5 Reasons why the Nintendo 3DS will fail

 

Nintendo has enjoyed great success with the DS portable game system over the last few years, and in many months, has sold many more DS than home consoles. When Nintendo announced that the next version of the DS system would feature glasses-less 3D, I was excited. The 3DS is scheduled to come out close to my birthday, how perfect is that? Later, as more details emerged, and I thought more about it, I’m not so sure Nintendo has a winner this time. Here are five reasons why I think the Nintendo 3DS might not do so well.
1. Price.
The Nintendo 3DS will be available March 27 for $250 . To put that in perspective, that’s $110 more than the current DSi system, and $50 more than a home Wii system. Will parents think $250 is a reasonable price for a portable system for their children? Will adult gamers want to pay that much for themselves? It is a hefty price tag for a consumer electronics item that just plays games.


Games may be expensive also. The handheld competitor, iPod Touch, has hundreds of games for $.99 or even free. Current DS games are between $30-35, but 3DS games are rumored to be in the $40-$45 range. One could certainly argue that DS games offer a richer, deeper experience than games on the Apple marketplace, but the price disparity cannot be ignored.

2. Battery life
The current DSi can play games on one charge for 15-19 hours. Because of the increased processing power in the 3DS, it can play 3D games for only 3-5 hours and old/2D DS games for 5-8 hours . 3 hours of playing time for a portable system is very short. With the high price tag, and Nintendo’s record of releasing better hardware soon after original launch, some like myself may wait on purchasing the system at launch.

3. Input method.
After 4 versions, the 3DS is still using a stylus. In my opinion, this is antiquated. People are becoming much more used to direct finger contact to screens, and no one likes having to dig through the couch cushions for a lost stylus. It is 2011, can we just use our hands?

4. Vision concerns.
Nintendo has warned children under 6 should not use the 3D capabilities of the 3DS . Nintendo Reggie Fils-Aime stated, “We will recommend that very young children not look at 3-D images. That’s because, (in) young children, the muscles for the eyes are not fully formed.” Nintendo also cautions all users to take breaks every 30 minutes of play. Do I think the 3DS will harm your eyes? No, and neither does the American Optometric Association . I still maintain that fear of damaging their children’s eyes will stop many parents from buying a 3DS.

5. Competition.
I’ve already hinted at the real challenge Nintendo faces with the 3DS launch: Apple. Many people already have a portable device with them that has hundreds of games available instantly at a very low price. The iPhone is now a gaming platform, even if people don’t consider it one. I’m seeing more and more iPod Touches in the hands of children and teens in malls and restaurants. Will 3D be enough of a gimmick to draw gamers on the go this year? We’ll see.

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Posted by chakan

 

Nintendo has enjoyed great success with the DS portable game system over the last few years, and in many months, has sold many more DS than home consoles. When Nintendo announced that the next version of the DS system would feature glasses-less 3D, I was excited. The 3DS is scheduled to come out close to my birthday, how perfect is that? Later, as more details emerged, and I thought more about it, I’m not so sure Nintendo has a winner this time. Here are five reasons why I think the Nintendo 3DS might not do so well.
1. Price.
The Nintendo 3DS will be available March 27 for $250 . To put that in perspective, that’s $110 more than the current DSi system, and $50 more than a home Wii system. Will parents think $250 is a reasonable price for a portable system for their children? Will adult gamers want to pay that much for themselves? It is a hefty price tag for a consumer electronics item that just plays games.


Games may be expensive also. The handheld competitor, iPod Touch, has hundreds of games for $.99 or even free. Current DS games are between $30-35, but 3DS games are rumored to be in the $40-$45 range. One could certainly argue that DS games offer a richer, deeper experience than games on the Apple marketplace, but the price disparity cannot be ignored.

2. Battery life
The current DSi can play games on one charge for 15-19 hours. Because of the increased processing power in the 3DS, it can play 3D games for only 3-5 hours and old/2D DS games for 5-8 hours . 3 hours of playing time for a portable system is very short. With the high price tag, and Nintendo’s record of releasing better hardware soon after original launch, some like myself may wait on purchasing the system at launch.

3. Input method.
After 4 versions, the 3DS is still using a stylus. In my opinion, this is antiquated. People are becoming much more used to direct finger contact to screens, and no one likes having to dig through the couch cushions for a lost stylus. It is 2011, can we just use our hands?

