Five Things Nintendo Needs to do Right with the 3DS

A couple of days ago, the Nintendo 3DS price drop took effect on the market. After showing really staggering sales these last three months that not even reach the 900,000 on a worldwide level and a whole bunch of games canceled, not to mention numerous 3DS games delayed, Nintendo realized that desperate times require desperate measures. And of course, nothing screams ‘desperate’ like a %32 price cut of a device that was released less than five months ago, while giving early buyers 20 free games…old games.

So, now that the price has been lowered and, let’s be honest, it’s more accessible to the target market Nintendo’s aiming to, has the problem been solved? Will Nintendo be again the respected video game giant that it used to be? Of course not, don’t be silly. There are numerous problems still unsolved with this system and I will now address them, not because I believe it’s a crappy system (I love the 3DS, and I want it to succeed) but because their creator doesn’t know what’s doing with it.

So, Nintendo, if you ever read this, I just want to say that I love the handheld you have placed on my hands, but there are a couple of things you should still fix:

Augmented Reality Games were a good idea since the beginning. So where did they go?

Indeed, what happened? It was a great idea at the beginning, and it was a nice thing to see you could fully enjoy your $250 purchase without the need of forking over extra money for a retail game. I got PilotWings Resort on release day, and it got me going for a couple of days, but it was actually the bundled AR Games that I found more interesting to play, and instantly saw potential.

My problem is: why hasn’t Nintendo seen it? AR Games are, honestly, the equivalent of Wii Sports; in which it is the best way to show off your new gadget to other people. Again, it was Wii Sports and the accessible price and appeal that made the Wii such a hit; and Nintendo took advantage of this by releasing Wii Sports Resort…and Wii Play…and Wii Fit…and Wii Party…and— all right, that’s enough examples.

I’m not asking for a full fledged 3DS game, because I know that would be asking too much from Nintendo. How about small add-ons for a game? Nintendo tried a similar card-based idea during the Game Boy Advance era with the e-Reader, a device that let you read cards that unlocked mini-games, in-game secret items and levels. Sure, the idea did not work pretty well because it needed separate link cables, another GBA, etc., but now that the 3DS comes with an integrated camera, and AR/QR technology is growing popular among smartphones, then why not take a page from that book? Why not release boosters pack series along with an AR Games software update that expands the title. Also, give this option to third-party developers, since they could also come up with great ideas.

Kid Icarus: Uprising seems to be tackling this idea from what I saw at the end of the game’s trailer, so I hope that Nintendo will at least continue to do the same gig for future games. Can you imagine getting new and exclusive items in Animal Crossing 3DS by buying more cards? Maybe even share the cards or trade QR codes online with friends that are on your friends list!

Oh, that reminds me…

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