Recently, NOA president Reggie Fils-Aime spoke with Kotaku at E3, claiming that the two main problems holding back the Nintendo 3DS from global greatness were a lack of Nintendo franchise games and a lack of a functional web browser. He purports that these problems are being snuffed out, what with their shiny new eShop and debut of several Nintendo-branded titles earlier this month. He does not believe the 3DS was launched prematurely. Clearly, he’s delusional. And wrong.
Not about the 3DS in terms of its two biggest problems. A lackluster launch lineup did not do wonders for the system. All it would’ve taken was a single new Mario game, and those things would’ve been gobbled up doubly. Alas, we got things like this and this, and were forced to wait for good games to first be announced. So far, not much has come out, and while many are loving The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, it’s not exactly anything new to ogle. The lack of a web browser isn’t as huge of a cut as I suspect it is; if I have my 3DS on me, and I want to go on the Internet, chances are I’ll have an easier time on my phone or be able to find a laptop within minutes. Once I got the browser with the latest system update, I searched my way over to here to see what Grinding Down looked like on a tiny touchscreen. It’s okay, but the process was slow and clunky, and I probably will never use it again.
The online marketplace is welcoming, but not perfect. Why it–and the online browser–did not come ready to go with the 3DS back when it launched is mind-boggling. The fact that there was a button you could push for the browser which brought up a message like “The browser will be added at a later date” does an excellent job of fighting the fight against Reggie’s bizarre claim that the system did not launch prematurely, that this was exactly how they planned to do it all along. To, y’know, launch with weak games, no store, no online capabilities, strange friends list functionalities, and unclear plans for future growth. Sounds like quite a plan.
No surprise Reggie did not talk about the 3DS’ battery life. I guess in Nintendo’s eyes it’s not a problem, and the less it’s brought up, the less consumers will notice. That is until that red light starts blinking after a measly few hours of gaming. How is anyone supposed to watch a Netflix movie in 3D on this thing again? Curled up next to an electric socket, plugged in?
I have a 3DS. I do not love it, but I use it a little bit here and there, with its biggest gimmick always turned off in hopes of gaining an extra 15 minutes of battery life. The system has a lot of problems, and few fun titles to play on it, and the ones that seem like a good time are still many months away. It’s disheartening to see Nintendo’s lack of drive in making this system above and beyond the call of duty, but I guess that’s always been their stance in the industry: cool ideas and empty promises.