skeptical.

#14 Posted by DarkHeroZark (175 posts) -

It might not be that bad if the second circle pad add-on was also an extended battery pack.

#15 Posted by CosmicQueso (569 posts) -

@Dragon4234 said:

Man handhelds are to the point where people are ready to spill blood? Crazy times we live in.

No kidding... planes crash, no biggie. Floods, whatever. Famine? Pffffff.

But A FUCKING NEW THUMBSTICK? WHAT THE FUCK?

And don't get me started on member's only videos.

The perspective that is lacking is amazing.

#16 Posted by ziropiro (31 posts) -

I don't understand what the big deal is - You either buy it or you don't. They aren't lining you up and forcing it into your hands.

#17 Posted by OriginalGman (294 posts) -

Whatever, my 3DS is just a portable N64 right now given the only decent games it has. And the N64 didn't have a second analog stick, so I'll just continue to ignore this completely!

#18 Posted by tourgen (4459 posts) -

hmmm, unfortunate. Well at least early adopters have a way to get both analog disks if they end up releasing a new revision with them built in. I'm not really in the market but it seems like kids like these for long road trips. the battery life seems like more of a killer to me than anything else.

#19 Posted by EveretteScott (1451 posts) -

I'm still not getting people being upset with this. Handhelds come out. Handhelds get changed and re-released. Same goes for consoles. Has something changed and this is different?

#20 Posted by TheKing (827 posts) -

Breaking news: People on message boards like to overreact.

#21 Edited by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -

I remember when they unveiled the 3DS for the first time, and being shocked that it still only had one thumb stick in this day and age. I was even more shocked to have not once heard anyone mention the lack of a second thumb stick when talking about the 3DS, and now this shit storm has started.
 
I will never understand Nintendo logic.

#22 Posted by DeanoXD (608 posts) -

kind of makes me happy i am not a Nintendo fan, because if i were i think i would be feeling not so happy with them either.

#23 Posted by Sil3n7 (1178 posts) -

Theres no way theres a new 3ds redesign already. Thats crazy town talk.

#24 Posted by AuthenticM (3706 posts) -

No way in hell I'm buying a revision this soon. Fuck that shit. As soon as I get my Vita, it's bye-bye 3DS.

#25 Posted by Malphye (413 posts) -

Now that add-on just makes the 3ds look silly and in bad way.

#26 Posted by wolf_blitzer85 (5253 posts) -

@ziropiro said:

I don't understand what the big deal is - You either buy it or you don't. They aren't lining you up and forcing it into your hands.

I'd be really interested in knowing how many of the loudmouths out there actually own a 3DS or are just bitching because that's what gamers seem to do a lot these days.

#27 Posted by mythrol (303 posts) -

Thank God I use my phone for handheld games. The dedicated handheld market is ran by Insane people.

#28 Posted by hagridore (500 posts) -

There will be a much better 3DS next year. And by then there might even be games to buy for it. People who saw that weak launch line up and dropped $250+: you were crazy.

#29 Posted by EveretteScott (1451 posts) -
@TheKing said:

Breaking news: People on message boards like to overreact.

WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU IMPLYING!?
#30 Posted by HatKing (5875 posts) -

Is this sort of behavior even surprising?  Who seriously buys a first generation Nintendo handheld expecting it to be current for any longer than a year?  Sure this is their already flawed philosophy taken to an extreme, but it is hardly uncharacteristic.  It's like being shocked that the kid who steals candy bars from the convenience store every day after school grows up and commits grand larceny.

#31 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@wolf_blitzer85 said:

And I will continue to love and play my 3DS regardless of what happens.

Throwing your hand up and flailing about in anger only make you looks silly.

I see what you did there ;)

#32 Posted by endless_void (706 posts) -

nintendo wins again.

#33 Posted by siddarth0605 (117 posts) -

wow nintendo screwing over its hardcore fans that is so unprecedented...

#34 Posted by AndrewB (7567 posts) -

Backlash like this couldn't come at a worse time either, what with the future of dedicated handheld gaming consoles up in the air. I'm already subscribed to the idea that this is the last generation of dedicated portables. 
 
It's either keep the current design and tack on the most gaudy looking add-on since the Sega CD and 32X, or make a new one and get it right, but alienate your current customers and break all sort of trust for the future. I know that I, personally, lost that trust with the DS Lite, and then moreso with the DSi. 

#35 Edited by wolf_blitzer85 (5253 posts) -

@Ravenlight said:

@wolf_blitzer85 said:

And I will continue to love and play my 3DS regardless of what happens.

Throwing your hand up and flailing about in anger only make you looks silly.

I see what you did there ;)

Hah! I didn't even notice that typo. I mean why yes, clever am I!

