Technology

Published on April 25th, 2013 | by Ben Parker

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The 3DS – A Novelty that Wore-off Very Quickly

The lifespan of your average novelty product is comparable to the career of a reality-TV star: a dramatic peak in their popularity quickly peters out when either the audience realises there really is nothing deeper beyond this vapid gimmick, or a dramatic faux-pas leads to a steep decline in approval and the celebrity vanishes as quickly as they appeared.

Unsurprisingly, gamers’ love affair with the 3DS came crashing down in a similar fashion, when the problems with gaming in 3D became apparent – as did the amount of battery power the hand-held console ravenously consumed whilst in 3D mode.

The problem comes when you realise that Nintendo, a giant of the games industry famed for titles such as Mario and the Legend of Zelda series, already offers a much better and cheaper product that rivals the 3DS. With greater battery life, far more titles currently available and less hardware glitches, the classic DS is significantly better value for money. So why was the 3DS ever brought in as a rival product? The simple answer is that Nintendo has its eye on the casual gamer.

Up until now, Nintendo’s main fan base (or consumer market, if you want to think about it from the perspective of a CEO), has been classic and nostalgia gamers, people who grew up playing games and those who still do enjoy recreational gaming. This core fan base -made up of people ready to identify as “gamers” and devoting both time and a significant amount of their disposable income to the cause – are interested in more serious, complex and well-developed games. Gamers such as these look for innovative storytelling, new graphics or styles of artwork and better game mechanics.

As true fanatics who understand the industry, they want content that takes time, effort and money to make. And Nintendo are very good at producing high-quality games. However, as the craze for casual gaming takes off around the world, Nintendo wants to have a finger in that very lucrative pie.

Casual gamers, by contrast, aren’t interested in gaming as a fully-fledged pastime. If you’ve ever used games apps on your phone, social-networking sites such as Facebook, or even played Snake way back before the technological revolution, you have experienced casual gaming. It’s a great way to kill time, have a bit of fun and not take things too seriously. And with so many new casual gamers out there, there is a lot of money to be made from appealing to this audience.

Casual gaming is exactly what the 3DS was designed for, but in building a platform for gimmicky games, laced with its own gimmick of 3D display, Nintendo has simply compounded the short lifespan of their product. This leaves an unfortunate number of users relieved to find that they could sell their Nintendo 3DS online; providing an easy way to get rid of their expensive novelty.

My name is Percy Hale, I’m a gamer and writer who also fell for the fad. I was eventually relieved that I could sell my Nintendo 3DS online. I was very happy to get rid of this unwanted electronic item.


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