Nintendo 3DS: Uncertain Future, Despite Price Drop
OK, so the system's finally affordable. Now what?
Nintendo dominated headlines following an unexpected price drop for its 3DS. Starting August 12, consumers can pick up the dual screen system for $169.99, a whopping $80 cheaper than the original and current $249.99.
On that note, if the company expects to sit back and let the money roll in, it's greatly mistaken.
Bottom line, there's still much work to do and issues to address. Convincing the public to purchase the handheld by the millions takes more than just knocking a few bucks off the suggested MSRP.
Whether Nintendo likes it or not, the industry has dramatically changed. Everyone involved fell asleep and awoke in a post iPhone society.
That said, the 3DS' future remains a mystery, and it may take a turn for the worse if the publisher fails to address the following.
Sure, 3DS is cheaper, but the majority of its games are still $39.99. This, despite the App Store and Android Marketplace, which both offer not only a wealth of free content, but also games under a dollar. Nintendo can sell its products at a discounted price to compete, or take a gamble that new and old 3DS users will still pay top dollar for unproven titles like Kid Icarus: Uprising.
Courting third parties
To say third parties are hesitant to support 3DS would be a huge understatement. We've already seen a handful of cancellations from big name companies like Activision, Capcom and Ubisoft. Even Electronic Arts, normally supportive, has only two games that we know of: FIFA 12, and Battlefield 3, which may not even exist.
Steady stream of eShop content
Every Thursday, thousands (perhaps millions) of iPhone and iPad owners log onto the App Store to choose from a wealth of new video games.
The 3DS eShop? You're lucky if Nintendo releases two games, and even luckier if they're enjoyable (Baseball for Game Boy, really?). The company must offer a wider variety of titles.
Looking beyond Mario
Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 3DS (now being referred to as Mario Kart 7) look great, but what's next? Nintendo can't rely on a new Mario every month. There has to be something else that drives sales into 2012. Is it Pokemon? Donkey Kong? Metroid? Hard to say at this point.