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Nintendo's Big-Screen 3DS XL Meets Lukewarm Reception

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the will-need-a-new-set-of-pants dept.

Nintendo 192

MojoKid writes "Nintendo took the wraps off its new, super-sized 3DS XL handheld on Friday, but reactions have been anything but enthusiastic. The new DS offers a larger set of screens (4.88 inches top / 4.18" bottom), better battery life, and will ship with a copy of New Super Marios 2 but it's launching into a very different market than what the original DS XL faced in 2009. The 3DS XL's battery improvements aren't just icing on the cake — they're seen as remedying a critical problem with the current handheld. It also won't support the second circle pad added by the Circle Pad Pro, which implies Nintendo is ready to kill that peripheral altogether. The other major problem is that a larger screen isn't really what the 3DS needed in order to be more successful."

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Um, New Super Mario? (0)

BenJCarter (902199) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435427)

Want that!

Re:Um, New Super Mario? (1, Flamebait)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435463)

Or you can just play an Old Super Mario, because they're basically the same thing.

Re:Um, New Super Mario? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435575)

The old stuff was good! The new stuff isn't. 1990's NES / GameBoy rocked. So was Sega's Game Gear (although if you didn't have a car charger... ouch). Nothing today compares to the games released in the 1990's. Man we had Wolfenstein 3D, Jetback (1993 DOS game), Nibbles (A version of snake- QBasic game that came with DOS 5+), and Super Mario (Gameboy/NES). Doom, Quake, and those that followed never excited me. I was the only kid who didn't play Quake or Doom. I went to a computer camp for many years and I'd be the ONLY one not playing in the entire camp during our free time. Ohh and there was one more I liked if only for the fact it pissed off conservative nut bags. Duke Nukem 3D for those who don't know contained "pornography". It was basically dead naked chicks hanging upside down or something like that. The quality was so bad that it was more humorous than disturbing. For god sake- this was the generation that was playing games where you killed Nazis. Back in those days even eight year olds weren't censored to death (except occasionally for maybe some movies). You could actually get into an R rated movie without an adult. Now you have the religious nuts telling parents they're bad parents if they let there kid see an R rated movie- and god forbid if we use our legal rights (as business owners) and let a kid into an R rated movie (you should see the shit storm that results). YES- the state can't force censorship on businesses to lock out children from purchasing R rated games/movies etc. Parents act as if it's not there responsibility to keep an eye on things (and telling a movie theater not to let there kid into an R rated movie is handing the responsibility over to others). My kid shouldn't be prevented from getting into an R rated film just because YOU are a nut case.

What happened? I mean. Why couldn't we have just stuck to 1990's style gaming. It was awesome. The graphics might not have been great although the games were awesome.

Re:Um, New Super Mario? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40436065)

Hipster alert.

Re:Um, New Super Mario? (2)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437161)

There IS something capturing about the games of 1990 era. Maybe it's that computers were sufficiently advanced, but not too powerful, which set just the right artistic bounds. Especially in the indie scene there is some works that go back to the experience, check out Resonance [gog.com] , for example. I hope that "simpler" 2D games and complex 3D worlds like Skyrim can coexist. :)

Re:Um, New Super Mario? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40437507)

No, you did not enjoy DN3D and get no excitement out of Doom or Quake.

Re:Um, New Super Mario? Yes it is "new"! (4, Insightful)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435647)

1st person shooters have done little to change despite a whole console (X360) dedicated to them. They change a few things and add levels; but THANKFULLY do not waste with redone themes and new cut scenes to disguise the rehash around a lame new movie plot.

Mario is THE platform game and all of the genre tries to achieve Mario's perfection. I am sure glad they don't make a "Mario: The yearly sequel" with video cut scenes from a plot book, "edgier" graphics, different enemies that all work the same, another kind of fireball which kills stuff the same, yet another tutorial level, and even more ironic realism.

Re:Um, New Super Mario? Yes it is "new"! (5, Informative)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435819)

I am sure glad they don't make a "Mario: The yearly sequel"

2007 - Super Mario Galaxy
2009 - New Super Mario Bros. Wii
2010 - Super Mario Galaxy 2
2010 - Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition
2011 - Super Mario 3D Land
2012 - New Super Mario Bros. 2
2012 - New Super Mario Bros. U

Re:Um, New Super Mario? Yes it is "new"! (4, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435987)

They've been pimping Mario harder than usual lately, but really they have done a fine job of keeping it fresh until the last year. Even SMG2 (the most direct Mario sequel in years) did a great job improving on SMG1's concepts and exploiting what worked well. Rather than feeling like a rehash Nintendo made it feel like the game SMG1 should have been from the start, and consequently it's still the gold standard for 3D platformers.

Now the new renditions of New Super Mario Bros. on the other hand may be where the wheels start to come off. So far Nintendo hasn't shown that the new games are a great deal different than their predecessors; they don't do a good job showing off the capabilities of their new hardware, and if anything it looks like both games will be easier than NSMB Wii. At the same time Ubisoft has shown a shocking knack for 2D platformers with Rayman: Origins, which means for the first time in a long while a good platformer is available on a non-Nintendo console.

Re:Um, New Super Mario? Yes it is "new"! (4, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436079)

You're mixing 2D platformers, 3D platformers, and rereleases in there.

And, I think bussdriver meant "Yearly releases" as it is typically used with games like call of duty: there's little to no difference between releases. Super mario galaxy and new super mario bros are completely different games.