4. Vision concerns.
Nintendo has warned children under 6 should not use the 3D capabilities of the 3DS . Nintendo Reggie Fils-Aime stated, “We will recommend that very young children not look at 3-D images. That’s because, (in) young children, the muscles for the eyes are not fully formed.” Nintendo also cautions all users to take breaks every 30 minutes of play. Do I think the 3DS will harm your eyes? No, and neither does the American Optometric Association . I still maintain that fear of damaging their children’s eyes will stop many parents from buying a 3DS.

5. Competition.
I’ve already hinted at the real challenge Nintendo faces with the 3DS launch: Apple. Many people already have a portable device with them that has hundreds of games available instantly at a very low price. The iPhone is now a gaming platform, even if people don’t consider it one. I’m seeing more and more iPod Touches in the hands of children and teens in malls and restaurants. Will 3D be enough of a gimmick to draw gamers on the go this year? We’ll see.

Posted by ZeForgotten

Odd how those are the same 5 reasons this thread did. 
I'm pretty confident when I say that the 3DS won't fail 

Edited by BraveToaster

I won't be buy a 3DS, but I think it will do good no matter how cheap Apple's games are. 
 
Gaming is an expensive hobby and a lot of people are willing to eat ramen for months so they can afford that new handheld/console. 
 
Also, a lot of those iPod games aren't that good.

Posted by shadyspace

There will be a nuclear holocaust before Nintendo fails in the handheld market.

Posted by EvilTwin

You linked the entire thing.

Posted by Gamer_152

Yes, the price is high, however, as Michael Pachter once said, look at the Wii and how in-demand it was, Nintendo underpriced the thing, and could have sold it for much more. With the 3DS I'm sure many mums will turn their nose up at the launch price but that's completely irrelevant, as long as there are still enough people willing to play $250 at launch for one of these it's still going to sell. As far as vision and battery life go they may be an issue for some but I don't think they're big enough deterrents to keep most away from the console.
 
I don't think the stylus is antiquated either, I mean why would Nintendo have made it in the first place? It's there because it provides more accurate input than using your fingers and if there's one thing the iPhone has proven it's that having your hands all over the screen gets in the way of the game. As far as Apple go there may be a little competition there but these two companies are not trying to sell to the exact same market. The iPhone will probably be more of a draw for people who just want something to play for five minutes on the bus, but if there's a casual gamer out there seeking a handheld gaming platform specifically then I think they're going to go for the Nintendo 3DS.
 
People doubted Nintendo with the Wii and they succeeded, people doubted Nintendo with the DS and they still succeeded, and not just based on their track record but based on the device itself I think the 3DS is going to succeed. It has a few bumps here and there but I'm going to be massively surprised if this thing isn't a hit with the public.

Moderator
Edited by chakan
@EvilTwin:  yes, sorry
@Gamer_152:
You make many excellent points, and thank you for reading my blog. Input type is probably just my preference.
Posted by Toms115

i don't think it will be a complete market failure but it won't do as good as the ds did when it first reared its head.

Posted by HaltIamReptar

I came back to see if the whole thing is still linked.
 
It is.
 
That is all.

Posted by SuperfluousMoniker

Aside from the price and the questionable value of 3d after the initial wow factor, I see no reason why it won't be a success. This is Nintendo we're talking about here. Pokemon, Mario, and Zelda games get released, system sells like hotcakes, third parties rush to put their games on it because of the massive install base. Sony can't compete with the first party killer apps Nintendo has, and Apple is in a completely different market.

Posted by Ineedaname
@HaltIamReptar said:
" I came back to see if the whole thing is still linked.  It is.  That is all. "
Edited by Sogeman

Stylus > Finger
 
Mobile phones suck for gaming. Angry Birds sucks and "real games" on there have shitty controls.
 
and also this  
 
http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b342/Tolkoto/3dsprice-3.jpg  (fixed link )

The only thing that keeps me from buying one is the fact that I bought a Lite last year, the bad battery and I'm waiting for a few Phoenix Wright and Layton games to come out first. I'll get the 3DS lite.

