3DS: Five Reasons Nintendo (And Its Fans) Shouldn't Panic
PSP outsold 3DS in Japan. You know what? Calm down.
These days, it's easy to make fun of Nintendo's 3DS.
First came reports of headaches due to the 3D effects. Later, critics blasted the company for failing to sell through its initial shipment.
Now it's all about the PlayStation Portable, and how a handheld from 2004 (a system clearly on its death throes in the U.S.) beat the 3DS in sales two weeks in a row in Japan.
Clearly, the 3DS is the next Virtual Boy, right?
Wrong. It's too early, as in several years, to speak of the system's demise. On the contrary, the 3DS will have a bright future, but to understand why, it's important to come to grips with reality.
That said, we have five reasons why Nintendo's diehard supporters and opponents should chill.
Japan loves Monster Hunter
Take the PSP sales with a proverbial grain of salt, because the data has nothing to do with a Pursuit Force sequel. The Japanese go nuts over Capcom's Monster Hunter franchise, and have purchased the latest installment, Portable 3rd, in ridiculous quantities. Now consider the millions of consumers that own the PSP system. No surprise that a new entry in one of the country's biggest video game series exploded.
That said, people need to stop treating Japan like it's the only country that matters when it comes to video games. That ship sailed almost a decade ago.
3DS' lineup is a little weak...for now
As much as we love select 3DS launch games, the system lacks a killer App, that triple A title that sells in record quantities. Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition, Pilotwings Resort and Ridge Racer 3D warrant a purchase if you're a hardcore gamer, but if you eat, sleep and breathe Pokemon, there's little reason to fork over the cash.
Consumers love DS
Bottom line, Nintendo sold a huge number of DS units worldwide, and many of these consumers are just fine using the much cheaper handheld. Not only is it reliable and solid overall, but it also has the games (Pokemon, Mario, Kirby, Zelda) they want to play. They'll stick with DS until Nintendo makes this impossible and borderline foolish; AKA new Pokemon.
3DS is a bit expensive
Introducing the 3DS to potential buyers takes us back several years ago, when Sony shoved its $1000 Blu-ray players in front of customers that were all about DVD. It's a tough sell, especially when you don't have additional features (you know, like games) to justify the high system cost. These things take time.
In Nintendo we trust
At this point, you have to put 100 percent trust in Nintendo's ability to succeed. Why? Because the publisher has dominated the handheld market for more than 20 years. Even when things look grim (the original DS failed to thrill), the company comes through at least nine out of ten times with phenomenal games and technology. Yes, the Virtual Boy was a disaster, but six time NBA champ Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls lost a 1995 playoff series to the Orlando Magic. In other words, stop bringing up the Virtual Boy.