Re:Um, New Super Mario? Yes it is "new"! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40436131)

Yeah, but they're both...you know...stupid fucking Mario games.

Re:Um, New Super Mario? Yes it is "new"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40436439)

I don't feel this changes anything (well, maybe mario 25th, which wasn't promoted so hard). They're all the hyped annual releases of a Mario platform game.

Re:Um, New Super Mario? Yes it is "new"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40436421)

These aren't sequels, there are a few different games in there - that just happen to have the same lead protagonist (Mario). Mind you there are a LOT of Mario games missing from your list. But really, what a list of great games!

There will be a hardcore (a quite large hardcore) who'll buy the Wii U just to play Mario. Yes, I'm in that queue.

Re:Um, New Super Mario? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435673)

Or you can just play an Old Super Mario, because they're basically the same thing.

I have a version of mario bros where they have a brown skin tone. It's called afro mario bros. Not a joke.

Inclusive!

Re:Um, New Super what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435497)

Lol,

Let's face it. In the age of the touchscreen tablet, this rehash by Nintendo looks like something only the 10-yr old and under crowd would find acceptable, notwithstanding the cheapskate faithful addict market sector.

At this point you couldn't pay me to own one of these things unless the software was free.

I've got it! A new model for a dying industry. Let the advertisers embedded their messages and logos in the background of give-away software on dying platforms! At least then you'll be able to point out to your grandchildren that you were around when this old junk was first on the market, and they'll actually know what you're talking about cuz these things will still be in the pawnshops.

Re:Um, New Super what? (3, Interesting)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436261)

Let's face it. In the age of the touchscreen tablet, this rehash by Nintendo looks like something only the 10-yr old and under crowd would find acceptable, notwithstanding the cheapskate faithful addict market sector.

The trouble with touchscreen gaming is that it does not suit games that require a controller. The virtual d-pad is too finicky and is no replacement for real buttons (IMHO). I will happily play games that require the touchscreen or gyroscope on my iPhone, but I will jump back on my DS Lite for platformers.

The thing that stops me from getting a 3DS is the region coding. I don't want to have to even think about where I am buying something from when I am shopping online.

No sense of feel, like the Intellivision II (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437097)

The trouble with touchscreen gaming is that it does not suit games that require a controller.

I agree. The problem is that the player can't feel where his finger is relative to each button. This has been a problem since the Intellivision II [wikipedia.org] got rid of the bumps on its keypad.

I will happily play games that require the touchscreen or gyroscope on my iPhone, but I will jump back on my DS Lite for platformers.

So to which platform should an indie developer port a platformer that has been developed for the PC? Or are platformers a genre for major labels only?

Re:No sense of feel, like the Intellivision II (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437563)

So to which platform should an indie developer port a platformer that has been developed for the PC?

All of them. Or more accurately as many as you can.

Or are platformers a genre for major labels only?

No, but if you want to publish it, it would help if one was an already established developer. Many of those so-called "indie" dev houses did JME games before they did their big hit. As i've told you, the easiest way to break in the industry will be to work for an already established company. If you don't want to do that, just give it up already.

Re:No sense of feel, like the Intellivision II (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437813)

As i've told you, the easiest way to break in the industry will be to work for an already established company.

I'm slowly trying to take you up on this. What are already established companies (the kind that are likely to be 3DS licensees) looking for in a candidate's resume and portfolio?

Re:Um, New Super what? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437961)

Which is one reason I'm actually interested in Microsoft Surface. Apparently it's going to have a USB port and support XBox controllers. Could open up a whole new realm of mobile gaming. All these tablets and phones support bluetooth, so it would be trivial to have a bluetooth gamepad. I don't know why there isn't more support for a simple controller that snaps onto your phone that allows you to play games. I know there's a couple that exist, but they seem to be expensive, and none of them have really gained much traction.

What the3DS needed... (1, Flamebait)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435487)

... in order to be more successful was for the iPad never to have been invented.

Re:What the3DS needed... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435589)

... in order to be more successful was for the iPad never to have been invented.

Wrong market.

Portable game systems are generally aimed at younger audiences and are built for immersion. The games tend to qualify as "games" rather than "time wasters", the sort of stuff you get on the app store doesn't compare to full RPGs or platformers with 20-60 hours of play.

The 3DS' problem was, and is, that it sucks. The 3D is not a big enough gimmick to make people want to leave their almost-the-same DS behind. Nintendo sold a butt-ton of DS consoles, the 3DS has better CPU/GPU/RAM but the crap battery life and price hurt that badly. Nintendo should have just come up with something new instead of riding the 3DTV bandwagon, they're at their best (Wii) when they stop playing follow the leader.

Re:What the3DS needed... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435665)

Wrong. They're constantly coming up with useless gimmicks to justify a console with no 3rd party games and 1st party games that are all basically the same. This gimmick just ended up not catching on the way that gimmick did.

Re:What the3DS needed... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435723)

It always fascinates me how people dismiss any game/system they don't like as being for younger audiences.

If you've ever spent much time on a mass transit system since the DS came out, you'd notice they were very popular with commuters. Less so now that everyone has a smartphone, but they're still popular.

Also, you might want to pay more attention to how things are selling. 3DS sales started going up after the price drop, then went up even faster once Nintendo started releasing more games for it. So far, it's been selling at a faster pace than the original DS did. The fact that they're bringing a second model to market that's aimed at a niche audience should tell you that it's selling rather well.

