Tag Archives: 3DS

Nintendo 3DS gets a price slash, and 3DS Ambassadors get 20 free games

The Nintendo 3DS has not had a stellar ride so far, skirting the edge of failure and occasionally dancing with the promise of success. From its initial system launch in March 2011, the pricey handheld ($249.99) has had to compete with things like smartphones and internal delays of vital applications such as the eShop, Netflix, and video hub, and while it does have a working gimmick of offering “3D without the glasses,” it’s not been enough to push the system into everyone’s hands like the previous DS did.

Nintendo is looking to shake things up with a hefty price slash, dropping the Nintendo 3DS to $169.99 on August 12; this is probably the fastest I’ve seen a newly launched system drop in price, which says a lot. The company is scared and trying to hurry up and make the 3Ds shine a little more, and they now have everything else in place to make the 3DS more than just a gimmicky block of plastic; you can surf the Internet on it, watch 3D videos, take photos, stream movies, and play games.

But what about sucker-chumps like me that dropped $250 on launch day, with slim pickings like Pilotwings Resort and Nintendorabbits? What does a price cut ultimately do for us but create grumbling sounds in stomachs? Well, early adopters of the system are now coined 3DS Ambassadors, meaning they are special, prized, and worthy of free stuff. Hey, I like free stuff. Especially great free stuff.

First, 3DS Ambassadors will get 10 free Virtual Console games from the NES era, including Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Ice Climber, and The Legend of Zelda. The other five have not been announced. Additionally, they will also be treated to 10 free Game Boy Advance titles, including Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$, and Mario vs. Donkey Kong. Again, the other five have not been announced…but yowza, that’s already quite a gathering of freebies if ever there was one. And from what I’ve read, these GBA titles will not actually end up on the eShop, meaning they are exclusive to 3DS Ambassadors.

It’s unclear when these games will be available to 3DS Ambassadors; I’m guessing some short time after the August 12 price slash. Or maybe right before it? I dunno. More details to come, I’m sure. Really looking forward to the free titles as I was just complaining to Tara about my disappointment with the 3DS, my severe lack of caring for it thanks to the delays and cancellations of desired titles. This helps…a bit. I’m still not in love, but filling up my 3DS with tons of oldies, but goodies is a great start to a better relationship.

Ambassador, out!

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Reggie Fils-Aime has 99 problems, and the 3DS is one of ’em

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.

Check out my coverage of the first 30 minutes of Link’s Awakening

Hey! That Ocarina of Time game is being released again for like the seventh time today, now gracing the Nintendo 3DS with its legendariness and N64 graphics. I’m still unsure if I even care enough to want to check it out; more than likely, my second Big Name retail purchase for the 3DS is gonna be the next Animal Crossing title. Which, evidently, lets your character dress up like Link. Life’s a funny thing.

But another Zelda game was re-released in the last week or so, and that one I’ve actually played a bit. It’s called The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, and I covered the game’s first 30 minutes for The First Hour. CLICK THIS SENTENCE TO READ ABOUT ME FAILING TO REALIZE I COULD MOVE SEA URCHINS OUT OF THE WAY WITH THE SHIELD.

That was posted a few days ago, but I forgot to link to it. My bad. Yeah, Link’s Awakening is a lot of fun. Easy to pick up, easy to put down for a little break. The music, my gods…the music. I’ve progressed a little further too; now I’m trying to collect enough golden leaves to appease some dude who–I’m assuming–will help Link on his journey to make the world’s largest omelette. I’ve gotten four down, but still need one more. Hopefully I won’t have to resort to using a walkthrough, but the overworld map is pretty big, and Link–a.k.a. me–can get lost fairly quickly.

For some strange reason, Netflix is coming to the Nintendo 3DS

Let’s clear this up at the beginning: I’m a huge fan of Netflix, and I’ve only had the service for about two months now. It’s wonderful and stocked with stuff to watch, and Tara and I use it more for TV shows than actual movies, but it works when we need it, perfect for background noise, and I’ve yet to have any kind of problems streaming media. For the first month free and then $8.00 every month thereafter, it’s a strong package, hard not to want.

