I will not be posting day-to-day news, unless of course it is something which my massive group of 3 followers demand ;-). I do however want to talk about the bombs Nintendo dropped this morning. I just want to share the information and then chip in my opinion.
First up is the new iteration to the 3DS family, the 2DS. Here is the announcement trailer:
A budget version of the 3DS which has no 3D functionality, no hinge, a single speaker, smaller screens and as a result is 50 dollars cheaper (109.99 pounds in the U.K, 25 pounds cheaper). So what do I think? Well, I can certainly see where they are coming from. But at the same time, it’s not for me, it’s not something I feel I will need to purchase in the near future.
I’m just going to be blunt here and give a list of people who are potential buyers of this system. First off you have those who don’t like the 3D effect and even those who can’t see it at all. Every 3DS game has to be fully functional with the 3D off. Even though I personally really enjoy the 3D and can see where and when it adds to the experience, who am I to say what the ideal experience is for somebody else? The regular 3DS of course can be played with the 3D off. But did I mention it’s 50 dollars cheaper?
Next are kids of all ages and in particular, kids under the age of 7. I actually feel this is the biggest demographic for the machine. In the wrong hands the hinge became a serious breaking point. I’ve seen first hand a snapped screen (R.I.P brave soldier <3) and it’s not a pretty sight. As a kid and even up until 4-5 years ago, I was awful with tech. I never really looked after any of my handhelds, phones etc. Constantly dropping them and such. This model doesn’t have the hinge and also plastic to protect the screen. It looks bulkier too, so it might survive the odd fall. It seems like it was built to last. Kids under the age of the 7 actually aren’t supposed to use the 3D as it can cause damage. So, pool all that together there you have it. Parents on a budget with young kids who want to play the latest Nintendo games now have this more affordable option.
There are also those, for whatever reason, are on the fence about picking up a 3DS. Maybe it really is the price point. Maybe there are just 2 or 3 games they want on the system and therefore can’t justify the expenditure. On every pokemon video there’s always that one comment: “May pick up the 3DS soon for this”. There are genuinely people out there who just want to play pokemon. And, I believe that Nintendo releasing this on the exact same date as pokemon was no accident. I mean, the launch colours are red and blue. Here’s a console for those pokemon fans.
There are people who tick all the boxes. There might be a guy who doesn’t like 3D, has a budget and only wants to play pokemon. You get the picture. So that’s why I see where they are coming from. It’s a budget/entry level console, it’s not supposed to be an upgrade. If you don’t like it, you are not the target. The 3DS and the 3DS XL are still there for the core gamers. I actually fall into this category. I personally don’t like the design. I look after my XL, the hinges have never been a problem. I think it’s a really nice looking console and it fits great in my large man-hands. I love the 3D effect and I can afford to maintain it. So I have no need for the 2DS.
Finally, it doesn’t seem like it will fit in your pocket. I checked and my XL just made it. That being said, I never put it in my pocket and never did with my regular 3DS. The remedy to this is they come with a nice carry pouch. Which in stark contrast to the console itself, I really liked:
Obviously though, it’s still a drawback for those who want to carry it around in their pockets and just have no time for carry pouches. No time.
Now maybe none of the above people exist and this will not sell at all. It’s just as big a possibility. Lets wait and see the numbers at the end of the year and decide then whether this was a good or bad idea.
Our next topic of discussion is the Wii U deluxe bundle price cut. It’s fairly obvious this is to drive sales along with the software line up in the run up to Christmas. The Wii U basic bundle has not been selling, people made the decision to throw down the extra 50 dollars and get the deluxe. Now they no longer have to throw down the extra 50 dollars. This of course benefits everyone but Nintendo, who take a 50 dollar hit with each console sold. Obviously, it’s a long term strategy. I will not make a definitive statement here. The market is a strange place. Even though these are the exact conditions that worked for the 3DS (price cut + strong line up), we just can’t be certain of anything. In my head, I see the sales picking up. But, we can just never be too sure. Again, I can’t draw any conclusions on this decision until we see the numbers at the end of the year. There’s just no point at this time arguing over events yet to happen.
One last thing is it gives an initial distinct price point between the big 3; 300-400-500. Of course the overall cost will be circumstantial. If you owned a Wii, you already have your secondary controllers. There are also no online fees. In reality, the gap could potentially be bigger. Some people saw the Wii as a secondary console to put alongside another machine. Certainly this could happen with the Wii U too, with it’s new price point and it being cheap to maintain. It will be my main beast however.
Next up is the Wind Waker bundle:
This was my second favourite piece of news. For the same price as the deluxe bundle you get a digital version of the Windwaker and Hyrule Historia thrown in. There’s also a Zelda themed design etched onto the gamepad. If I didn’t already own a Wii U, I would pick this up.
Finally the best piece of news, in my humble opinion, was the Q3-Q4 release dates. After all, what is a console without games? Nintendo has exchanged the Donkey Kong Country and Super Mario 3D World dates. I couldn’t be happier, the earlier I get this game the better. Certainly Mario is a better system seller than Donkey Kong. So I assume this was strategic. Here’s a full list of the release dates:
Wind Waker: Sept. 20 (downloadable), Oct..4 (packaged). RRP $49.99
Wii Party U: Oct.25 (comes w/ wii mote+ controller and stand) RRP $49.99
Super Mario 3D World: Nov. 22 RRP $59.99
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: Dec. 6 RRP $49.99
Wii Fit U: Launches this holiday season
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games™: Launches this holiday season.
Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure (Sept. 24)
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Fall
Skylanders SWAP Force: Oct. 13
Call of Duty: Ghosts: Nov. 5
Sonic Lost World: Oct. 22
Rayman Legends: Sept. 3
Just Dance 2014: Oct. 8
Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag: Oct. 29
Watch_Dogs: Nov. 19
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: Nov. 22 RRP $39.99.
Mario Party: Island Tour: Nov. 22 RRP $39.99.
Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure: Sept. 24
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril: Fall
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate: Oct. 25
Skylanders SWAP Force: Oct. 13
Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW!: Nov. 19
Sonic Lost World: Oct. 22
So, let me know your feelings on any of these things, I’d love to hear. Is there a game in the list you can’t wait for in particular? I’ll be picking up Rayman Legends on Friday (technically tomorrow). I’ve also got the Wonderful 101 on the way in the post. I can’t wait to play both. I just started playing Mario and Luigi: Dream Team and am having a blast.