Big auto and big oil killed mass transit (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437131)

It always fascinates me how people dismiss any game/system they don't like as being for younger audiences.

Smartphones are for people who can pay a smartphone's monthly bill. Kids in grade school can't.

If you've ever spent much time on a mass transit system since the DS came out

Slashdot is operated from the United States. The United States relies much less on mass transit than some other countries do, and that's because GM, big oil, and a couple tire companies bought the mass transit industry to kill it [cracked.com] . GM was convicted of conspiracy but got only a $5,000 slap on the wrist.

Re:What the3DS needed... (1)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436989)

Portable game systems are generally aimed at younger audiences and are built for immersion.

And that is the problem. Mommies or daddies who have already bought an iDevice for their little brats or darlings are less likely to buy them an additional gadget just to play Pokemon and fat plumber [wikipedia.org] . To a 'tween or teen, the difference between a dedicated handheld gaming device and a tablet or a smartphone is great, but to Mom and Pop it's just another "time waster" to Junior who's already too busy texting or network-socializing to do his homework.

Makers of handheld consoles should also look at the collapse in the market for dedicated Mp3 players. Just as the iPhone cannibalized the sales of the iPod, smartphones will eat into the market for handheld consoles. Full consoles like the XBox have a much better chance of weathering this gadget convergence since they offer the potential for a grander and more immersive experience.

How do you count the iPod touch? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437157)

Makers of handheld consoles should also look at the collapse in the market for dedicated Mp3 players. Just as the iPhone cannibalized the sales of the iPod

In this case, are you counting the iPod touch as an iPod or as the 3.5" Wi-Fi tablet that it is?

smartphones will eat into the market for handheld consoles.

Multitouch smartphones like the iPhone and PDAs like the iPod touch have the same problem as the Intellivision II: you can't feel where your thumbs are on the screen.

Re:How do you count the iPod touch? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437627)

You can get controllers that solve that. They hold the phone in a mount. Far cheaper than buying another gaming device.

Re:What the3DS needed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40437737)

20-60 hours sounds like a lot of "time wasting" to me...

Re:What the3DS needed... (1)

eennaarbrak (1089393) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437793)

Nintendo sold a butt-ton of DS consoles, the 3DS has better CPU/GPU/RAM but the crap battery life and price hurt that badly

And yet the 3DS is ahead of the DS curve in terms of unit solds since date of release (albeit only after lowering the price to non-profit levels).

they're at their best (Wii) when they stop playing follow the leader.

which is a difficult feat, since they *are* the mobile gaming leader (for the moment, anyway).

From a game developer's point of view, the big incentive in the mobile space is that they can produce games at sub-AAA budgets, but sell them at equivalent $$$'s. On the iPad, no one is willing to buy a game for more than $10. On the home consoles, you have bigger potential profits due to the amount of games sold, so you have to invest more in order to compete with the big guys.

In the mobile space, you want games with cheaper development cost, but the same profit margin.

And that is where, I think, the 3DS will beat the Vita. Counter-intuitively, the lower specs of the 3ds means that consumers demand less spectacular graphics (which translates into less $$$ investment from developers). The Vita, I predict, will mostly get dumbed-down ports from AAA-budget games, while the 3DS will get more games developed specifically for the platform.

Re:What the3DS needed... (5, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435591)

Don't you mean Surface. Because that is going to totally steamroll the iPad.

Well, once they ship it.

Might take until they ship the second rev of the hardware, and the first service pack. But then, it's game over. Everything else will just be gone. PlayStations. Recycling bin. Wii's just wee in the corner. iPads (only the new ones) will be torn apart so their screen can be reused as an external monitor for the Surface. iPhones will be skipping rocks. Hell, desktops and laptops are done too, because the Surface can do it all. No compromises. Except for the small screen, no cellular wireless, keyboard you may have some issues typing with. But you'll still be able to run your DOS apps!

Re:What the3DS needed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435649)

Don't you mean Surface. Because that is going to totally steamroll the iPad.

Well, once they ship it.

Might take until they ship the second rev of the hardware, and the first service pack. But then, it's game over. Everything else will just be gone. PlayStations. Recycling bin. Wii's just wee in the corner. iPads (only the new ones) will be torn apart so their screen can be reused as an external monitor for the Surface. iPhones will be skipping rocks. Hell, desktops and laptops are done too, because the Surface can do it all. No compromises. Except for the small screen, no cellular wireless, keyboard you may have some issues typing with. But you'll still be able to run your DOS apps!

Judging by your post, I'm sure you can answer this question for me: what do paint chips taste like?

Re:What the3DS needed... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435855)

You mean wall candy?

Re:What the3DS needed... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435779)

Actually, you won't be able to run your DOS apps. ARM Windows 8 gets no backward compatibility, thus making it the most pointless OS ever since WebOS.

Re:What the3DS needed... (4, Informative)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436007)

and that children is why we invented dosbox

Re:What the3DS needed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40436911)

which ran on my fucking nokia N95 phone, 5 years ago.

no need for the surface to do that.

Re:What the3DS needed... (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436915)

Which also won't run on ARM Windows 8.

Why won't RT run a port of DOSBox? (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437191)

DOSBox is a full emulator, not a virtualizer like Wine, and runs on any platform that can run native code. Windows RT will run native code as long as it's either from the Windows Store or installed using a developer key. Microsoft provides these keys free of additional charge, unlike Apple and definitely unlike Nintendo.

