Nintendo 3DS

Nintend-Woe: The Rise And Rise Of Ninty Criticism

It hasn’t been the best of weeks for Nintendo. Unfortunately, this has only fuelled the flames of those who think the 3DS has ‘failed’; is it fair to reach conclusions so soon?

As you’re undoubtedly aware, it’s been blow after blow for Nintendo this week. Dropped shares, dropped salaries and dropped prices… okay, the last one is actually good news. But the stark suddenness of this gesture has left many naysayers upping their sayings of the nayings, scurrying forth to their proverbial bell towers to ring out the death knells of this young, enterprising handheld.

Gregg's Not Ready for the 3DS

Let's not jump the gun...

The unfortunate truth is that the 3DS has had a slew of negativity fired at it right from the off. High expectations, high pricing and a software catalogue that hasn’t met many peoples’ expectations have all contributed. Have Nintendo been complacent in the success they’ve enjoyed since the middle of the last decade? Perhaps. The Wii is more or less being hung out to dry in its last year rather than celebrated for the innovations it brought to the table, and Nintendo undoubtedly feel very aware that they’ve put a lot into the 3DS and seen less in return than they had hoped.

The most common criticism is, of course, software. Granted, you’ve got the burgeoning magnificence of the entire Nintendo DS software library to choose from, but actual dedicated 3DS games have been more thin on the ground than expected.

Have expectations risen for console launches in today’s world of rapid gratification and ever-increasing demands? Perhaps so, and there are certainly those who are being unfair; a quick perusal of the internet’s reactions to Nintendo’s stunningly humble admissions and lowered expectations would have you believe the entire 3DS system has been a cataclysmic bust.

Yet it’s not the first console to have a difficult launch period by any stretch of the imagination. But Nintendo find themselves a victim of their own success; they’re now so accustomed to people scurrying out to buy oodles of their latest and greatest that the idea of anything less is bewildering.

Additionally, consider that 3DS games are often lumped in with regular DS games in retaillers, with very little to distinguish the two. It’s not a blanket rule, but it certainly happens. Couple with with the several billion redesigns of the original DS and you find yourselves with a confused public who simply think the 3DS is ‘another redesign’ rather than a brand new system.

Nintendo suffered a similar blow at this year’s E3, not only when they showed the Wii U controller more than the machine itself, but also the confusion that some felt by the continuation of the brand as a whole. Was it a Wii add-on? A Wii redesign? No, it’s a brand new machine, just like the 3DS. Like we say, victims of their own success; ‘Wii’ and ‘DS’ are such ubiquitous and successful terms now that they almost cross-contaminate anything Nintendo does in forwarding those self-same brands.

Aqua 3DS

It's not a DS! Well... it is! But it's different! No, not just the 3D part! Come back!

We’re only a few months into the system’s lifespan. Is it fair to declare it dead on arrival? Of course not. Yet is it unfair to criticise Nintendo for things they could have done better, providing it’s done constructively and with a level head? Absolutely. Nintendo themselves have recognised this, hence Satoru Iwata’s staggeringly self-sacrificial salary-slicing actions.

We can compare and contrast consoles, their launches, their press attention and more until the cows come home. Heck, the cows might even join in on the debate once they’ve got their shoes off and hung up their keys, though it’s fair to warn you farm animals don’t make for the best organisms to debate electronic entertainment devices with.

But the fact remains that this young system, yes, has hit many stumbles and staggers upon its arrival. This has generated an unfortunate amount of negative attention on a machine that had already been administered an often-unfair negative reputation in the first place.

Of course, the loyal fans need not worry. Rewards are on the way and games that are brand new, not reskinned versions of admittedly classic titles in their own right, are gloriously riding home before the year is out. We all know it can be annoying to have to wait for the goods. We’re doing it too.

But are Nintendo dead? Is the 3DS a failure? Of course not, on both counts. Nonetheless, the Big N have received a wake-up call, one that some might argue is overdue; don’t rest on your laurels, guys! Sell your products with the passion you put into your games! Fill our eShop with titles of exquisite gaming pleasure! Continue to innovate and evolve what it means to play videogames! Repair the damage being done to your brands! Hey, and maybe let our American friends have those nice JRPGs on the Wii the Europeans are getting, you know the ones.

This young and plucky portable, eager to please, is so ready to do so much. Nintendo are stepping up to the plate in a big way, risking public humiliation in so doing, to ensure we all know how committed they are to the success of the 3DS.

It’s been a troubled time, there’s no doubting that. But has the 3DS checked out?

Shoot. It’s only just got in the door, shaking off its raincoat with a big ol’ smile for you, the kind of cheeky grin that tells you there’s mischief and merriment aplenty still to come.

Also, those of us who were there in the bad times as well as the good get free games! Which always helps.

