Cause For Concern: Four Reasons Nintendo 3DS May Be Doomed
There are some things even Mario cannot prevent.
Yesterday, we listed five games that'll presumably improve 3DS sales. No big surprises, really. Just a heavy dose of Mario sprinkled with Pokemon for good measure; for more info, read Disappointing 3DS Sales: Five Games That'll Turn Things Around.
On that note, there's a great chance those highly anticipated titles will catch fire and result in millions of 3DS units sold.
There also exists the possibility that Nintendo's relatively new handheld is in big trouble. The portable industry has evolved to the point that shoving the red-capped plumber in everyone's face may not be enough to win the war against Sony, Apple and Android. Those last two are especially dangerous, since each one appears to grab a bigger slice of the sales pie with each passing quarter.
That said, Nintendo should worry about the following.
Two E3s ago, critics marveled at the huge number of third parties pledging allegiance to Nintendo's 3DS. Fast forward a little more than a year, and some of those promised games were recently shelved, most recently Mega Man Legends 3 and Assassin's Creed: Lost Legacy. Two big (and hardcore) franchises off the board with possibly more on the way. Not good.
Nintendo's star-studded, and perhaps premature, lineup
Nintendo brought out the big guns for 3DS even before the system launched, with Super Mario 3D, Mario Kart 3DS, Star Fox 64 3D and Kid Icarus: Uprising set to launch before the end of the year, with Luigi's Mansion 2, Animal Crossing and Paper Mario on the way.
For gamers, this would seem like great news. Dig a little deeper, and tell us what Nintendo has planned for 2012 and beyond. It can't release a new Mario adventure every year, and other franchises like Zelda, Kirby and Metroid don't have the same level of star power to move ten million units a piece.
Almost everyone's betting on mobile
Whether you like it or not, iPhone and Android are all the rage, with big names like Electronic Arts throwing millions behind a wide range of titles that are cheaper to produce and reach a much bigger audience.
From here, three things will happen. Mobile devices and traditional systems will co-exist (profit for everyone), the public eventually loses interest in mobile and returns to those aforementioned systems (Nintendo weathers the storm) or the mobile devices replace handhelds like 3DS. We can't predict the future, but if we were Nintendo, that third option is by far the most terrifying. Thing is, it's 100 percent possible.
Glasses free 3D got off to a rocky start
Nintendo failed to win universal praise with the 3DS' biggest feature, glasses free 3D. While no official numbers exist, it appears the buying public is split down the middle, between those who love the feature and those who have trouble using it without going cross-eyed or suffering from headaches.
Beyond that, smart phone makers have already caught up, with mobile devices that also feature 3D gaming, most notably the HTC EVO 3D (pictured).
Bottom line, the 3DS' most unique selling point is, well, not so exclusive.