5 Reasons Why Nintendo Lacks Depth – The 3DS

Nintendo recently showed off the 3DS to press in New York, revealing almost everything there is to know about the latest handheld from the world leader in mobile gaming. Now, however, they are making a huge mistake with the 3DS, and the company is doomed to failure for five very important reasons:

1. Nobody wants 3D. You don’t want it, I don’t want it, and according to most data out there on the subject, nobody really cares about 3D. Not 3D movies, not 3DTV, not 3D sports, and not 3D gaming. It’s a novelty at best, and an eye-straining, vision-ruining epidemic at worst. Furthermore, 3D content is currently so limited in film and 3DS gaming that anyone could store all the trailers and videos they want on the included 2GB SD card. Heck, there isn’t even going to be a way to realistically view 3D photos or videos taken on the 3DS except on the handheld. So who cares?

2. Software: It’s serious business. As much as we complain about hardware, it’s software that will make or break any electronic device. And here comes Nintendo with a slightly updated two-year-old operating system with a grand total of 11 apps. Oh, and some of them won’t be available when the 3DS comes out.

Apps on phones and media players are becoming ridiculously complex. I can learn a language, store all of Wikipedia, check the weather and do thousands of other things through apps on my iPod Touch. And what is Nintendo offering? Mii Maker and Face Raiders. Is this some kind of joke? I know kids in elementary school with more iPhone apps than me, who send more text messages and open more apps a day than my entire family does in a week, and Nintendo is putting in a notepad and activity log? I guess Nintendo’s new model is useless hardware and junk software.

3. Battery woes. Nintendo originally surpassed competition with the Game Boy through excellent battery life. Now, their most powerful machine yet runs…a measly 3-5 hours, “if you play soft”. In normal conditions, the 3DS couldn’t even last a flight from LA to NY. Even playing DS games it’s rated for just eight hours. For $250, Nintendo could at least make sure their console can keep kids quiet for the whole car ride. Is that really so much to ask?

4. Sharing is…overrated? When I grew up, we surrounded anyone playing on a Game Boy. It didn’t matter when or which model, we did it all the way through high school with the Game Boy Advance and SP. But now thanks to the 3D screen, there’s no reason to have that social experience, because the image looks skewed from any angle not perfectly perpendicular to the screen. And keeping your hands steady while holding a handheld when playing is next to impossible as it is. How much worse will it be if the 3D effects friendly kibitzing?

That is, unless you turn 3D off. I only wish Nintendo gave us options so many years back. You know, to help complicate our lives and entertainment like they are doing now.

5. Too little, too late. Nintendo may not believe in the phone industry, but game developers do, and consumers do. No matter what Nintendo may say or do, they are competing against products that make calls, send text and picture messages, stream and store video and music, run hundreds of thousands of applications, and play games. These are devices updated yearly. In comes Nintendo like a hipster trying to be retro: every part of the 3DS is old except for the 3D tech and the processing power, which remains a mystery. Three VGA cameras? A resistive touchscreen? 400×240 and 320×240 resolution displays? If I were to describe such a device to anyone today and not say it was from Nintendo, they’d ask “who would make such crap?”

Yet here we are, taking Nintendo’s word that the 3DS will be great, a leap in a new dimension, pun intended. But Nintendo, this is too little, and too late. You already gave us awful cameras with the DSi, and everything from limited apps to low resolution screens since the DS released back in – wait for it – late 2004. It’s 2011 Nintendo, and you are so late to the party that all your friends left and you’re in the laundry room making out with a mop. Come out and meet iPhone, Android, and heck, even Windows Phone 7. Sony may show up later, possibly with both a PSP2 and PSP Phone, but who knows.

Join us in the new decade Nintendo. Oh and Sega called. They wanted to wish you luck, and remind you that the Game Gear lasted 5 hours…AA’s.

The Nintendo 3DS launches in the US on March 27th.

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James Pikover

Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.

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72 Comments

  1. extremely false maybe this guy should try it before he makes up such lies like no one wants 3d, did he forget about avatar which was the highest grossing 3d film, we are just tired of the glasses thx nintendo and boo on James Pikover for even writing this :(

  2. OMG!!!Life is so unfair.Do you really get paid for writing these crappy articles?You have no idea about gaming.Or you just want to get more hits.

  3. Are you insane or just retarded? If you ask anyone I know, and shitloads of people I dont know, they will all say that the 3ds is a fantastic device. You said that Nintendo should get wtih the times. Have you been living on mars for the last 30 years. Nintendo has always been at the for front of the industry and has made gaming what it is today. If you cant see that then you job as a video game reveiwer should be terminated instantly. The brought filled 3D polygons to the industry, the rumble feature, motion control, voice and touch. If you cant notice this then im sorry and something must be seriously wrong. And for my next point, just because a game is cheap doesnt make it good. Just because a game has tremendously amazing graphics, doesnt automaticaly make it the best thing since sliced bread. The experiance is what counts. The alot of the games on phones are minigame like. As for saying that Nintendo has'nt done much since 2004 with the DS, what about all the games and consoles they have sold. The DS continues to sell to this day. As for no one wanting it, did you see the response at E3 when they unveiled it. It stole the entire show and was a huge success. You quite clearly have no idea what you are talking about and should stop posting things like thing when you clearly know nothing about the topic.