By on 31 July 2011
Salubriously silly indie-novelist Tony likes Nintendo, doodling cartoons and various rambunctious shenanigans. His handheld of choice is the Cosmo Black 3DS, he tweets nonsense over on @HeyTonyOfficial, and a Norwich coffee shop has named a sandwich after him.

We can send 3DS updates to your email - Just add your email address to the box below or you can use the RSS feed. You can also get updates if you "Like" our Facebook page.


  1. spaner2kaii11 says:

    That speech was witty and passionate!!!
    It brought a hopeful tear to my eye T.T

  2. :D says:

    If I got the eShop update on the same day it got out and logged into the eShop the same day, do I get the free games? Well they still have a chance, maybe the holidays will help. The problem is that they keep going on with 2012 but they need to release the games for Christmas BEFORE 2012. After the holidays nobody has any money since the spent it all shopping.

  3. Lake says:

    I agree I agree Bravo Bravo.

  4. me says:

    This is truely true it was just too expinsive but now tht they are lowering the price so i believe it will be in the top 3 consoles

  5. katsy says:

    we can only make it through this together gamers so i’m doing a prize with amazon if you win you get a CHOICE of a copy of kid icarus uprising or super mario 3d note you can only enter if you have a 3ds purchased in gamestop, amazon, or a europe retailer thats the catch so get a 3ds today and get a free game when ever it comes out

  6. Kirby says:

    only if everyone could see this. but people will still think its just a ds with 3ds. *sigh* 🙁

  7. PandaStripe says:

    Nice speech, I’m getting my 3DS price cut day cause that’s what I can afford and I reaaaaalllllllllllyyyyyyy want the 3DS. I not think it’s dead, it’s just most of the good games, and-or updates are coming in 2012-2014 (ssb) but for my first game I’m getting OOT. This will be worth itinerary the longrun 🙂

  8. Liam Dunne says:

    I don’t understand? What do Nintendo expect when they let crap 3rd party developers make games for their consoles? When Nintendo releases more 1st party games or, at the very least, 1st party series related games (Mario, Zelda, Animal Crossing, Pokemon, etc.) the 3DS’ sales will skyrocket. It’s simple, Nintendo EAD should be making the games and not giving poor quality 3rd party developers a chance to ruin the 3DS’ reputation. Who cares about Street Fighter or Dead or Alive Dimensions anyway? Crap games by crap developers. Only Grezzo has been impressive so far, the other developers have only produced poor to mediocre games.

    And how the hell could the 3DS be on its way out already?! It’s not even been out half a year yet! Finally, oh my God, are you Americans still going on about the ‘fabled’ three JRPGs that Europe are getting but you aren’t? Is this serious? America used to always, and I mean ALWAYS, get games months and months before Europe and got many exclusives that we never got. Did we complain like a bunch of spoilt brats like you are now? No. Grow up.

  9. sharky says:

    how will it die???…with the price lower that just makes it more SURE it wont die!

  10. Christian says:

    It’s true, way to soon to judge. If itdoes bad in the holiday THEN there’s a reason to panic.

  11. J@ke says:

    If the 3DS loses to PSVita over Christmas, then I guess the 3DS will fall like the Virtual Boy…. Buuuuut, what are the chances of that happening? The cheaper DS absolutely PWNED the expensive yet tech-savy PSP— I say history will repeat itself in this war as well

  12. Ninjamonkey says:

    What about peoples worries about the 3DS’s 3D effect giving them headaches. Those early reports didn’t help anyone decide to pick it up. I know I got a headache from playing it and had to return it. Glasses Free doesn’t work well enough yet to justify it. I hope Wii U does not become the “Wii Dreamcast”.

  13. gagey says:

    I think its a little unfair that nintendo are giving out the free games so soon because i am a loyal nintendo fan but i can’t get a 3ds until christmas. I just feel like nintendo are being a little impatient . I just want them to offer the free 3ds games later :'(

  14. akellyz says:

    you r totally right BRAVO !

  15. skyloft says:

    Great article – I’m sick of the doom and gloom.
    As I read elsewhere, the DS didn’t set the world on fire at launch either.
    And the 3DS has already sold 4 million and two of its games sold 1 million each.
    The headache is not a major problem. I had a slight one first day – never had it again. And you can turn the 3D off.
    When people first played the Wii, who didn’t get an armache? Remember all those reports of Wii Elbow?
    When your body is doing something new, it is always slightly uncomfortable at first.

  16. Mariomaster1 says:

    The 3DS may have started out weak……but come this Winter it will come out packing, with Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7 and if I’m not mistaken, Kid Icarus Uprising! Also, many people have been wondering about the possibility of Nintendo throwing together a Red 3DS Box that will be packaged with one of the Mario games… that may or may not happen, but if it were to, that may make more people buy one.

