Wednesday, January 13, 2016

3DS: This Generation's Best Console

Kick 'Em While They're Down

As of late, the media has been down on Nintendo.  The company has decided to keep its cards close and questions from the masses have been met with an ominous silence that emanates from Nintendo headquarters. It has never been easier to kick the old dog while it’s down, as Nintendo reels, hoping to recover from the current home console generation debacle known as the Wii U (still a great system even if it spent its life underappreciated by developers and consumers, and mismarketed by its creators).

Over at the Washington Post, they bring the 3DS’s success under the microscope, almost stunned at the unbelievable sales this device has seen in a mobile age.  They seem to ignore the precedence Nintendo has established with their handhelds in the past, all of them being extremely successful.  Although the article does acknowledge the success of the system, we can’t help but sense a tone of incredulity… as if the 3DS doesn’t deserve what it has earned.

The DS Owns It
A monumental standard was set by its predecessor, the DS with 146 million systems sold worldwide by the end of March 2011.  As of September 2015 the 3DS has sold 54 million units. While 3DS sales aren’t as exceptional as the DS’s were, it shouldn’t be seen as a mark against what the 3DS is.  Considering the Vita’s very poor performance in comparison, selling 13 million units worldwide, the
Original DS 
3DS did more than solidify itself as the current gen champ and holds its own, even against the burgeoning mobile market, as a top handheld seller.  The Vita is by far more powerful, playing more hardcore titles and looking better while doing it.  But just as the Gameboy beat the snot out of any challenger that came its way, the Vita remains Nintendo’s beat down bag to the point that Sony has practically disowned the system in embarrassment.

But the 3DS Holds Its Own
The 3DS is groundbreaking in that it produces stereoscopic 3D graphics without the use of glasses.  While the system’s use of 3D has been inconsistent, with some shining examples such as Super Mario 3D Land, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Fire Emblem Awakening, and Pushmo while others simply
The *New* 3DS
shoehorned it into the game’s experience. In spite of its technical limitations, the system produces pleasing graphics, utilizes touch mechanics when appropriate, and of course a classic control scheme.  With crossover capability present in games such as Shovel Knight and Smash brothers (using it as a controller with the Wii U), the 3DS is a truly versatile system that makes up for lesser power by being….
fun.  Which is why we are consumers in this business right?  We want enjoyable experiences.

The 3DS is a fun system to own. It’s affordable and plays affordable titles.  The media format is small and easy to transport.  It has some social features and an online store for even more fun and simple experiences.  It does a lot of things very well making it appealing to the average handheld consumer who may want more than what a mobile platform has to offer.  It really shouldn’t come as a surprise that it has sold so well!

The 3DS has outsold both the PS4 and Xbone combined and it continues to see improvement in its sales.  This shouldn’t be a surprise, it should just be considered a proclamation of what the market wants.  Perhaps the market has reached its threshold of caring about power and graphics, especially when it comes to the device in their pocket.  Nintendo has claimed that they are going to be remained focus on the 3DS for 2016 so you can bet that sales will continue to climb.

A Happy Ending
This is certainly a tumultuous time for Nintendo and a period of transition towards, hopefully, bigger and better things.  No matter when or what Nintendo decides to unveil in the coming months one thing is for certain.  Nintendo will spend 2016 tieing a bow on this generation of consoles.  Let’s enjoy them while they are still here shall we?

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