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Is the 3DS Back?

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata is claiming we are in the presence of something of a 3DS rebirth. As holiday sales for the oft-maligned handheld continue to surge, and with the strong performance of Mario Kart 7 which sold 420,000 units in Japan its first week, Iwata claims the 3DS is about to cross the three million sales mark in Japan and will reach the four million mark by April.

It’s unclear if the 3DS can sustain this momentum throughout the holiday season, but there’s no denying that the pace has picked up since the price drop.

I personally still have no desire to get one and my daughter would rather have an iPhone (oh boy…). And honestly I can’t wrap my head around why so many people are itching to play Mario Kart. Again. How many ways can you race Bowser around a lava course?

Are you at all interested in the 3DS now compared to six months ago? Is this on a Christmas list?

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Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

7 thoughts to “Is the 3DS Back?”

  1. Kart and Mario 3D (plus the price drop) were enough for me. I grabbed the Zelda bundle for $169 and got the two other titles at best buy yesterday (which netted me Saints Row 3 for free).

    I don’t really see why the system can’t maintain the momentum. I was never convinced that the issue was iOS competition (I have a 4S and an ipad) but the lack of titles. There are some compelling RPG’s on the horizon for Q1 2011. I’m pretty positive JRPG’s were a significant driver of DS sales world wide, which will help keep things rolling into 2012 while the world waits for the next Nintendo first party release.

    Your perception doesn’t really match Mario Kart reality. The series has been around for 19 years. This is the seventh release. In a world of drek like Assassin’s Creed getting annual releases and multiple games with the same IP getting released in the same year, is one game every 3 years really that awful?

  2. But I’m not an early adopter of anything so take it with a grain of salt. I still have ate least 10 games on the DS that I want to play so that should last me a year given my irregular use of the device.

  3. …why people were so surprised by why the 3DS didn’t sell 6 months ago and suddenly is selling now. There were no games then. There are games now. Isn’t that prima facie? But all these sites are doing features on “how Mario saved the 3DS” and “The platform that came back from the dead” and I wonder what people expected to happen. How was this at all surprising?

  4. I want one for Mario 3d. I’m not going to buy one until they come out with new model and then wait for that price drop.

  5. You know, I thought that once the Mario games turned up that I would be more interested in my 3DS, but here they are and I really couldn’t care less. I think the “oh gee, nostalgia” thing has finally worn off and I’m tired of playing the same Mario Kart game over and over again. Doesn’t matter if it’s only 7 releases in 19 years like eznark says below. It is almost exactly the same game. Yeah, it’s cute and tugs at the heartstrings, but I’m really just kind of over Nintendo coasting by on past successes and doing nothing to innovative or evolve its stable of iconic characters.

    Ocarina of Time was another moment where the 3DS went south for me…I thought it’d be great to revisit it. It wasn’t. It reminded me of not only how dated and boring the game is, but also how its influence has poisoned a lot of modern designs that pad their content with silly shit like collecting bugs and fishing minigames.

    I played some good 3DS games this year, but every single one of them was a port, remake, or reimplementation. And _none_ of them used the 3D for any kind of gameplay purposes, and I found that once the novelty wore off I just turned it off. Now, I own absolutely no games for it (other than those I got for being an “ambassador”, which I’ll likely never play) and I keep debating trading it in for Vita games since I’ve already paid off the system…but that system has a lot to prove itself, it’s got to show me that it can be viable against IOS/Android games and offer something that is truly console quality.

    Regardless of recent sales data, the 3DS as it stands is still DOA. If they do a hardware revision (which they will, which is why many people haven’t bought it), cut the price down to $129, and start bringing out games that are unique and leverage the strengths of the platform then it’ll be a competitor. Mario games just aren’t enough at this point, at least not for me.

  6. Picked up the Zelda bundle on Black Friday, matter of fact. I love Zelda, and there’s enough crap to keep me busy until the awesome stuff hits (which I now believe will occur, rather than my previous “I hope this happens”).

    Hell, I blew a ton of money in the eShop getting Mario Land 2, Link’s Awakening, Donkey Kong, Shantae (god this game’s awesome), and Metroid II.

    Is that a great reason to have one? No, but it’s enough of one. I hardly port my portables so being able to use Netflix in bed without annoying my wife, plus Mario 3D, Zelda 3D, and enough upcoming titles (new RE, Tales of the Abyss, etc) made it a no brainer.

    If anything I’ve been more than a little shocked at how much I’ve been enjoying the purchase.

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