 
 

Edited by shadyspace
@Sogeman: Damn. The dude in that comic is loaded.
Posted by chakan
@HaltIamReptar said:
" I came back to see if the whole thing is still linked.  It is.  That is all. "
@Ineedaname said:
" @HaltIamReptar said:
" I came back to see if the whole thing is still linked.  It is.  That is all. "
"
Fixed
Edited by Yummylee

There's still plenty of people out there who know little about Nintendo besides ''they made that porn star plumber didn't they? My kids'll love it!'' and will just eat up anything Nintendo releases. The sales may not match the usual numbers Nintendo are used to due to the price, but the casual market for Nintendo is so strong that the debut may still leave them with a respectable amount of consumers.

Posted by Korolev

I won't get a 3DS for the 3D stuff, but I'm betting that the 3DS will have a great amount of games. Yes, the initial price is expensive, but it won't stay at that price. Wait for it to come down to about 200 dollars or less, and then I'm in. 

Posted by 02sfraser

I don't see how it can fail. Yeah those reasons are a worry but it offers a totally unique experience that people will be willing to pay for. Also it has Nintendo games. I would like to see it fail with Zelda, Mario and Pokemon franchises behind it.

Posted by amir90

I will try one, but most likely not buy one

Posted by EndlessObsidian

Nice avatar.

Posted by McGhee

I don't think the 3DS will fail, but I kind of hope it does. I'm sick of 3D. When watching movies I hate wearing glasses over my glasses, and even when I get use to that I never get use to the 3D affect. It is always a little blurry and a little hard to focus on. Even though I don't have to deal with glasses with the 3DS, from what I've heard, the 3D has a similar feel.  
 
Hopefully the 3D bubble will soon burst, and be dead for good.

Posted by Brodehouse

I remember this thread about Mass Effect 2.  And about the Wii.  And about the DS.
 
All of those sure failed.

Online
Posted by Yummylee
@Brodehouse said:
" I remember this thread about Mass Effect 2. "
lol seriously??
Posted by Kjellm87

*Sigh* Can't it be threads like 5 reasons it will be sucsess now and then.
I'm excited for it you know...

Posted by joshy9411

dude it cant fail.....it has the e store!!!!!

Posted by FlyingRat

All i wanna know is... How would it look next to a pear....
 
(Also i disagree, i think it will do just fine.) I know i'll buy one.

Posted by sarahsdad

I was thinking last night that the biggest competition it'll have is the installed base of DS lite and DSi units. I don't remember if it was the bombcast or somewhere else, but they were talking about how there were very few games that really took advantage of the cameras in the DSi because developers couldn't ever be sure that someone picking up the game would have one.  

It seems like the 3DS would run into the same sort of problem. Unless they discontinue the DS lite in March or whenever, there'll still be a really inexpensive model on store shelves that has a ton of games being produced for it. It may be a case of "good thing I don't run Nintendo", but I think that at the launch of the 3DS would be the perfect time to end the Lite, and do one last cut on the DSi down to 120 or 130. 
 
Obviously Nintendo wins no matter which DS someone buys, but I'm thinking that unless they start cutting the lower end, it's going to end up like Sony, where there's going to be several years of selling the old unit that lots of people will buy thanks to the low price and the enormous catalog of games

Posted by TooWalrus

I've had a little fun with Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies, they're fine when trying to keep occupied in class or whatever- but when it comes to taking fully-fledged games on the road with you while traveling, no one does it better than Nintendo. iPhone games don't hold my attention for more than 15 minutes, I can't wait to sink my teeth into Zelda and Paper Mario.

Posted by iam3green

i don't think it's going to fail. nintendo is known for their awesome handhelds. it does seem like a little expensive for a handheld but it's because of the 3D. 3D is new still and stuff have to be expensive for it to come out.

Posted by Rattle618

It won´t fail cause the 3DS will become the next shiny thing to have and kids are stupid in wanting that stuff, spoiled brats and fanboys alone will sustain it until it starts to get the good stuff.

Posted by ninjakiller

You're forgetting ngp. Any inkling of desire I had to buy a 3ds disappeared as soon as I heard about twin sticks.  