  17. Mariomaster1 says:

    And as far as how the Wii U is going to turn out……there seems to be many different game companies out there interested in the system, all of which think it has much potential when it comes to creative game play mechanics. So all in all, I think it’ll be ok, more so if they release the system with a strong game lineup…..something they failed to do with the 3DS.

  18. Jason says:

    The problem is no one is looking at the bigger picture of this. The original DS had the same launch. Despite having all the GBA games in its library you could play, the lack of games kept sales slow for a year, then it took off. After the holiday, we should see the sales jump.

  19. Livd says:

    To claim the 3DS has failed is, quite frankly, laughable. The system’s only a few months old; to say that it’s now predetermined to be a failure is a claim that has no foundation in reality whatsoever.

    What are the problems with the 3DS? I can think of two major criticisms. The first is the price. When the price drop comes this obviously won’t be an issue, and then there’s the fact that the Vita is going to cost the same as the 3DS as it did originally. I’m not entirely sure by what standard the console is supposed to have failed, but if its competition fails in the same respect then nothing has really been lost.

    This leaves only the second: The software. No one can deny that the 3DS got off to a poor start in this regard. However, like price, this certainly isn’t permanent. A few fairly good games have been released since then, and there’s a list as long as your arm of (probably) brilliant ones coming out over the next few months and into next year. If anyone’s saying the 3DS is failing because of poor software, then they must be under the bizarre illusion that the only games that will ever be released for it are the ones released at launch.

    The 3DS’ weaknesses apply 100% to its very first months, and only those first months. How can anyone say that the console’s now a failure because it got off to a relatively weak start, when those issues are already well on their way to being fixed? The start of a console’s life is of course important, but the first few months are still a very short part of its lifespan. Being weak for a short while doesn’t in any way suggest that it’ll always be that way, unless you have something suggest that the cause of the weakness is permanent. As we can see, they’re temporary and arguably already resolved. There is simply no way to say that it’ll fail just because it wasn’t at its best when it was released.

  20. skyloft says:

    Excellent article. I’m sick of the doom and gloom.
    2 of the 3DS’s games have already sold 1m each, so things are not as bad as some make out. Compare it to the original DS 4 months after launch, and it has already outsold it.

    Regarding the headache thing, the 3D is completely optional and it’s no different to how people had arm aches when they first tried the Wii. When your body does something different that it has never done before, it is bound to be slightly discomforting. I had a slight headache day one – never had it again.

  21. miguel e. pellot says:

    remember the virtual boy? that was the only big failure that nintendo ever did yet it wasn’t the end of nintendo.

  22. mirror kirby red says:

    i believe you mean “But is Nintendo dead?” not “but are Nintendo dead?” sorry just saying corporations count as a single person . We are versus We is.

  23. serpent says:

    Well, it’s official……Nintendo destroyed themselves…….with the PS Vita coming out with such a good rep. I believe it’s going to take some grand software titles to bring Nintendo and their 3DS out of the grave……. in about 4 months it may or may not happen…. I shall stay loyal to Nintendo till the end though! Let us just hope the end is not next month….. ESPECIALLY with the price drop on the 12th, which also happens to be my baby cousins 2nd B-day! =P

  24. Livd says:

    Ninja, why would you return it just because it gave you a headache? You could very easily just turn the 3D off if you weren’t willing to wait the few days required for you to adjust to seeing 3D screens.

  25. sh06un says:

    But that doesn’t mean that people will automatically want to buy it …. :\

  26. kalelrand1 says:

    well ninja may have eye probs but ur right just turn off 3d

  27. SC7639 says:

    What a great article. I just wish the general pubic were smarter and would realise that the 3DS is a separate console not just a ds with 3D added on and that it’s more than just 3D to the console as well. Like the way most people will disregard the 3DS if they get a minor head ache or some sort of bad reaction i mean even without the 3D the 3DS is an amazing console with so many new features that the DS did not have i just wish that it wasn’t seen as the 3D DS as everyone i know seems to keep calling it and in my head i am screaming you ftard it’s called the 3DS and its more than a 3D DS AHHHHH!!!!!!!!

  28. Deegan says:

    One of the best article on this site for awhile. Kudos Tony.

  29. Angel792 says:

    I though they were gonna release Conker Bad Fur Day for the 3DS because of Gregg the Grim Reaper in the picture…. :'(

  30. 3dbrains says:

    When they realise their product is badly manufactured and fix the screen scratching problem I will buy TWO 3DS, one for me and one for my girlfriend.
    I hope the red 3DS has this problem solved although there is no proof they have even bothered trying to fix this defect.

