Red is the last you will see of the current 3DS

A Revamped, Remodeled and Refocused 3DS for 2012?

Remember when Nintendo touted the 3DS, confirming that it won’t get a remodel anytime soon? Well, as an informed gamer, you should know better than to listen to PR talk. This was before the 3DS tumbled into retail. After its lukewarm reception, Nintendo’s investors haven’t been pleased. Thus, Nintendo acted quickly in order to please everyone; drop the price by a full 80$ and offer early adopters 20 free downloads. While the strategy seems to be building up well in the short term, Nintendo has been hinting for an alternative long-term plan in the midst. I called it in our Facebook page as soon as Mr. Iwata stated that upcoming 3DS games may not even feature 3D at all and the fact that the eShop will become one of the handheld’s primary features. These statements totally go against what the 3DS is all about, thus negating its name. With that in mind, various reports and rumors have been flooding the internet since yesterday about a 3DS remodel for 2012. A 2nd analogue stick is rumored to be one of the new features in mind, which will also be feature in Vanilla 3DS models in the form of an add-on. Either way, expect this upgrade to refocus concepts, slightly improve hardware, and even completely revoke the name “3DS” since Nintendo no longer wants to tout 3D as a primary feature. If Nintendo hits all the sweet spots, this remodel may directly compete against the Vita’s launch. For now though, gamers who haven’t jumped the 3DS ship have the right to be skeptical. Personally, as an early adopter, I’m not upset because I expected this all along. Additionally, I’m pleased with the Ambassador initiative that has been given to me. In terms of┬ábusiness, Nintendo’s definitely doing the right thing even though they’re not pleasing many gamers. Acting quick is always a good thing, even if it means you have to take drastic measures to re-convince the audience with your product.

We may see details sooner than expected as Nintendo will hold a press conference before Tokyo Game Show according to Jarrod’s Facebook/Twitter report.

5 thoughts on “A Revamped, Remodeled and Refocused 3DS for 2012?”

  1. If this is true, I have to wonder how Nintendo would strive to please early adopters here? They really went above and beyond for the Ambassador Program. They could have easily just lowered the price and called it a day, but giving out 20 free games is insane. That showed me that Nintendo executives feared upsetting loyal customers, so by that logic I would assume a complete overhaul of the system (which fans may need to purchase if games require dual analog control) would require some measure of good will on Nintendo’s part too. Some sites have mentioned that there would be an analog stick “add-on peripheral” that can be purchased for around $10, which early adopters can use, but I’m not so sure.

    I also hope that 3D isn’t entirely abandoned. While gamers love to harp on it as a gimmick, I think it can add something neat to the game. I loved the sense of scope it gave to the Hyrule landscape in Ocarina of Time, and I think it’s worth having. The actual system design itself is fine to me too. If I could change anything, I’d make the D-pad slightly larger, add another analog circle pad, and improve the battery life.

    1. It would be a bad move to completely abandon the 3D feature, Tim. That basically means it’s another handheld entirely. Instead, they’ll simply going to make it less of a focus. Hardware-wise, the remodel should have all the same features and then some. But it’s the software that’ll change once the re-branding is complete. We already know that Nintendo’s willing to have 3DS games which do not use the feature at all…and in order for that concept to succeed they’ll be forced to rename the 3DS to something a lot more logical to their ideas. However, if the new name is too different, the market will be even more confused because they’ll start to think it’s a new handheld, not a remodel of the 3DS. They’ll really need to tread ground carefully here.

  2. The bottom line is this, if Nintendo really decides to forgo 3D then the system will have much greater competition than it has right now. Add a second analog stick and what you’re saying is that this is essentially a poor man’s Vita. Harsh, but true. It will also make the device that more more similar to the smartphones on the market. 3D is what really set the system apart, even if people aren’t using it. I see no justifiable reason to completely ditch it at this early junction.

    I’ll say this, if Nintendo does go through with this and Sony manages to get a good start with Vita, it might put Nintendo in a position they’ve never been in before, attacked by all sides with virtually nothing they can call their own.

    1. Why is everyone assuming that they’ll remove 3D from the hardware? They’re not dumb enough to do so. All that they will eventually do is re-market the handheld so that 3D doesn’t need to be in every game from a software standpoint, i.e. 3D no longer a center-point of the handheld but still part of its features that developers may or may not want to use. It’s true that the 3D is what sets the handheld apart from its upcoming competitor, but statistics, general awareness, and sales obviously show that the audience isn’t interested in it. It’s not groundbreaking as the dual-screen/touch features of the DS family. So it’s logical to re-brand the handheld and perhaps make downloads/eShop its new focus, and part of the re-branding has to be changing its name.

  3. I wasn’t really thinking of them removing it as much as downplaying it. I don’t find they’re really up-playing it right now to be perfectly honest. Like the PS3, I think it’s important they continue to push 3D for the sake of 3D awareness in general, but to no longer highlight it would be a mistake. It’s something that really separates the 3DS from everything else out there. They DO NOT want to put this thing head to head against the Vita, not after everything we’ve seen at Gamescom. The Vita really is a portable PS3.

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