Is the 3DS the new Virtual Boy?

Cancelled titles, flagging sales only 2 months in, a software lineup that even Atari Jaguar owners would laugh at. Is the 3DS doomed to be a quickly forgotten experiment? That's what some seem to be suggesting in the wake of not only the latest sales numbers, but Nintendo's big announcement this morning that they will be slashing the price of the 3DS a whopping $70 to a much more attractive $170. And just to be sure they don't piss off the early adopters, everybody who has or gets one before the price drop gets TWENTY free games. Sure they are downloadable old NES and GBA titles, but it's hard to be mad when I'm getting stuff like Ice Cimbers & Mario Kart: Super Circuit for free.

Does this move seem drastic and possibly desperate considering the PS Vita isn't even out yet? Maybe, but this is a very different time than when the DS launched. The economy was better and there weren't tons of portable phones and tablets and whatnot all vying for your time and your dollars. What this does IMHO is send a message that Nintendo is being extremely aggressive this time around and it'll most likely pay off come this holiday when the new low price is combined with the release of games like Mario Kart, Super Mario 3DS and Kid Icarus.

Now, in reference to the heading, many naysayers are claiming that the 3DS is already the next Virtual Boy, essentially a huge blunder best left forgotten. But there are quite a few differences here, namely that the Virtual Boy's biggest issues were all major design flaws (horrible red graphics, stupid helmet that was heavy and gave people headaches). You can turn off the 3D and you are still essentially left with something that's quite a visual step up from the DS which companies can make quality games for without having to shoehorn 3D into everything. Will the 3D remain a key component since the public seems kind of ambivalent at best about that technology? That's really up to Nintendo and 3rd party developers to decide. Making games that really use the 3D feature in new and innovative ways rather than just doing it because they can will make it a key feature and a differentiator from most competition, and it's really up to them to make that happen. I fully expect once solid titles really start rolling out (which they will in the coming months) sales will easily skyrocket with the new price point and a year from now everyone will wonder what the worry was about as they are playing Blast Corps in 3D (hopefully).

That's all for today, I should have another post up this weekend sometime. In the meantime, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Sushi Boy Thunder

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