    1. too true, and plus the fact that the 3ds is a gaming console, and not a mobile phone, so therefore why on earth should it be able to send texts/make calls? people will buy the 3ds for gaming, not for texting.

  4. everyone said the Wii would fail, yet that is the best selling console of all time, and even though sales dropped this year, it still outsold the other consoles. The article does not even based on recent figures, 1. Nobody wants it? What!!! With all the pre-orders it's selling out in stores before it's even released. 2. I would not consider apps true console software, I would consider a full game like Zelda OoT3D as software for example. 3. Seriously! Comparing the battery life of the 3Ds to an 80s 4 bit machine that had 4 AA batteries? nuff said on that guess. 4. It's 3D without glasses, which if anything is better for your eyes than the glasses, now of course Toshiba and a few others are producing TV's that do the same, putting Sony and their 3D with glasses TV's back in the little league. 5. Back in the 90's Nintendo patented a phone, kind of looked like an old big Nokia, but would have been able to play games on and such. The final design never came to light probably because playing games on phones was considered a crap idea that drains the phones battery life so the extent where you may not be able to make phonecalls for very long…NGage anyone. I personally would like to see them keep away from having a phone inside the gameboy, it's would only cost more money for something I already own.

  5. This must be a joke? Terrible writing contributing to an article that is absolute garbage.

    This author has totally missed the mark here.

  6. Did 3D kill your father or something? What's your vendetta against 3D?

    You know you'll be eating these words about a month after the 3DS launches…

    I'm not worried about the 3DS lasting just 3 to 5 hours. The problem with the Game Gear was that it lasted 5 hours on disposable batteries. The 3DS is rechargeable. It's a completely different ball game. Convenient that you left that out…

  7. How do I hate this article? Let me count the ways:

    1. “according to most data out there on the subject, nobody really cares about 3D.” What “data” are you referring to exactly? Because, in my experience, I think that the millions of dollars in 3D movie tickets prove that the public cares at least a little about 3D.

    2. “with a grand total of 11 apps.” Aww, are you afraid that you'll need to own TWO devices for portable entertainment? Allow me to remind you that this is a GAMING CONSOLE, not a mobile phone. We don't care about apps, we care about GAMES!

    3. “I guess Nintendo’s new model is useless hardware and junk software.” This one made me laugh. Yeah, Ocarina of Time, Paper Mario, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, Kid Icarus, and Star Fox sure are junk, aren't they.

    4. “Now, their most powerful machine yet runs…a measly 3-5 hours.” Nintendo has had a history of under exaggerating their battery lives, just like Apple loves to over exaggerate theirs. Under reasonable circumstances (medium back light, medium 3D, not online), you can expect it to last at least as long as the old DS', while the iPhone which you love so much can barely last 3 hours on 3DS-quality games. But I guess that's not a problem, because iPhone games are only 3 hours long anyway.

    5. “keeping your hands steady while holding a handheld when playing is next to impossible as it is.” What, do you suffer from muscle spasms or something?

    6. “400×240 and 320×240 resolution displays?” Why does everyone always get this one wrong? I'll make it very simple for you: The top screen is comprised of TWO 400×240 screens that, when combined, make for 800×480 resolution. You're never looking at one of those screens at a time, even when in 2D.

    7. “Come out and meet iPhone, Android, and heck, even Windows Phone 7.” I'm not even going to try to express with words what's wrong with this sentence. In my eyes, this is like a warning to readers that says “Don't even try to take this article seriously; We have no idea what we're talking about!”

  8. dude…are you high or something?
    everything about this article is completely wrong, even the title! “the 3ds lacks depth” there are 2 ways i could take that, both of which prove you wrong. 1 way is the 3ds is 3d, therefore it has more visual depth than previous 2d things.
    2nd this is nintendo, their games have more depth than most games on all other consoles

  9. 1. tons of people want 3D you idiot. Why the fuck are movies still made in 3D if they don't get watched. Consumers, game makers, and movie makers care about 3D.
    2. Apps on a phone, and the 3DS are 2 different target audiences. You can have a phone for apps and a 3DS for actual quality games.
    3. Wasn't the DSi rated to have 3-5 hours of battery life? Wasn't that with everything on high?
    4. WTF is this reason? It makes no sense. And you don't have to have the 3D on, it's not the only thing unique about the 3DS.
    5. People that will buy the 3DS won't settle for the extremely limited gaming of a smartphone!!! Take a game on a smartphone and compare it to a console equivalent and the smartphone is blown to smithereens. Plus the battery on most phones is less powerful than on the 3DS.

    Your article is complete rubbish.

  10. I was not pleased, I actually read this article & it put a frown on my face. Then I read the comments & they turned it rightside-up

  11. What is with people thinking Smartphones are killing DEDICATED GAMING DEVICES? Gamers don't play Smartphones, people who sit on a train for 20 minutes and never play video games otherwise buy crap like Angry Birds, but thats certainly not killing the DS sales.