Re:What the3DS needed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40437193)

It shouldn't be entirely impossible to port - metro in WinRT allows you to program in some C++ subset, you've got DirectX, and I believe dosbox can work as a CPU emulator (so being ARM isn't in itself a problem). Looks like a lot of work, though.

Oh, and I wouldn't be surprised if it runs into some app store policy issue.

Re:What the3DS needed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435815)

Don't you mean Surface. Because that is going to totally steamroll the iPad.

Yeahhh, sure, just like the Zune displaced the iPod to become the number one personal media player....

Re:What the3DS needed... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435835)

Dammit, must not post on /. before fully awake...I did not spot the sarcasm davester666 until after I hit the submit button, I'll drag myself out the back and shoot myself right away...

Only lockdown keeps DOS apps off Wii (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437203)

Except for the small screen, no cellular wireless

Cellular comes with a fairly hefty monthly bill, making it a luxury that a lot of people in the North American market (which makes up three-fourths of the developed anglophone world) still can't afford. That's why the base model iPad, the base model iPhone (called the iPod touch), and the base model PS Vita still come without cellular.

Wii's just wee in the corner. [...] But you'll still be able to run your DOS apps!

If it weren't for Nintendo's lockdown, Wii would be able to run DOS apps too. There's a DOS PC emulator that can run on a jailbroken Wii [wiibrew.org] .

Re:What the3DS needed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40437741)

Why the fuck do I want cellular on a fucking console, I have a MiFi to do that job for all the devices I carry, most people can just share the cellular they already have built into their phone if they need it, it is fucking stupid to have it built it to every fucking portable device, and will remain so until the networks let us have multiple cellular devices on a single contract for a reasonable price.

Re:What the3DS needed... (4, Insightful)

hairyfish (1653411) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435625)

Contrary to the Apple Fanboy mantra, the iPad is not the be-all and end-all of everything electronic. Any gamer will tell you that there is no substitute for tactile buttons. Sure touch screens and motion sensors have their place, but when you want quick and responsive interaction, you can't go past physical buttons.

Re:What the3DS needed... (4, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435725)

Contrary to the Apple Fanboy mantra, the iPad is not the be-all and end-all of everything electronic. Any gamer will tell you that there is no substitute for tactile buttons. Sure touch screens and motion sensors have their place, but when you want quick and responsive interaction, you can't go past physical buttons.

Yes, but you can download games using the App Store, and have a 10" screen to play them... oh, and games cost $.99 or maybe $5. A "real gamer" might shy from it, but for every "real gamer" there's 10x casual games. Sad thing is, Nintendo envisioned this back in 2007 with their Wii - not built to satsify hardcore gamers, but great at a party.

Nintendo's (and Sony's) mobile gaming market has be severely disrupted in both price and technology. Yes, a $30 Zelda game is probably a great game, but is it really 30x more fun than Angry Birds on a large iPad display? That's not even covering those freemium role playing games where you can pay $0 and spend hours enjoyably - again, on a much larger screen than the DS.

Re:What the3DS needed... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435799)

As someone who played every Zelda and every Final Fantasy out there, I must say that yes, they are 30x more fun than Angry Birds and any free/freemium/5$ RPG I found on the app market.

Indeed (4, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436679)

What Final Fantasy 3DS game?

The 3DS sadly showed Nintendo did not quite get their own market.

The DSi XL was brilliant. Going to a tiny low res 3d screen after that felt insane. It is not just that 3D wasn;t as big a thing as some thought, the screen itself was pants especially compared to the DSi XL screen.

And right now, the new 3DS XL just seems very very low rez. The phone and tablet markets are in a pixel race and nintendo ain't even competing at the bottom. 400 x 240 is the resolution for the top (3D) screen. Back when Nokia still rules the phone market, they already considered this low. Very low. With retina displays and full HD phones out, this just looks BAD. REALLY REALLY bad. If anyone dared to launch a phone with such a screen they would be laughed out of the market even if they offered to pay you to use it.

And Nintendo not only expects you to pay but pay through the nose. The gap between other platforms and the Nintendo handheld has just kept on increasing, partly because the competition has leaped ahead while Nintendo has sat still.

The same issue is true with the Wii, when it launched, HD screens were not that widespread yet, but nowadays, they are and boy do the Wii graphics look bad. Some of the games are good but the graphics really hurt your eyes if they are played on a larger screen.

And the 3DS XL is just that, a bigger screen, the original 3DS games were already pixelated to hell and back, now they just increased the size of the pixels when everyone else has been making them smaller.

There is a limit to how low budget you can make your hardware and software look and still charge premium prices for it. See the mockups people made for the 3DS and how the final product turned out. Gosh, people sure were wrong weren't they... or maybe it was Nintendo who was wrong.

Markets move on. Nintendo hasn't.

Re:Indeed (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437895)

The same issue is true with the Wii, when it launched, HD screens were not that widespread yet, but nowadays, they are and boy do the Wii graphics look bad. Some of the games are good but the graphics really hurt your eyes if they are played on a larger screen.

Nice hyperbole, there.

Unless you're a HD fanboy, there's nothing wrong with the Wii's graphics. Of course, if you play them on a crappy LCD HDTV that's bad at upscaling, the image will look like it's smeared with vaseline, but that's not the Wii's fault.

Re:What the3DS needed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40436939)

Though there are some brilliant games on iOS too, such as Final Fantasy, Ghost Trick, Phoenix Wright, Hector: Badge of Carnage, and so on. Some of them are premium priced — but that's premium for iOS, so $10 or $15 rather than $30.

