The past week or so have not been kind to Nintendo. After announcing lower than expected sales and profits, they received a week’s worth of unrelenting criticism concerning their approach to hardware, business and games.
It’s a familiar tale to anyone who witnessed their troubles during the GameCube era.
It’s a no brainer for Nintendo to consider a new business model — the current one just doesn’t work. But I’m not here to help them out with that. I’m not even going to defend them or push back on the criticisms against them. I’m just going to tell you why I bought Nintendo’s 3DS and Wii U.
The Nintendo 3DS
I enjoyed the Nintendo DS with its unique blend of titles. I knew I was going to pick up a Nintendo 3DS but I was waiting for a redesign and/or the price to come down. The initial asking price of $249.99 was exorbitant. Glasses free 3D was impressive but it wasn’t worth the asking price.
I didn’t like the look of the original 3DS, it looked unrefined. It wasn’t as a hideous as the original DS but they could have taken steps to make it more appealing. The battery life wasn’t anything to write home about either.
It wasn’t until the price cut, the release of Nintendo 3DS XL and the release of Super Mario 3D Land before I looked at Nintendo’s latest handheld. What pushed me over the edge was a promotion for the Nintendo 3DS XL and a free copies of New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario 3D Land. I bought that bundle for less than $230 after taxes.
The price was right, the games were there and more were on the way. They weren’t all winners but 2013’s Nintendo 3DS line up was impressive. I was happy with the handheld’s retail offerings. The digital side of things left a lot to be desired. There was a 1GB SD card in the 3DS XL and the only game in there for a long while was the free copy of Super Mario 3D Land. The Virtual Console offerings were largely unappealing or overpriced. The fact that purchases were tied to hardware and not to my account also kept me from purchasing digitally.
It’s the compelling retail games that keep the Nintendo 3DS in my good graces. Nintendo titles and third party releases like Square Enix’s Bravely Default have given the platform a healthy 2014 outlook. I want to indulge in the digital side of the platform but I will not support a platform that ties purchases to hardware — especially when they’re so expensive.
The Nintendo Wii U
I purchased the Nintendo Wii U after the release of Super Mario 3D World and seeing the New Super Mario Bros. U bundle drop $50. I just couldn’t resist.
I already had a copy of Super Mario 3D World at home and had both Bayonetta 2 and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze coming in 2014 courtesy of the 2013 FutureShop E3 promotion.
I wasn’t deterred by the lack of the third party support because I only cared about first party releases. It was the case with my GameCube, Wii and the Wii U will be no different. I was comfortable paying $250 for a console for less than a dozen brilliant titles.
The Off TV play functionality works remarkably well for the titles that I own and I am finding a lot of amusement in the Miiverse. I find the social aspect of the Miiverse more amusing than the PlayStation 4’s live streaming and activity log. I like silly and artistic talent which the Miiverse has in droves.
The same digital limitations of the 3DS also appear with the Wii U. I have only one digital title, Megaman X. I only purchased it because it was less than $3. If Nintendo doesn’t rectify the platform’s pricing and digital rights issues, I will continue to only purchase retail copies of their games.
A right fit for me
Pricing and attractive title offerings made Nintendo’s offerings attractive to me. I am happy with the Nintendo 3DS XL as my handheld of choice. It has a vast library of games that can be found for less than the MSRP of $39.99. The Vita has more sales than the 3DS but Sony’s platform doesn’t have many titles that I want.
Like the Wii, the Wii U was a secondary console for me. I was comfortable with paying $250 for it and, for me, it has a much more compelling lineup of games than the Xbox One at the moment. The lack of third party offerings doesn’t affect me because I have the PlayStation 4 for that.
I haven’t touched the Nintendo 3DS XL or the Wii U for the past couple of weeks. I want to pick up Bravely Default but I’m going to wait for a trade in or deal. I have an unopened of Wind Waker HD which I will start soon.
At the moment, it’s been a lot of Battlefield 4 multiplayer and Resogun Trophy hunting. I want to start Broken Age Act 1 as well. I hear it’s very pretty.