Watercrown Productions

I’m so happy I’m not an early adopter.

by on Aug.23, 2011, under Opinions

Less than half a year after the (failed) launch of the 3DS, there are rumblings from Nintendo about a rather drastic hardware redesign: the much-ballyhooed but ultimately pointless 3D screen is going to be either nerfed or nixed altogether, and the system will pick up a much-needed second analog stick.

Rumors? I wouldn’t have put any stock in them three months ago. But now that Nintendo has slashed the 3DS’s price in response to its dismal sales figures, it’s safe to say that the company has gone into damage control mode. Regardless of the enthusiastic response it received at E3 2010, the 3DS has crashed and burned spectacularly: its $250 price point scared away consumers, almost all of its big-name titles are ports of games available on other platforms, and its online functionality is hampered by Nintendo’s wag-the-dog attitude towards parental controls. It’s even region locked. The whole system seems like Murphy’s Law personified.

At any rate, the source of these rumors is reputable: they actually found out about the Wii U’s tablet controller before Nintendo unveiled it themselves at E3 2011. Which puts me in an odd place. I’d been planning to get a 3DS after the price cut, but now, I’m finding myself siding with all the other people who said “nah, I’m gonna wait for them to release the next hardware revision.” Used to be, my reaction was “but that could be two or three years down the road!” Oh, how naive I was. In all likelihood, it’s happening next year.

Though if Nintendo thinks it can solve all its 3DS woes with just a new hardware version, they’re more delusional than I give them credit for. If they try to use this as an excuse to go back to the $250 price tag, they’re shooting themselves in the foot unless they can give us something we’re really willing to pay extra for. Getting rid of Friend Codes and the region lock would be a good place to start…

2 Comments for this entry

  • Touya(EnchantedARM)

    I’m not upset with the hardware, really. It’s quite a nice system.

    The BAD

    They should not be pushing 3d video on a 800×240 pixel resolution. Downscaling a film shot in 480+p to that resolution causes significant degradation. Making that degradation 3 dimensional makes it even more immediately evident.

    Hardcore gamers tend to play games for marathons. Whether zelda or pilotwings, I always got frustrated with the 3d effect and had to turn it off. Problem is, I don’t see how a hardware redesign could remedy this, which is one of the prime reasons why I purchased it.

    The GOOD

    The games, while generally ports, are quite good. Resident Evil played extremely well with good latency on online play.

    Developing games in 3d is easy and the homebrew looks to be awesome. Console hackers and programmers have expressed interest in adapting snes/ps1 emulators to the 3ds with the option of using the sprites in 3D. Supposedly the effect would be easy to make, simply placing the sprite layer in the stereoscopic 3d display.

    The 3d isn’t very impressive, I’d much rather they increased the resolution to 360p minimum. 240 is just too confining these days.

    • Ryusui

      Don’t get me wrong. I like the 3DS. I want to get a 3DS. I just think Nintendo has managed to sabotage it in every conceivable way.

      And you know what? This is a good thing, I think. Nintendo needs to have its ass kicked. They’ve grown arrogant and complacent: I want Nintendo to win, but I don’t want this Nintendo to win. They need a good tooth-and-nail fight ahead of them. It worked wonders for Sony, after all…

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