Re:What the3DS needed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435817)

By default then, MS should win at gaming then with SmartGlass that puts your games anywhere, with a huge range of mobile and core Directx driven titles in the next year or so.... Nah, stick with my Vita thanks, http://psp2roundup.blogspot.co.uk/

Re:What the3DS needed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40436117)

Gremlins 2 costs $20, but Troll 2 only costs $2. I think we all know which one cost-conscious parents will choose.

Re:What the3DS needed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40437839)

Depends on how smart the parent is. One $20 game a child plays all the time is much better value than ten $2 games the child only plays once.

Re:What the3DS needed... (2)

WaffleMonster (969671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436209)

Nintendo's (and Sony's) mobile gaming market has be severely disrupted in both price and technology. Yes, a $30 Zelda game is probably a great game, but is it really 30x more fun than Angry Birds on a large iPad display? That's not even covering those freemium role playing games where you can pay $0 and spend hours enjoyably - again, on a much larger screen than the DS.

YES. Given the cost of the platforms I would gladly pay $30-60 for games that didn't take someone sitting in their moms basement a week to make.

The wario slingshot touch screen bomb defender mini game included with mario 64 port to the DS is a heck of a lot more fun to play than angry birds ever was.

again, on a much larger screen than the DS.

If size matters the xbox on the jumbotron in my living room is lightyears ahead of the iP****

Not even worth $0.99 if you miss the buttons (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437227)

when you want quick and responsive interaction, you can't go past physical buttons.

Yes, but you can download games using the App Store, and have a 10" screen to play them... oh, and games cost $.99

How are games worth even $0.99 if you're missing the on-screen buttons all the time because you can't even feel where they are relative to your thumbs? Consoles with a flat keypad [wikipedia.org] are probably part of why the market crashed in 1983.

Re:Not even worth $0.99 if you miss the buttons (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437653)

Consoles with a flat keypad are probably part of why the market crashed in 1983.

No it wasn't. The crash of 83-84 was simply do to everyone and their dog thinking they could make a video game for the 2600 given a single programmer and a month and thinking the game would be any good. Then customers getting burned by too many crap shovelware games and not buying.

Re:What the3DS needed... (5, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436147)

No, but its certainly enough to hurt Nintendo(and to a lesser extent Sony) by attacking 2 of their key markets, retro and casual games.

First look at Retro, Square has actually been doing a lot of pioneering in this territory. All their FF famicom games have already been released for iOS(and most if not all for Android IIRC), and FF Tactics seems to be doing pretty well as well. Now RPGs are more suited to touchscreens as you dont necessarily need to react to everything in real time, but a lot of companies are having success releasing retro games for portables.

The other, perhaps for Nintendo even more important market segment is casual games, esp. those for adults. The DS was able to mop the floor with the PSP in terms of total units shipped largely because they appealed to the casual gamer, but the casual gamer is moving in droves to cell phones, largely because for them its one less thing to carry.

Cell phones will never be a complete replacement for consoles, but they can still do a lot of damage to the portable market..... While this generation of portables is still quite young, it will be interesting to see if Sony's play for the more hardcore portable gamer ends up paying off as that kind of gamer is much less apt to choose a cell phone over a console.

How do platformers work on touch screens? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437283)

a lot of companies are having success releasing retro games for portables.

How does that work in cases of retro games with more twitch play, which are the polar opposite of the more touch-friendly RPGs you mentioned? When you're directly controlling a character, such as in a platformer, you have to be able to hit the right on-screen button blind, and touch screens have historically been bad at that because they have no bumps.

the casual gamer is moving in droves to cell phones, largely because for them its one less thing to carry.

But do they buy one cell phone over another because of available games or because of another factor? I bought my dumbphone over a smartphone because smartphone plans cost $35 per month while mine costs $5 per month. It's cheaper to carry more devices.

Re:How do platformers work on touch screens? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437671)

But do they buy one cell phone over another because of available games or because of another factor?

Almost always another factor, games are a bonus, not the function of the device.

I bought my dumbphone over a smartphone because smartphone plans cost $35 per month while mine costs $5 per month. It's cheaper to carry more devices.

Yes, but you are not the "average person".and don't realize how much of an outlier you are.

Average-ism (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437753)

If only the "average person" needed catered to, there would be no need for product differentiation.

Re:What the3DS needed... (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436923)

Unfortunately for Nintendo, the DS was also popular with groups like commuters on the subway. Those people have all migrated over to tablets and smartphones, and they're not coming back.

Turns out they like the convenience of having one device and the huge selection of games at low prices more then they like gimmicky 3D with no battery life. Go figure.

Comfort? (4, Insightful)

TriezGamer (861238) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435501)

My biggest issue with existing handhelds is the size. Sony's PSP and Nintendo's offerings have always been designed primarily for a Japanese market. As a result, my hamfisted hands can never hold one of these things comfortably, and even moderate duration play sessions cramp the hell out of my hands. With a larger overall size to the device, I'm hoping it will be significantly more comfortable.

Re:Comfort? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435565)

I agree wholeheartedly. I don't use my 3DS the majority of the time because of the form factor. The DS XL is far more tolerable.

Re:Comfort? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435671)

Think more "kids" than "Japanese." Even Caucasian kids tend to have smaller hands than Asian adults. In Japan, a prevailing opinion is that this XL is aimed mainly towards the middled-aged and older, who might be attracted to the certain classes of 3DS games ("brain exercises," SNS-like games, and games they can play with their kids or grandkids) but whose eyes just aren't good enough anymore.

