Sunday, March 18, 2012

Struggling Success, the First Year of the 3DS

portable handheld console

Everyone makes mistakes but it seems that a lot of companies won’t admit it when they make them, this ends up driving a lot of people mad when they do this. It’s good to know that some companies will admit when they do, Nintendo is one such company.

The latest mistake Nintendo has made was with their new portable handheld the 3DS. When it was released March 2011, it went for the high price of $250 which seemed pretty high to a lot of people, but Nintendo and a few of its followers, including myself, were sure that the portable device would be able to live up to the high cost.

Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned for the 3DS, Nintendo was able to get people excited for its portable device with all the third party support the 3DS was getting, hardly any of them had titles at the consoles release. Even Nintendo themselves didn’t have much for software release to go with it, which caused many customers to hold back on buying the handheld.

Those that did buy the 3DS were stuck with a mediocre library of games for the next few months.

Nintendo was also having problems, because of the low sales they were forced to do something about it. It wasn’t an easy decision but they ended up cutting the price of the 3DS by about $80. They also didn’t want to upset those that already bought the console at the original price, so they created an Ambassador Program for them.

downloadable software titles

The Ambassador Program would get those that bought the console before the price drop 10 selected NES games, and 10 GBA games. Most of the titles for the Ambassador Program were top rated games such as; Super Mario Brothers, The Legend Of Zelda, Metroid, Zelda 2 The Adventure of Link, Zelda The Minish Cap, Mario Vs. Donkey Kong, Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, Metroid Fusion, Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3, and Wario Land 4. These were some of the greatest games in Nintendo’s long history.

At first most of these Ambassadors were happy about the great games they were going to be getting, but not long after Nintendo announced the price drop and the Ambassador Program, some of the retailer stores announced they were going to drop the prices early. This allowed buyers to purchase the 3DS at the new $170 price and still be a part of the Ambassador Program and get the 20 free games. This upset some of the people who had to pay full price, but there was nothing they could do as it was the decision of the individual retailers and not Nintendo.

The most probable reason why retailers did this was probably because they didn’t think that the program and price drop would be enough to sell all the 3DS hardware units they bought. This is understandable as there were still no high rated original titles, the only top rated title was a remake of Star Fox 64, and the remake of The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time that was coming in a couple months didn’t make retailers feel much better about the console as most of the people who would buy it probably already have the original releases.

It took some top rated original content to finally get the 3DS going, and in November we finally got one. Super Mario 3D Land got the ball rolling at last and soon became a favorite title by consumers, there were people who disliked it claiming it to be too easy and I can understand that, it could have been a little harder, but it was still a fun game.

video game console first year sales chart
Nintendo didn’t stop there, next month they would released Mario Kart 7. This new title along with Super Mario 3D Land was just what the console needed and the 3DS has finally started selling in good numbers. With the huge jump in sales it didn’t take long for the 3DS to become the best selling console in history. The software sales for the handheld also broke records selling over 9,000,000 software units in the US alone.

portable handheld software

Things are looking up for the 3DS as its first year will soon come to an end with more titles coming such as Kid Icarus Uprising we are in for a good 2nd year.

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