    Good article though and true that in time we will see the 3DS elevated to new heights.
    It is a great little console but silly defects are stopping people buying it. People in my circle of friends complain about how it is made, not the lack of software.

  31. Noroc says:

    SC7639 :
    What a great article. I just wish the general pubic were smarter and would realise that the 3DS is a separate console not just a ds with 3D added on and that it’s more than just 3D to the console as well. Like the way most people will disregard the 3DS if they get a minor head ache or some sort of bad reaction i mean even without the 3D the 3DS is an amazing console with so many new features that the DS did not have i just wish that it wasn’t seen as the 3D DS as everyone i know seems to keep calling it and in my head i am screaming you ftard it’s called the 3DS and its more than a 3D DS AHHHHH!!!!!!!!

    That is exactly how i feel

  32. Tony White says:

    @mirror kirby red

    Ooooh, good call! I’ll bear that in mind for next time, thanks for the tip. And thanks to everyone else for chiming in with their thoughts, and apologies to anyone I might’ve misinformed with the Gregg imagery. Don’t worry Angel792, I miss Conker too… 🙁

  33. croxyndul says:

    it’s too early to make a conclusion, though I highly doubt the 3ds will flop any time soon.

  34. Realgamer says:

    Nintendo has never failed expect when they made virtual boy.But that was because you put some things at your eye and the games were only in two colors.
    It also was really hard to use.

    Nintendo may have bad start with 3ds but its because they didnt release any killer-ap.
    Only games on 3ds so far that i would buy are resident evil:mercenaries,zelda:oOt,lego starwars III steel driver and super street fighter 4.

    ps3 had bad start too but now they selling 45 million.
    And nintendo is making some smart moves like dropping price,releasing two mario games at holidays and starfox + kid icarus:uprising.They do their moves at right time to make people to be intrested.Ps vita is ps3 portable and i would rather buy iphone 4 online play and great graphics.psp was ps2 portable and it losed to ds.I guess they both are about to fail more than ds and psp.

    If would be nintendo i would release Zelda ocarina of time,Kid icarus uprising,super street fighter 4 and nintendogs only as a release date games.And in summer i would release kindom hearts,steel driver,dead or alive dimensions,and mario kart.

    At christmas holidays i would release super mario 3d,starfox 64,final fantasy and all those crappy 3rd party support games.

  35. Mario says:

    just like those bloody cats!
    such a pain in the ass

  36. Jake Stuckey says:

    And how IGN has hopped on the pessimism bandwagon:

  37. Kevin11 says:

    This game is conker’s bad fur day and why is death holding a 3ds where did he find it and the 3ds wasn’t released back then cause that game is a 2001 game.maybe that’s a fake 3ds sorry death your gonna have to wait until 10 years to get the real 3ds lol

  38. George Tirebiter says:

    @Jake Stuckey

    At least they didn’t give the article to Charles Onyett. Jack at least admits he enjoys Nintendo, and otherwise he wouldn’t be on NVC (the only podcast worth listening to on IGN). Ooo, and don’t get me started on Nichole Tanner…If you think GameScoop doesn’t give Nintendo a fair shot, they’re playing with kid gloves compared to Girlfight.

    While there are some overly critical people in the Nintendo department like Rich George and Jack, they are the most fair part of the site as far as Nintendo goes. Just listen to the 2nd most recent episode of NVC covering the price drop, and you’ll see there’s genuine love to be had for our beloved handheld there.

    I do listen to Radio Free Nintendo more frequently, though.

  39. George Tirebiter says:


    This is my biggest pet peeve when it comes to public awareness of the 3DS, but it’s hard to shake the image when your successor device is in fact a part of the same line. Sure, it’s the next generation of that device, but it’s part of the line.

    For all practical purposes, the GBA could have just as easily been called the Super Game Boy (if that accessory didn’t already exist for the SNES). It’s not a Game Boy, but there’s no avoiding it: It’s a Game Boy…with 32-Bit. Hooray. Never mind that it has shoulder buttons, it’s a Game Boy…with 32-Bit. Hooray. Even the SP is a Super Game Boy….with backlighting. Hooray. All of this still stands tall over the PSP Go, a PSP without the ability to play your physical UMDs. Boo. 😛

    By the very nature of the system’s wide, clamshell, dual screen design, ignoring the fact it can produce GCN/early Wii graphics that the DS can’t, has an analog pad, a home menu, built-in features, an improved online store and (of course) 3D, it’s the next step in the DS line.

    Now I’d like other people to understand at least that much, because I do cringe at every person who views the device as a “3D DSi” (as you pointed out).

  40. Premier says:

    Nice Article! That made me keep my heads up for the Nintendo 3DS. Thanks to that speech, I’ve regained little faith I’ve lost in Nintendo.

Leave a Comment