Nintendo 3DS: Tips For Dominating 2012
With 3DS sales on the rise, Mario and Co. would be wise to attack the New Year.
2011 was a rough year for Nintendo. The company kicked things off with a less than stellar 3DS launch, marred by a lack of quality software (Asphalt 3D...shudders) and a $249.99 MSRP. The public recoiled in terror.
OK, so it was more like gross disinterest. Regardless, the system and company were in a tight spot. The handheld's price tag was slashed to a more reasonable $169.99, the publisher's stock plummeted and rumors of a new circle pad attachment had some gamers calling for president Satoru Iwata's head.
Then, things changed for the better. Enjoyable games like Star Fox 64 3D and Super Mario 3D Land arrived, a special edition Zelda 3DS hit shelves, and slowly, the machine went from potential dud to success story, with sales figures trending ahead of DS over the same period of time.
Yup, 3DS has improved, but Nintendo cannot become complacent. 2012 appears to be even tougher, with smart phones and tablets continuing to invade homes, and PlayStation Vita set to debut February 22 in both the U.S. and Europe. Suffice to say, the big N will need to come out swinging to maintain its momentum.
With this in mind, we created some helpful tips that, if followed, should keep 3DS surging ahead of the competition.
Keep Mario in the public eye
This past March, Nintendo learned a valuable lesson. Fans want Mario, and lots of him. Consider the sales figures from Japan, with over 500,000 copies of Super Mario 3D Land sold in Japan this past November, and 420,000 copies of Mario Kart 7 sold within the first week on the shelf. Less Steel Diver, more mustachioed plumber.
Make Circle Pad Pro worthwhile
We still don't know when this peripheral will appear in the States, but Resident Evil: Revelations (February 7) supports it; the Europeans will in fact receive a bundle with both the game and attachment January 27. That said, a U.S. release cannot be far behind.
Thing is, Nintendo must release games that support it, as well as ink third party deals with other publishers. Don't expect consumers to fork over the cash and only have one or two games to play. Make buying it worthwhile, which brings us to the next point.
Bring Call of Duty to 3DS
We know Activision has a Call of Duty in the works for PlayStation Vita. Don't let Sony steal the 3DS' thunder, not when the first person series saw multiple releases on DS over the years. 3DS is more than capable of handling an FPS, and it would also be a great way to put the aforementioned Circle Pad Pro on display.
Take Sony very seriously
Make no mistake. Sony doesn't want to just make a dent in the handheld space. It wants to dominate the whole industry. Vita's future is still in doubt, but an impressive selection of launch games and one powerful piece of hardware may convince interested shoppers to make the jump.
To that end, Nintendo cannot afford any game release lulls. There has to be something cool for 3DS (either from Nintendo or a third party) each month.
Bring popular iPhone games to 3DS
If you can't beat them, join them. Nintendo may never be able to squash the public's infatuation with smart phones and tablets, but it can spend a bit of dough to bring some of the more popular titles (Angry Birds) to the platform. At least this way, it's on a more even playing field.
Hold off on releasing a new 3DS until sales begin to slip
It's clear, from Circle Pad Pro's existence, that Nintendo wants to bring a newly designed 3DS to market, but it needs to be careful. The last thing it wants are millions of unhappy 3DS owners that'll feel burned by the big N's decision to possibly release the system too soon, after forking over the dough for the current model.
Look, we know a new Pokemon is currently in development. It has to be. Just give the fans exactly what they want, and everything should be fine.
Constantly update the 3DS software
The new 3DS system update just came out, giving fans the opportunity to capture 3D video. Evolving the system will make it even more desirable moving forward.
Keep those classic games coming
The 3DS Virtual Console is full of hit Game Boy titles. Don't stop now. Open the door for more Game Boy Color selections, and deliver Game Boy Advance gems sooner than later.
More online games
Mario Kart 7 is one of Nintendo's best online-enabled games, since players don't have to jump through virtual hoops to enjoy some multiplayer with folks from around the world. It serves as proof that the company is capable of bringing a fun online title to market. Don't stop now. Dream big.