  12. HOPEFULLY, EVERYTHING YOU SAY IS WRONG BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW THE NINTENDO 3DS WILL BE A REALLY GOOD SELLER. WE ARE TALKING OF NINTENDO YOU STUPID ASSHOLE ….THE ONE YOU GREW UP WITH, JUST ADMIT IT EVEN IF YOU BECAME A STUPID PLAYSTATION LOVER. YOU REALLY SUCK AT WRITING ARTICLES SO JUST GO MAKE YOURSELF A BOTTLE OF CHICKEN SOUP AND DISAPEAR !

  13. Another Sony fanboy's rant. Sorry, but the 3DS is going to kill in sales. Already sold out in preorders in Japan and it will be the same here soon. It will be very difficult to find for the first year. The other thing is that if your don't like the freakin' 3D, then just turn it off with the slider.

    1. I wouldn't say it's a Sony fanboy – seemed more to be coming from a smartphone user's perspective, given it primarily compared what the 3DS could do vis-a-vis smartphones, and completely overlooked that you can't get experiences like MGS Snake Eater 3DS (or whatever they're calling it) and the Resi 3DS game on smartphones at all (which, given gaming is the main purpose of the 3DS, is a Gulf of Mexico sized hole in their argument ;)).

  14. Wow I was gonna comment on how laughably terrible this article is, but I can see that dozens of people beat me to it.

    Have you ever owned a gaming console Mr. James Pikover?

  15. Reallty poorly written article that basically is false at every point.

    The battery lasts 5+ hours. The settings nintendo provided for 3-5 hours were on max settings.

    You have no idea what your talkign about

  16. 6 Reasons Why Your Article Sucks Bad:
    1. You think no one wants 3D? Lololol, I guess all the people at the Nintendo World event who loved it so much were just a bunch of retards then.
    2. You think apps are on par with video game software. Yeah, yeah, I can totally feel the rush of checking Wikipedia on my iPad compared to playing Ocarina of Time in 3D, yeah, totally the same thing.
    3. You think that the whole entire 3DS sucks because of the battery life. Sure, we're all upset too, but that's not gonna keep people from buying it like hell.
    4. You think the 3D hinders sharing the experience, because its oh so difficult to just hand the device to your friend for two seconds.
    5. You think that the 3DS and seperate devices such as cell phones and other entertainment devices are meant to compete with each other. You're way off the mark; the video game industry as a whole and the industry that contains the produst you speak of are two TOTALLY different things.
    6. Show some brains or GTFO.

    1. DUDE! You're totally on fire. Your comment totally made me laugh. Yeah I totally agree with point 2. Yeah I totally love checking wikipedia way more than high quality games made by nintendo or 3rd party games. ROFLMAO

    2. point number 4 when cross examined with the artical is probably the only truth in this shit heap the author placed on the internet.

  17. I WISH the Game Gear's batteries lasted five hours back then.

    Also, these articles are par for the course whenever Nintendo's on the verge of releasing their most successful console yet, we're used to disregarding them by now.

  18. This is garbage. You are an awful writer and your knowledge of gamers and gaming in general is severely limited at best.

  19. This article is complete garbage. I will hit every point you made with the real. 1. We do care about 3d. We don't care about 3d with glasses. And all the things you mentioned need glasses. No glasses needed here. And reading real impressions from other sites makes the 3ds sound like it is using 3d smartly and not gimmicky. 2. The real software is games and the 3ds is going to have that. I don't give a crap about fart apps on iphone. 3. The battery is low but doing things like lowering the battery, turning off 3d, and wifi make the battery last longer. 4. Turn off the 3d. People will be able to see it. If they want to see 3ds let them see your system with 3d turned on. 5. Nintendo is on time. They are already selling people on this and it is already selling out across the globe.
    In conclusion this site sucks. And Nintendo rules another day.

    1. A quick note about battery life… why is it that the 3DS's battery life is soooo talked about? What about the iPod Touch 4G's battery life? Playing games on the thing gives me like 2 to 3 hours of battery under the BEST conditions…. this article sucks.

  20. Several misses on the article I noticed. First off was the screen resolution. The top screen is 800×240. When 3D is on is the time it is 400×240. People talk about how having lots of pixels makes a screen better…not if you can't see those pixels. Let me put it this way. A screen that is 42″ is running a BD movie at 1080p. That is 1920×1080. The DS screen is 3.53″ diagonally. A direct conversion is 161×90. However there are other factors. Here is the optimum size for 640 x 480: 7.9″x5.9″ (9.9″ diagonal). Get my point? Having a 800(1600)x480 3.53″ screen would actually hurt it if everybody designed games at that level.

  21. “Nobody wants 3D. You don’t want it, I don’t want it.” Umm.. I want it, your time machine must be broken or you can't read my mind. Worst article I had to read in the last couple of months, thanks.

  22. It's not for apps, it doesn't need to do a million different things at once and it's not for the market you intend for it to be for. You missed the point of the 3DS completely.

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