#36 Posted by The_Nubster (2089 posts) -
@CosmicQueso said:

@Dragon4234 said:

Man handhelds are to the point where people are ready to spill blood? Crazy times we live in.

No kidding... planes crash, no biggie. Floods, whatever. Famine? Pffffff.

But A FUCKING NEW THUMBSTICK? WHAT THE FUCK?

And don't get me started on member's only videos.

The perspective that is lacking is amazing.

That's a dumb argument. Any time the whole "Other people have it worse, so don't complain!" thing is brought up, everything you say is very easily dismissed.
#37 Posted by AjayRaz (12423 posts) -

i don't see the big deal, to be honest. it's not like you have to buy it. we don't even know if it's going to be widely supported. it'll probably be nothing special like the DS Rumble Pak. i just want some cool games that aren't rereleases or rehashes of old content and i'm good 

#38 Posted by fishmicmuffin (1041 posts) -

I really don't see what the issue is if they bundle it in with several games that would use the add on. Don't charge any more than the usual price for those games and it becomes a non-issue.

#39 Posted by plaintomato (598 posts) -

I was kinda hoping the next iteration would remove one analog stick and a couple buttons, you know, "to ensure it would best compliment" the ambassador program. 
 
Anyway, adding a second stick may piss people off, but it isn't stupid. It may turn the 3DS into something I'd buy someday. What was stupid was ever releasing it with only one analog stick.

#40 Posted by RedRocketWestie (381 posts) -

What's interesting to me is the size of the add-on. It looks like it might/could contain an auxiliary battery. If that's the case, even if there is a revision coming down the pipe, your overall user experience might actually be better with the peripheral than the new unit. It's probably not the case, but it's an interesting thought.

3DS owners/prospective owners: which would you prefer? A smaller package with short battery life, or a removable peripheral that can be used to extend your playtime as well as provide a second analog control? Bear in mind that neither would be free. They won't give away high-density Li-Ion cells no matter what.

#41 Posted by MushroomSamba (171 posts) -

I'm glad I dodged a bullet here. I was actually planning on getting the 3DS on launch day solely in anticipation for Mega Man Legends 3. Luckily, some sensible part of my brain fought the urge to buy it right away and made myself actually wait until MML3 came out. Well, that turned out to be a helluva great decision, and this latest BS is just another bullet point on the list of reasons why.

#42 Posted by Moofey (65 posts) -

I already voiced dismay over the bigger (and largely) false rumor over a 3DS being redesigned with a second circle pad. However, with this, it's not as bad.

There's really only three ways I would be happy with this:

  • This addon stays exclusive to monster hunter. It could happen, given Nintendo's track record with making prehipherals that only end up working with one game.
  • This addon can be utilized with existing games to provide a more left-handed friendly environment when the touch screen is involved.
  • If games in the future are made to make use of both pads, giving the option for both single and dual pad control.

And honestly, I would do everything I can to avoid having to pick this beast up. It's huge, it's ugly, and it seems like it would be as awkward as trying to play the 3DS on its cradle. (Because it's pretty much the cradle with a circle pad on the right side.

#43 Posted by Metal_Mills (2986 posts) -

It's like Sony. They get to the top then trip of their own arrogance. This will fuck them up so much if they add another stick.

#44 Posted by Tan (425 posts) -

Haha, how great would it be if this was 80$? 

#45 Posted by YukoAsho (2014 posts) -
@HatKing said:
Is this sort of behavior even surprising?  Who seriously buys a first generation Nintendo handheld expecting it to be current for any longer than a year?  Sure this is their already flawed philosophy taken to an extreme, but it is hardly uncharacteristic.  It's like being shocked that the kid who steals candy bars from the convenience store every day after school grows up and commits grand larceny.
This, pretty much.  Nintendo has gotten away with it so many times, it'd be foolish of them not to do this. 
 
And they'll get away with it again, most likely, because they've got the most nostalgia-blinded and gullible fanbase of the Big Three, by no small margin. 
 
Me, I washed my hands of them after the Wii, and I'm glad to have done so.
#46 Posted by TheAdmin (712 posts) -

I don't own a 3DS, but this seems rather unusual for nintendo to revise their hardware so soon. I think it'll be a bundle pack-in. That said, I didn't buy one because I don't need a dedicated handheld anymore and because there were really no interesting games.

#47 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4689 posts) -

Optional peripheral.

I don't care.

#48 Posted by thedevilbat (49 posts) -

I don't understand why this is a big deal

#49 Posted by CashBailey (805 posts) -

Anyone hitching their trailer to this moronic 3D trend is going down in flames.

I've been saying that from the very beginning but nobody would listen.

#50 Posted by advocatefish (355 posts) -

The thing that kills me is they knew about the PSP backlash and still shipped it as they did.

Also there is FREAKING space under the face buttons to put the second analog stick.

I was real dumb for buying a 3DS.

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