Re:Comfort? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435683)

My biggest issue with existing handhelds is the size. Sony's PSP and Nintendo's offerings have always been designed primarily for a Japanese market. As a result, my hamfisted hands can never hold one of these things comfortably, and even moderate duration play sessions cramp the hell out of my hands. With a larger overall size to the device, I'm hoping it will be significantly more comfortable.

I guess any references to "lard" would be insensitive. Sooo ... you want a "Plus Size"/"Full Figure" version?

Or a PSP Of Dexterity+1?

Re:Comfort? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435773)

One thing that helps with this problem ... The Nerf cases they increase the bulk of the DSes so that they are more comfortable.

Re:Comfort? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435785)

They generally design for small to average sized hands. It's ok to admit you have big hands. Part of the target market of the XL models is people who have big hands, so you should be good.

Re:Comfort? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435821)

Which is exactly why Microsoft needs to grow some balls and release a portable gaming device for the large-handed, fat Americans.

Re:Comfort? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40436155)

My biggest issue with existing handhelds is the size. Sony's PSP and Nintendo's offerings have always been designed primarily for a Japanese market. As a result, my hamfisted hands can never hold one of these things comfortably, and even moderate duration play sessions cramp the hell out of my hands. With a larger overall size to the device, I'm hoping it will be significantly more comfortable.

Bingo. I briefly owned a Nintendo DS. Bought Mario Kart the same day. Gave the whole thing to a nephew a week later. Because they didn't let you change the button layout, and their choice for the gas/brake/item use buttons made me have to contort my hands into a position where they cramped up horribly within a few minutes. I won't ever buy another Nintendo hand-held again. I ran into similar issues with controls on the Wii- either cramped hands or sore shoulders/wrists from how I had to hold it... never had any issues with the gamecube controller.

Seeya Nintendo, it was a good run you had but you've always been more about marketing gimmicks than substance, and they just aren't enough to compete with the Big Boys anymore.

Re:Comfort? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40436179)

Not just 'Japanese' hands, but kids' hands. These have to work for children, their primary market.

What you need is make a butterfly-backpanel that velcros onto the unit. That'll put the corners into your palms, and then fold up for travel.

Re:Comfort? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437647)

I don't see the problem. The DS is still bigger than an SNES pad. Works fine in my western european man hands.

actually i was waiting for a larger screen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435513)

I always liked how DS games play like an old 90s SNES games but the screen is too damn small and then when the 3DS was smaller than the DSi XL there was no way I was going to buy one. Now that they finally made it a decent size I really might buy one. I just wish Nintendo would lighten up and allow indie developers to get in their app store because I would love to be able to make a game for it! I haven't own a console since PS1 but I really think I could go for a 3DS XL.

lol (0)

diyosatou (2643937) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435653)

cool.. looking forward to it ^^

Nintendo Doubling Down? (2)

mentil (1748130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435703)

In forums it seems everyone wanted the 3DS Lite, with better battery life and form-factor, ideally with built-in second circle pad.
Nintendo hasn't announced how much better the battery life of the 3DS XL is compared to the original, just that it's 'better'. Better than the available aftermarket batteries?
The XL is now arguably too large to fit in a pocket. This is crucial, since once you get past 'pocket size' you have less reason not to go with a PS Vita or a tablet.

The larger size makes touch controls easier to nail, especially with the finger, which is useful for some games. Deemphasizing the circle pad pro is probably due to the games utilizing it mostly being shooters, and they don't want it to become a 'shooter system'. The people who buy a system for shooters would get a PS Vita, and trying to compete toe-to-toe with the Vita could be a big problem (the original PSP sold well but its games were mostly in different styles/genres from what the DS had.) In other words, market differentiation.

Something I was hoping for from a redesign would be better viewing angle for the 3d effect, as you have to look at it pretty head-on or else you lose the effect -- not good considering the system utilizes gyroscopes and cameras in games that require you to move the system around. And if you're on a bus or something, (I speculate) you'd lose the effect as you bounce around.

I see this as a move to give them an excuse to sell the system at a (probably profitable) $200.

Re:Nintendo Doubling Down? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435843)

Kids normally carry these things around in a carrying case with about 9 other games + accessories, battery charger, etc. That then goes inside their school bag. Whether or not it actually fits in a pocket is pretty trivial for 90% of users, so long as it's smaller than a netbook.

Nintendo as bad as Sega was with peripherals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435761)

I'm tired of them thinking they can roll out new devices as add-ons simply as games require them. Alternative input devices don't get good game support and so make suckers out of the people who buy them.
Like myself buying a classic controller because I thought at least 1st and 3rd person games would (of course) support the control scheme, but rarely did. Meanwhile, games that could make good use of such devices often opt to dumb-down their controls to accommodate the wiimote and nunchuck so if they do make the controller option available, it's clunky and useless.
Circle Pad Pro? Sounds like exactly what the 3DS was missing and of course it's gonna be dead the first time I'm even hearing of it on.

They should SHIP with all the features they know they need to enable developers to make their platform competitive.

Kill the Circle Pad Pro, :/ (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40435833)

Where did Nintendo say that?
Kill the Circle Pad Pro

No no, they'll just make one for the XL.

It's not a NEW device, it's the OLD device with a larger screen and battery. Nintendo can't add anything to it that wasn't in the original device without breaking backwards compatibility. Has any popular console ever done so? Nope.

