The New 3DS: Is Nintendo on its Last Life?

While other companies have attempted to gain success in the handheld gaming market (most notably Sony with the PlayStation Vita), no one seems to understand the market more than Nintendo. For instance, many of you are familiar with this beast released in 1989:

The Original Gameboy, notable for having popular games such as Tetris and Pokemon.
The Original Gameboy, notable for having popular games such as Tetris and Pokemon, sold over 118.69 million units worldwide. 

Fast forward more than 2 decades later and Nintendo still reigns supreme in the handheld gaming market. Their most recent device, the 3DS, boasts an impressive user base of over 40 million. Things seem to be going well for Nintendo in terms of handheld devices- which is why their latest news of releasing an upgraded version of the 3DS seems bizarre.

This new device (appropriately titled “New 3DS”) essentially fixes some of the faults of the original 3DS while adding in a slew of additional features.

The New 3DS
                                                                                                      The New 3DS

The New 3DS supposedly has:

  • An improved screen that allows the effects of 3D to be viewed in many angles. This is a major improvement over the original 3DS, as gamers once  had to find the “sweet spot” to correctly view the 3D effects. This resulted in users being restricted to one viewing angle.
  • An improved CPU that allows more demanding games (both graphically and mechanically) to be played on the 3DS.
  • An increased battery life. This is important as using 3D features drains battery quickly. The original 3DS had a battery life of about 4-5 hours.
  • A new “C” button that allows for dual analog controls (similar to the PS Vita). This is one of the major upgrades from the original 3DS, as the original only had 1 analog control. With the addition of another button, games are now able to create a more vivid experience for gamers.
  • A micro SD card slot
  • NFC (Near Field Communication)Technology: To learn more about NFC technology, click here.

Nintendo UK PR has confirmed that the new 3DS won’t be released before 2015.

So what’s the big deal about an upgraded model?

While I’m an ardent supporter of improvement, I understand that some devices eventually become obsolete. I don’t see anyone using the original iPhone and rightfully so because it simply wouldn’t handle the abundance of features that a current generation iPhone has. Although Apple and most cell phone companies release a phone every year or so, I expect a different standard when it comes to gaming.

See, the problem with the new 3DS model is the DUAL analog controls along with the CPU. What this means is that games for the new 3DS will NOT be playable on the original 3DS, as it lacks the necessary hardware to properly play the games. An example of this would be Xenoblade Chronicles, a long anticipated 3DS title that will only be playable on the new 3DS:

GetYourHandsonXenoBladeChroniclesTwoWeeksEarly__thumb

Considering that the 3DS originally launched in 2011, making it obsolete after only 4 years is absurd, especially since the 3DS is performing amazingly right now. Unlike smartphones, video game devices are expected to last a long time. Companies like Sony aim to have all of their devices be relevant for at least a decade. Prematurely pulling the cord will definitely have its consequences, as over 40 million people will be forced to buy a new device if they want to play the latest and greatest games.

Some may argue that Nintendo has done this before with the Nintendo DS and DSi. For those of you unaware, the DSi was a massive overhaul and improvement from the original DS. The DSi was released in 2009 and the DS was released in 2004, so the time frame between these two devices is about the same as the 3DS and new 3DS.

DSi (left)  DS (right)
                                                        DSi (left)                                                                                  DS (right)

 

However, it’s important to note that all physical games for the DSi were compatible for the DS. Purchasing the DSi was not mandatory to play the newest games, so owners of the original DS weren’t abandoned. This isn’t the case with the new 3DS, as explained above.

Accordingly, the New 3DS has received mixed reactions from fans. Some say it’s a welcome change, while others are rightfully angry that their newly purchased console will soon be obsolete. My advice to Nintendo would be to delay the release of the New 3DS  or offer an upgrade program for owners of the original 3DS (ex: trade in your 3DS and pay $30 to get the New 3DS).

What do you think? Is Nintendo making a wise decision to release the New 3DS? Do you own a 3DS? Comment below and share your ideas and thoughts!

Sources:

http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/08/29/new-3ds-and-3ds-xl-announced-with-extra-buttons

http://nintendo.wikia.com/wiki/Game_Boy

http://www.vgchartz.com/

http://lifehacker.com/5943006/what-is-nfc-and-how-can-i-use-it

http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/08/29/xenoblade-chronicles-coming-to-new-3ds

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2 thoughts on “The New 3DS: Is Nintendo on its Last Life?”

  1. I have a lot of things I want to say about this post, so I’ll address it point-by-point.

    > While other companies have attempted to gain success in the handheld gaming market (most notably Sony with the PlayStation Vita)

    Uh, you know the PS Vita was a massive failure right? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_Vita#Sales

    > A new “C” button that allows for dual analog controls

    …it’s a C-stick. It’s not a cue from the the PS Vita, it’s a cue from the old Gamecube controller.