Posted by Hailinel
@McGhee_the_Insomniac said:
" I don't think the 3DS will fail, but I kind of hope it does. I'm sick of 3D. When watching movies I hate wearing glasses over my glasses, and even when I get use to that I never get use to the 3D affect. It is always a little blurry and a little hard to focus on. Even though I don't have to deal with glasses with the 3DS, from what I've heard, the 3D has a similar feel.   Hopefully the 3D bubble will soon burst, and be dead for good. "
If you don't want the 3D, you can turn it off.  There's nothing that says you have to use it.
Online
Posted by FancySoapsMan

It won't fail because it's Nintendo

Posted by GlenTennis

"Look mom, a new DS! It has Dogz in 3D!"
System sold.

Posted by HarlequinRiot

Try to explain these things to a child. You can't, and that's why the 3DS will succeed. 

Posted by BigLemon
@HarlequinRiot said:
" Try to explain these things to a child. You can't, and that's why the 3DS will succeed.  "
Yeah I think what many people overlook is that the handheld market is chiefly made up of youth.
Posted by DonutFever

Price: I don't know there are a few kids (YOUNG kids) who's parents buy them each a new iPod Touch every year or two.

Posted by DeeGee

The fact it has glasses-free 3D means I would happily pay twice the price for a free DS. I have a job and I have money and goddamn I want some 3D without wearing shitty glasses.

Online
Posted by Kjellm87

3DS gonna be frigging awesome. YEEEEEAH

Edited by FluxWaveZ

But... it won't. In fact, people will probably be standing in line for them just like the Wii.

Posted by animathias

$250 is nothing.. I think you're underestimating how much disposable income both gamers and families have. To save up for one, I'm just going to set aside 1/4th of two paychecks before release, and boom, enough for the system and a few games. I understand that times are tough and the economy isn't that great, but even still, $250 isn't much at all, especially if you're used to buying games or systems. As for games? Sure, $40 vs $0.99 is a disparity. But I have an iPhone, and I have well over $80 worth of $0.99 to $10 games, and they are all crap. I can count the number of semi-decent games on one hand (Peggle, Plants vs Zombies, Bejeweled 2, Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja) and I have never played a single one for more than 5 minutes at a time or more than 20 minutes total. My $20 copy of Picross 3D, however, has seen hours of play (and I don't have to cover up half the screen with a finger or worry about hitting the wrong block/gem/anything because my finger is covering up triple of the tiny thing I'm trying to touch.)

I don't understand the whole battery life debacle. Who are these crazy people playing their DS for 15 hours a day? Don't you work? Or sleep? I'll admit that 3-5 hours seems short, but you're insane if you're going to be playing a 3D game for 3 hours. Switch the 3D off, and you're at over 5 hours of battery life. Unless you have a 3 hour train ride to and from work/school, I don't think the battery life is going to be as big of an issue as people make it out to be. So you'll have to charge it every night when you get home, I have to do that with my phone or I am screwed the next day. Even if the battery life is that big of a deal, you mentioned yourself that this will be fixed in an upcoming hardware revision, which just reinforces the idea that the system won't fail.

As for the input device, I would much, much, much rather use a stylus than a finger. Why? Because my DS stylus is a fraction of the size of my finger, and therefore covers a fraction of the screen that my finger would. It can also touch certain parts of the screen with immensely higher fidelity than my meaty digit can. I've never had a problem with the stylus, and there have been many times where I was actually surprised at how well it worked and how responsive the touch screen was. Oh, and you can use your finger if you want to, it's just not ideal (and never was or ever will be for playing games.)

People might be scared the 3D will damage their children's vision, that's true, but I can also see Nintendo doing as much as they can to educate people on the use of the 3D slider. I just don't think the amount of people scared of the system is going to result in the entire system failing.

Finally, the competition.. Apple, really? I love my iPhone, but it is not a gaming device. I've tried. I've tried Zenonia, Infinity Blade, Sonic, Need for Speed, Rock Band, Mega Man, Worms, Sim City, Command and Conquer, GTA, etc.. None of those games play well, besides Infinity Blade, and that's easily overshadowed by the plethora of RPGs available on the DS or PSP. If a parent buys a kid a $100 iTouch with a bunch of these games, I feel really bad for that kid. The only decent games on the iPhone are puzzle games or simple swipe-to-play games, and the good puzzle games have better versions for free on the PC (not to mention the good puzzle games (from Popcap) aren't $0.99. Dunno what they are now, but I know I bought at least one for $10.) The iPhone as a gaming platform is a joke, even compared to this generation of handhelds. As convenient as it is to have one device that also has games, I always take my PSP or DS out with me for when I have a few minutes to game. If I were stuck with just my selection of phone games, I would sooner browse Twitter or some forums than load one up.