Anyone who thought they would make the circle pad pro part of the device is sorely stupid and need a reality check. Features disappear from revisions, never added. Check the PS3. Loss of features. Same with the Xbox 360 to the S model, the Kinect wasn't automatically included with all new models. Derp derp.

Back-compat (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437333)

Nintendo can't add anything to it that wasn't in the original device without breaking backwards compatibility.

I beg to differ. Nintendo added color and extra RAM to the Game Boy Color, yet it played Game Boy games. Nintendo added a bigger screen, a 32-bit CPU, SNES-style PPU, and more RAM to the Game Boy Advance, yet it played Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. Nintendo enlarged the screen, added a second, and added more buttons to the Nintendo DS, yet it played Game Boy Advance games. Nintendo added more RAM and a USB/Bluetooth chip to the Wii, yet it played GameCube games. Nintendo added the first Circle Pad to the 3DS and enlarged the screens again, yet it played DS games.

Summing Up The 3DS (5, Interesting)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435925)

As someone who does a lot of handheld gaming (need something to do on those long business trips...) I'm in complete agreement with TFA for once. They're spot on in summing up the 3DS's current shortfalls.

The 3DS really made two cardinal sins that are going to be difficult for Nintendo to correct for. The first was that Nintendo jumped on the 3D bandwagon at a great financial and technical cost. That autostereoscopic screen is really expensive to manufacture, and it's the single biggest power hog on the 3DS (it needs a very strong backlight). As a result it's also the primary reason for the 3DS's terribly unportable battery life of 3-5 hours.

The second sin was of course the control scheme. Actually, having one circle pad wasn't the problem; the problem was that Nintendo then went and designed their flagship 3DS title (Kid Icarus) around a convoluted control scheme that all but requires a stand in order to allow the user to use the one circle pad, the stylus, and the buttons at the same time. Consequently everyone who picks up Kid Icarus quickly comes to the same realization: this would be so much easier with two circle pads.

If Nintendo had gone in a different direction with Kid Icarus so that it worked well with the 3DS in your hands, no one would be the wiser. Instead by releasing a game with poor controls they've drawn attention to their own control deficiencies. Ultimately as a 2011 product they probably should have just done two circle pads in the first place, but really no one would have noticed or cared if their first party games had worked well with the one pad. Essentially they created the problem where there previously wasn't one.

Furthermore the 3DS XL can't really solve any of these problems, all it can do is exchange them for new ones. The larger battery improves the battery life for example, but now the console is oversized and unpocketable, and the pixel density becomes very poor. Nor does it do anything about the control problems, if not making them a bit worse since a Circle Pad Pro hasn't been announced for the XL. The only problem the 3DS XL really solves is the same problem the DSi XL solved: it allows Nintendo to go after the niche market of people who find the pocketable form factor too small to use (primarily the older generations with their poor eyesight and muscle control).

If Nintendo really wanted to fix the 3DS they could, but it would be painful and I can't blame them for not wanting to do it. They'd have to release a 2DS with a traditional (non-autostereoscopic) screen and a second circle pad. The former would solve the battery life issue, and the latter would solve the control issue. The problem with this being that besides the reputation hit they would take, it would also mean that current 3DS owners would be forced to buy the Circle Pad Pro, which would not go over well with what's effectively a budget market.

In the meantime the 3DS and 3DS XL are sitting on top of a dysfunctional mobile gaming market. Cell phone games suck because of control issues and the limited development resources that $0.99 can buy, the old DS is getting very long in the tooth, and the Vita - though the most traditional and sane of the current generation handhelds - is expensive and unpocketably large. No one seems to be capable of offering what the market has traditionally wanted: a cheap, pocketable device with good controls and the battery life to last through a transcontinental flight.

Re:Summing Up The 3DS (1, Insightful)

arose (644256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436077)

I don't think they as much jumped on the bandwagon as tried to steer it in a better direction. Sony will sell you an expensive new TV with the same old shutter glasses that didn't work last time, that's jumping on the bandwagon. Nintendo actually managed to make the 3D part nice, which is not something I can say about any other mass marked 3D tech, however I agree that it was unwise to let it come at the cost of battery life. Maybe next time Nintendo, for now I have Skywards Sword and more games then I could possibly go through on the DS.

Re:Summing Up The 3DS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40436297)

As a result it's also the primary reason for the 3DS's terribly unportable battery life of 3-5 hours.

You mean the same battery life you get out of an iPhone if you're using it to play games? Oh wait, it's Apple, 5 hours are enough for that.

Re:Summing Up The 3DS (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436925)

Yes, the same exact crappy battery life. Which is reason #3 why smartphones make for poor handheld gaming devices, right behind the lack of control options and the limited quality afforded by $0.99 games.

Re:Summing Up The 3DS (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436845)

5 hours is fine for a portable gaming device, if you recharge it every day or two, depending on how much you use it. If you've got time to game for over 5 hours a day then you'll probably be in a place you can be on the console or recharge the handheld device whilst playing.

The larger screens and better spaced controls on this XL variant will fit into western hands far better than the previous iteration.

In the end however it comes down to cost. $199 is better than the launch price, but it is still a lot. Also the hardware isn't very powerful compared to smartphones and competitors.

Re:Summing Up The 3DS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40437235)

If you've got time to game for over 5 hours a day then you'll probably be in a place you can be on the console or recharge the handheld device whilst playing.

Like an international flight or long bus/train ride?