    > See, the problem with the new 3DS model is the DUAL analog controls along with the CPU. What this means is that games for the new 3DS will NOT be playable on the original 3DS, as it lacks the necessary hardware to properly play the games.

    LOL do you know what a circle pad pro is little boi? The only reason some games are playable on the new 3DS is because those games are more graphically intensive like the new Xenoblade X game.

    > Considering that the 3DS originally launched in 2011, making it obsolete after only 4 years is absurd, especially since the 3DS is performing amazingly right now.

    It won’t be obsolete for at least 1 1/2 years. Only one new 3DS exclusive was announced, stop jumping to conclusions.

    > Companies like Sony aim to have all of their devices be relevant for at least a decade.

    wow @ that, I can smell the bias from here. PS2 released in 2000, PS3 released in 2006, PS4 released in 2013. That’s a 6.5 year average gap between releases. It’s been 1 year since the release of the PS4, and all they show off at E3 now is new gen console exclusives. Not even close to a decade, right?

    > However, it’s important to note that all physical games for the DSi were compatible for the DS.

    Hmmm… basic research, man.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_DSi#Software_library

    And this doesn’t even include the huge library of indie and small games that is only available with DSiWare/Eshop.

    Here are just a few games you could play on the DSi but not the DS:
    Moon Chronicles
    Treasurenauts
    Retro City Rampage DX
    Siesta Fiesta
    Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse
    Shovel Knight
    Cave Story

    > Some say it’s a welcome change, while others are rightfully angry that their newly purchased console will soon be obsolete.

    Gotta love how newly purchased console means nearly 4 years ago. Oh and I covered that obsolete thing somewhere else in this wall of text.

    > My advice to Nintendo would be to delay the release of the New 3DS or offer an upgrade program for owners of the original 3DS.

    I doubt Nintendo will do it, but I’ll bet my left nut Gamestop will do something like this.

    > Is Nintendo making a wise decision to release the New 3DS? Do you own a 3DS? Comment below and share your ideas and thoughts!

    Uh, yes this is a wise decision. At the end of the day Nintendo is a BUSINESS. They have to make money no matter how you look at it. They’re selling Xenoblade Chronicles X alongside it as it’s first exclusive so I’m pretty excited. I can see a lot of people buying it just for Xenoblade. And yes I own a 3DS, I’ve had it since launch.

    ===============================================

    I own a PS3 too, and I love Sony, but some of this article is insanely biased. The hardcore Nintendo fans are extremely happy with this new 3DS because of the hardware upgrades and the built in C-stick. Keep in mind in 2011, glasses-free 3D was a feat in itself. I can’t be mad at Nintendo for improving such a well-loved product.

    I’m also kind of irked that you just ignored the newest and best games like Smash 4 and Pokemon ORAS which are not new 3DS exclusive.

    1. Hey, thanks for viewing this article!

      Please keep in mind that this article is merely my opinion. To address some of your complaints:
      -I included the word “attempted” in the first sentence, meaning Sony tried to be successful with the Vita. I’ve already written an article describing the hardships of the Vita a while ago. I’m fully aware that the Vita isn’t how Sony imagined it to be, and I’m in no way ignoring that fact. I own a 3DS myself, so I’m not biased against Nintendo in any way.
      -The reason why I said the C-Stick was similar to the Vita’s dual analog controls was because these two devices are HANDHELDS. It wouldn’t be fair to compare a handheld to a console; a handheld to another handheld is more reasonable.I never said the 3DS stole from the Vita, only that it has dual analog controls LIKE the Vita.
      -I’m also aware that some games can only run on the new 3DS because of their graphical intensity, which is why I wrote, “… along with the CPU”. Though I could see why you would argue that because I wrote hardware, implying the C-stick.
      -The statement about Sony wanting a 10 year life cycle for their consoles was from Hirai himself :
      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-10/sony-s-hirai-says-playstation-3-is-only-halfway-through-10-year-life-cycle.html
      I didn’t say that purely to make Sony look better than Nintendo, I’m using what Sony themselves have stated.
      -When I said how people are angry because their newly purchased console is soon to be obsolete, I wasn’t referring to those who bought it Day 1. Nintendo released numerous limited edition 3DS XLs recently (and another SSB one coming soon). This means there are thousands who bought these limited edition consoles, only to find it’s going to be replaced soon.
      -While yes, there are a select few DSi games that can’t be played on 3DS, the vast majority of games can be played on either console. I also added “PHYSICAL” when describing the games, excluding games on the eShop.

      Either way, I took your comments into consideration when writing future articles. Bare in mind I’m just starting to post articles, so it’s natural for me to make mistakes.

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