That said, the fact that, according to this report from Kotaku, Netflix is going to be available on the Nintendo 3DS makes me laugh. And not like “ha ha I’m so happy I’m giggling” but rather “ha ha did you see that idiot stick his tongue to the frozen pole hee.” Sure, portable Netflix sounds dreamy, but considering the weak battery life of the Nintendo 3DS, as well as the teeny tiny screens and limited audio (unless using headphones), I can’t see much use for it. Oh sure, it’s biggest billing for the 3DS will be streaming 3D programming, but considering one has to hold the device in such a precise manner to get the full 3D effect, would someone really want to hold it like so for 30 minutes? An hour? A twelve-hour Lord of the Rings marathon? Methinksnot.

Sorry, Netflix. You can just stay on my Xbox 360 for now.

Nintendo 3DS launch lineup launches itself into facepalmery

Launch lineups are pretty important. They are the weapons console systems wield to club consumers into submission. They are limelight dancers. They are reasons for being. And alas, for the Nintendo 3DS, the launch day titles are weak beyond belief, and all that hype over the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time remake, Starfox 64 3D, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Metal Gear Solid something or other, and a new Animal Crossing game were just that, hype. Sure, they’ll be released eventually, but so will every other great game being created. What matters currently is what is available at the time of purchase, and brace yourself, dear Grinding Down readers, it’s not looking good.

First, let me say that I’m 90% sure I’m going to pick up a Nintendo 3DS. I have a Christmas bonus burning a hole in my sock drawer, and I think that the updated hardware is gonna be great. There’s built-in minigames, a camera, a music thingy, a Street Pass function, Mii maker, and plenty more. I’ve been wanting to upgrade to a DSi for some time, but this is a much better jump. As a glasses-wearer, I’m also downright curious to see this 3D in action and love the fact that it can be turned off completely. Most likely…it will. As for the games I want to play on it come Day One, well…

Here’s the three from Nintendo itself, and yes, you’ll notice none of the titles contain the name Mario:

  • Pilotwings Resort – Set on the same tropical Wuhu Island from Wii Sports Resort, players go on an aerial adventure by using airplanes, hang gliders, and rocket belts.
  • Steel Diver – This is…a submarine game. Players will control the sub’s speed, depth, and pitch, as well as fire torpedoes at enemies.
  • Nintendogs + Cats – Pet sim. Now with bonus kitty action!

The rest of the launch titles for the Nintendo 3DS are third-party titles. See ’em here:

  • Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition from Capcom
  • The Sims 3 from EA
  • Madden NFL Football from EA Sports
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D from Konami Digital
  • LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars from LucasArts
  • Ridge Racer 3D from Namco Bandai Games
  • Super Monkey Ball 3D from SEGA
  • Bust-A-Move Universe from Square-Enix
  • Samurai Warriors: Chronicles from Tecmo Koei America
  • Asphalt 3D from Ubisoft
  • Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D from Ubisoft
  • Rayman 3D from Ubisoft
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars from Ubisoft

A lot of remakes and ported games. A lot of titles with 3D tacked on the end. Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D sounds like perfect shovelware, and I can already see a hundred copies floating in those Best Buy “hey, whatever, man” bins they got from time to time. Yeah, it’s all a bit underwhelming. Go ahead and sit there for a bit, I won’t mind. I wonder who at Nintendo dropped the (Super Monkey) ball (3D) on this one? Tsk tsk. I mean, all we, as gamers interested in gaming, needed was one strong title, whether it be a new Mario sidescroller or maybe a different take on Metroid or Kirby or, y’know, one of those mascots Nintendo has in its vaults. But no, we’re reduced to slim picking.

So, which game am I gonna get to make my Nintendo 3DS even more enjoyable?

YOU WANT BREAD? NO GAME FOR YOU! NEXT!

I’ll just wait it out until the newest Animal Crossing drops.

Nintendo announces the Nintendo 3DS, and I am mad

No, no, no nonnononono NO!

That is my gut reaction to the news that Nintendo has announced the successor to its Nintendo DS system, and that it will be all about 3D gaming. I’m sure we all remember how well the Virtual Boy fared. Regardless, I’m more put off that there seems to be a…market for 3D gaming. I just can’t get its appeal. The portable platform will somehow offer 3D gaming without the need for 3D glasses, a first I think. However, I am and will always be more interested in games than gimmicks.

P.S. I blame Avatard for all of this.