Nintendo great producer of PLASTIC crap. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40436051)

vita like the PS3 are both much better than any nintendo products, especially the non-kiddy games.
not enough kids are born in europe to support that, sorry, America IS OVER... (no product you can afford...)

Re:Nintendo great producer of PLASTIC crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40436525)

Thanks for the insightful testimony. Fucking fanboys. Is it possible to have a rational discussion without at least one person piping up and shouting "OMG NINTENDO SUCKS! MORE LIKE GAYTENDO! PS3 ROOOOOOOLZ"

Re:Nintendo great producer of PLASTIC crap. (1)

FunPika (1551249) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436665)

And even worse the GP was modded +1 informative.

One more perk (for european players) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40436291)

The market has shifted (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436955)

The reality for the 3DS is that the market shifted. A lot of DS's were sold to "casuals". Those people are discovering in droves that their phone also does gaming, and for many of them that's good enough. It's convenient & cheap. Nintendo has no answer for those people since they so steadfastly refuse to make games for other platforms (ie: the hardware people actually have).

Instead they're trying to make people pay a Nintendo hardware tax to play first party games on the 3DS, which is really all it's good for. They've only been moderately successful doing that, because when the price was high enough to make money nobody was buying. Now they're moving units, at a loss. All that for some gimmicky 3D tacked onto what is otherwise a really unimpressive piece of hardware. Yay?

The Wii U Is just more of the same. Pay money for Nintendo hardware because that's where Nintendo's game developers are shackled to. It's a shame, their game developers are some of the best around and I'd love to see what they could do on better hardware. I've had enough though, and I'm not paying the NIntendo hardware tax anymore. If they don't want to make games for hardware that I already have, then I'll buy games from the people who will instead.

Re:The market has shifted (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437655)

We bought our kids an iPod Touch instead of a Nintendo 3DS last Christmas and it was a good decision. The iPod has lots and lots of free and very cheap games and no cartridges to lose or break. Plus the iPod does a lot more. If you want to play Mario, you have to buy Nintendo's hardware, otherwise I think there are much better alternatives out there, especially for children.

Up until that point, we have been spending lots of money on Nintendo stuff. Since then, nothing.

As much as people like to complain about Apple's tightly controlled environment, they are anarchists compared to Nintendo.

Nintendo fails to see the point...again. (1)

windcask (1795642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436985)

Nintendo, no one wants to carry around a dedicated portable gaming console anymore, "3D" or otherwise. Can't you see that the future of portable gaming is on slate devices that are not made exclusively for gaming? Kids (and adult gamers) don't want to have to switch devices to check their Facebook and Twitter accounts, watch a movie, listen to music, etc. Either give us a slate to compete with the likes of the Galaxy, Xoom, iPad, etc. or GTF out of the way and start making games for said devices.

Not all genres work on a slate (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437369)

Can't you see that the future of portable gaming is on slate devices that are not made exclusively for gaming?

Platformers, fighting games, and games in other genres where players need to press buttons blind work poorly on a slate. Do you claim that those genres are dead?

Re:Nintendo fails to see the point...again. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437411)

I will agree with you for simple games. FPS and driving games SUCK on a tablet. no I dont want to tilt it, I want a zero lag controller. and buttons.

Re:Nintendo fails to see the point...again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40437449)

I certainly want to carry around a dedicated portable pocket-size gaming console.

Re:Nintendo fails to see the point...again. (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437619)

You aren't the majority, therefore your dollars don't count.

Re:Nintendo fails to see the point...again. (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437729)

Kids (and adult gamers) don't want to have to switch devices to check their Facebook and Twitter accounts, watch a movie, listen to music, etc.

in 2004 a company released, a portable gaming device that soon had a built in web browser, that had the ability to watch video and listen to music. Some Slashdot nerds said back then that the media ability was a waste and that it should have focused ONLY on games. So you're saying that the company involved, whos name might be Sony, and that the device which might be called the PSP, was a good idea all along?

Nintendo Fail (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437397)

My wife loved her DS, but since an ipad came into her life she has not touched it. I think that Nintendo really needs to knock it out of the park if they think they will survive in today's gaming world.

It was cute.... (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437605)

when Nintendo fixed the Game Boy Advance by releasing the SP. Then they immediately jumped the shark and now every game system they release has 15 (exaggerating for emphasis) revisions before the next console. I haven't bought a Nintento portable since the SP if that's any indication of how I feel on the situation.

Sony can go fuck themselves too, but at least they finally put a second stick on their portable.

great platform, no games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40437629)

I love the 3ds, as an owner of at least 6 handhelds. By far, the biggest issue for me has been the lack of content. I love that i can watch Netflix on it, that I can use WPA2, and that I can display games at high resolution when 3d is off. However, every time ilI go to the store looking for games, I only find the same few launch games plus a couple other titles.

The 3ds lacks that killer game. I own 3 3ds games (2 I bought, one i found on the ground), yet i still end up playing mostly DS games on it.

Where is Golden Sun, or an installment of FF/tactics, and why can't we get Monstet Hunter on it like the Japan version has?

I'll wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40437639)

I continue to be interested in the 3DS, just not enough to pay 170 or 200$ for one. Nintendo's tendency to overhaul their hardware doesn't help my indecisiveness seeing how I got burned on the original GBA with it's lack of backlighting only for them to release the smaller lighted version not too much later. Given that I'll wait until they ship an actually finished 3DS XL with two analog pads for 150$.

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