This one is for you Nintendo so listen up. The Nintendo 3DS is a nice piece of hardware and you would think this would be flying off the shelf causing shortages across the nation. Well, the reality is that the Nintendo is not selling and it is way below expectations. Frankly I am not surprised and I am going to tell you exactly why I feel that way. Here are the top 5 reasons why this handheld is biting the dust.
5. 3D effect on Health – Let's face reality, the 3DS is not marketed towards an older crowd of gamers. Unless you are 14 or under most of the 3DS library is geared towards a younger gamer and because of that parents are heavily involved. When health reports came out that the 3DS could strain or damage young people's eyes no news could have been worse for Nintendo. Few parents are going to shell out the money for a system that can hurt their kids and I am sure that the 3DS lost quite a few sales that way.
4. Lack of Differentiation – As much as you want to believe the 3DS is nothing like the DS, the fact remains that it is almost the same exact thing. Sure the 3DS adds something to an old machine but it doesn't do what it needs to do. Parents are going to look at this and tell their kids, “you already have one of those things” and not purchase the unit. Try explaining to a tight wallet wielding parent that they should buy this because it does 3D, to me that is a hard sell.
3. Speaking of 3D – Sure 3D is a fun new frontier in the TV / video game market but there are still a number of people that are either not sold on the technology or are waiting for the technology to improve to a better price and functionality. Either way people are hesitant to adopt new technologies right away and the 3DS hit the market before people were r
eady to take to 3D. Sony did things the right way by adding 3D support but not making it the selling point of the system. The Nintendo 3DS is banking on 3D and without it, its just a DS. Too soon Nintendo, too soon.
2. Lack of Games – A video game system is nothing without a strong library of games to play. Especially in the beginning when people aren't sure about the system, you need a few hits that are going to sell the system. The 3DS had a very weak line up of games and for that it took a beating. This starts a dangerous cycle that we are already seeing with the 3DS and that goes something like this. When a system doesn't sell, developers start cancelling games because they don't want to spend a ton of money on a game that won't be played and purchased by its users. When they cancel games it makes the system sell less due to the lack of games to play on it which leads to more games cancelled. We already learned that Megaman Legends 3, Assassins Creed: Lost Legacy, Saints Row: Drive-by have been cancelled and Shinobi and Crush3D have been put on hold along with many other titles. All in all, no games = no sales.
1. Price – You could sell the public an upgraded DS as long as it doesn't cost a ton of money and people would buy it. When you charge $250 for a handheld system, things get a little crazy and Nintendo learned that the hard way. Most people expect to pay just under $200 for a new handheld and this unit just goes above any beyond what it should be and people are telling Nintendo exactly what they think with their wallet. Nintendo is going to have to drop the price to get some movement on this and I would expect to see one in December for the holiday season. Until then I expect the 3DS to take a nose dive straight to the floor.