Monday, October 03, 2011

Nintendo 3DS - The Perils, The Possibilities, The Trials And The Triumphs

How the Little Gaming Handheld That Could seeks to reclaim its fame following initial infamy.

mario3dlandThe Nintendo 3DS has had a unbecoming beginning, that much is certain. We’ve all heard the stories; the slow-selling portable headache inducer that, signifies that Nintendo has finally lost the plot.

Really? Or is the world’s most unpredictable videogame manufacturer merely the victim of complacency bred from its own success? Wii fever and DS love across the planet surely did much to raise both Nintendo’s and fans’ assumptions of the 3DS before it launched. Several months of short sharp shocks later, and it seems Nintendo are finally getting the message, responding with the franchises fans are crying out for.

Sony’s enticing box-of-tricks, PlayStation Vita, flaunts it self at every opportunity. Undeniably late to the touchscreen party, Vita nonetheless offers plenty to court the more power-hungry portable gamer. Success story in the making, or just PSP all over again? Time will tell!

Either way, Vita’s presence is an apt and necessary one, and Nintendo and their fans alike would do well to be wary of Sony’s ambition. Nintendo’s recent September conference saw third-party support ramp up for 3DS gaming, with the likes of Bravely Default showcasing how developers are still willing and ready to commit artistic RPG sweetness to Nintendo’s handhelds. Meanwhile, fanservice hit new heights in the squee-inducing Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney. This title sees two of the most beloved third-party Nintendo DS characters teaming up to solve crime.

But of course, our attentions turn once again to the festive season and the end of the year. And it seems, finally, Nintendo are willing to give fans and newcomers alike the goods. A new Super Mario for November is daringly competing with some of the year’s biggest heavy-hitters across all formats. It’s joined in early December by hotly-anticipated Mario Kart 7 – that ever-popular franchise that first created the mascot-racing genre. However much you take him for granted, gaming’s most famous Italian-American gets bums on seats. Perhaps most important of all, Nintendo have drastically cut the price of 3DS by 40% to make it much more affordable to the average gamer.

And it’s those bums Nintendo is after, in a manner of speaking. The 3DS has been, undeniably, slow in awakening its potential. Many still think it’s yet another DS redesign; something Nintendo can only blame their own revamp-happy ways on. At long last, they’re starting to paint a clearer picture of the Nintendo 3DS to the public, but the need to gain ground is readily apparent.

For the fans? It’s once again the waiting game, but it’s finally coming to a close. Across all videogame formats, 2011 is flooring the gas to bring home a raucous end-of-year line-up. It’s here and now that will define once and for all whether the 3DS was a grievous misstep for gaming’s granddaddies, or the sweeping success-story Nintendo long for it to be.

Interesting times undoubtedly lie ahead! Will Nintendo regain their focus for the all-important festive season?

Editor's Note: This is a sponsored post and not in any way expressive of the views and opinions of

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