Posted by paradox121
@sarahsdad said:
" I was thinking last night that the biggest competition it'll have is the installed base of DS lite and DSi units. I don't remember if it was the bombcast or somewhere else, but they were talking about how there were very few games that really took advantage of the cameras in the DSi because developers couldn't ever be sure that someone picking up the game would have one.  It seems like the 3DS would run into the same sort of problem. Unless they discontinue the DS lite in March or whenever, there'll still be a really inexpensive model on store shelves that has a ton of games being produced for it. It may be a case of "good thing I don't run Nintendo", but I think that at the launch of the 3DS would be the perfect time to end the Lite, and do one last cut on the DSi down to 120 or 130.  Obviously Nintendo wins no matter which DS someone buys, but I'm thinking that unless they start cutting the lower end, it's going to end up like Sony, where there's going to be several years of selling the old unit that lots of people will buy thanks to the low price and the enormous catalog of games "
But I think the point is with the DSi, if a developer brought out a game it would still have to run on a normal DS cart, and so be playable on any DS. The DSi wasn't a separate system like the 3DS is. I totally get your point that it could become a case of 'child wants a DS, how bout I get this cheap one rather than the 3D one' but people seem to forget this is a whole new platform. As Jeff was saying on the Tested podcast, even without the 3D this is a significant upgrade over the original, its just the fact that it has the same casing and DS in the title that people can't seem to separate them out.
Posted by craigbo180

1 reason the 3DS will succeed.
 
It is a major handheld gaming device from Nintendo...

Posted by sarahsdad
@paradox121: Think I see what you mean. The 3DS will be able to play DS and DSi games, but not the other way around. I also saw on an ign article where it seems like the 3DS should recognize DSi games, and use cameras appropriately. 
That's the sort of thing that makes me think Nintendo should end the DS lite when the 3DS comes out; that way their entire lineup of shipping handhelds would have at least a front and back camera. 
I don't think it was Tested or GB, but I know on one of the other podcasts I listen to (Weekend Confirmed or maybe GWJ) someone who saw the 3DS echoed the statement that the 3D was possibly the least important of the upgrades/changes in the system. 
 
Also, before I get too far I should say that I hope that this does do well. As much as I won't be buying one right away, it's very likely to be under the tree after the first revision/price drop.
Posted by Ghostiet

Remember when Michael Pachter was predicting the failure of the Wii all the time?

Yeah.

Posted by Brodehouse
@Abyssfull:  The usual 'EA made them take out the RPG parts!' and 'EA is making them make it multiplatform' kind of stuff.
Online
Posted by McGhee
@Hailinel said:
" @McGhee_the_Insomniac said:
" I don't think the 3DS will fail, but I kind of hope it does. I'm sick of 3D. When watching movies I hate wearing glasses over my glasses, and even when I get use to that I never get use to the 3D affect. It is always a little blurry and a little hard to focus on. Even though I don't have to deal with glasses with the 3DS, from what I've heard, the 3D has a similar feel.   Hopefully the 3D bubble will soon burst, and be dead for good. "
If you don't want the 3D, you can turn it off.  There's nothing that says you have to use it. "
That's not really point. I'm not buying a 3DS anyway. I'm just talking about 3D in general. I think it sucks. :)
Posted by Skald

Five reasons the 3DS will succeed: 
 

  • Japan is a thing 
  • Not everyone is convinced of iOS games 
  • Gamers love Mario and Zelda 
  • Kids love Nintendogs and Pokemon 
  • 3D is crazy popular right now
 
But to be fair, I am sticking with my iPod touch.
Posted by Marcsman
@shadyspace said:
"There will be a nuclear holocaust before Nintendo fails in the handheld market. "

Not even then. They own the license to the Pip Boy.
Posted by Mcfart

It will be very much like the DS, where in the beginning, the numbers of last-gen handhelds will dwarf the current gen's, but once the 3DS lite comes out at a lower price, most people will upgrade then.

Posted by Afroman269

It won't fail. I do think that the competition from Apple will continue to be serious, it won't overthrow Nintendo but it will become a thorn in their side.

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