Nintendo, whatever you are doing with the 3DS please keep it up. I don’t know if any one else has realized this, but the 3DS is finally starting to find itself in the Handheld gaming market. It had to take a few tumbles, but the state of the 3DS seems to be strong. I know a lot of people reading this will probably disagree with that statement. However, over the course of this article I hope to change their minds.
When the 3DS was first announced a big chunk of the writers that covered it had very strong criticism for the system and rightfully so. The 3D functionality seemed to be nothing but a gimmick, and at a price of $249.99 the system seemed to be doomed to fail. There was not a whole lot of third party support, and the system lacked the great new IP’s that made the DS oh so successful. Even when the price dropped to $169.99 the 3DS still did not sell well.
Only when Nintendo started to ramp up development on titles based on their iconic IP’s for the 3DS did the sales chart slightly start moving in a positive direction. It has been a long standing joke that all Nintendo needs to do is develop titles based on their iconic IP’s for people to get interested. This joke seems to be the truth more and more these days. A perfect example is when Nintendo announced Pokemon X and Y, the 3DS topped the hardware charts that week by selling an estimated 200,000 units. Ever since then it has either come in first or second. Meanwhile one of its competitors, the PlayStation Vita continues to fall in the sales carts.
Nintendo has also started to see major support from third party developers and publishers this year. Atlus, which are the makers of fine JRPG’s have started to increase their line up of 3DS titles. They released Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan in February, and they are currently working on translating and porting Shin Megami Tensei Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers. Capcom is another studio that is working on 3DS titles. They are currently working on a new Ace Attorney game that is set to release sometime this year in Japan with a North American release coming very shortly afterwards. Other third party developers working on titles for the system include Tecmo Koei, Aksys, Namco Badndai, Level 5, Konami, and a bunch more.
You’ll notice though that there doesn’t seem to be that much support from developers in the western hemisphere, and that is something that Nintendo will need to work on. Out of the currently announced games neither EA, Activision, Koch Media, Take-Two, or Ubisoft have announced games for the system. Of course E3 is around a very long corner so it is very possible that we can see some support from these publishers in the next couple of months. Although, if any of the developers think like Fez creator Phil Fish, who recently called the 3DS bullshit we may be in for some trouble. However, I doubt that any major developer would listen to what Phil Fish has to say.
The 3DS is going strong, and Nintendo still has a little more work to do, but the system looks to become a powerhouse in the years to come. All they need to do are get some developers from the western hemisphere on board, and the system will be completely set. I look forward to E3 to see what Nintendo will do for the system, and if they can apply the lessons that they have learned from the making of the 3DS to the Wii U I think that system can start to sell major units to.