So, as someone who bought a 3DS for the launch of Ocarina of Time 3D, the recent announcement of a massive price drop was a bit depressing. $249 to $170 is pretty significant, considering that I probably would have bought another game or two at that price point (I’m currently sticking with Zelda and the DS Pokemon games).
But then Nintendo decided to slightly redeem themselves with the announcement of the Ambassadors program. According to IGN, people like me who foolishly bought the 3DS before the price drop will be getting 10 free NES games and 20 free (and exclusive) GBA games. Pretty cool, right?
But looking at Nintendo’s financials, can Nintendo afford to keep paying for the terrible launch line-up of the 3DS? I really doubt Star Fox is enough to make anyone buy a 3DS if Zelda hasn’t. Nintendo needs to bring out the big guns: original Zelda, Mario, Smash Bros, and Mario Kart. It needs to innovate with the hardware it gave us: more games taking advantage of the augmented reality features demonstrated in the “flying heads” and AR Cards games that came with the system.
With the Wii U, the pressure is even more intense. Obviously it can’t just release iPad game clones – though I do expect ports of games like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, and Fruit Ninja. Don’t just use the screen on the controller as a map or for mini-games. Make games immersive, or get lost to the new generation of gaming. Perhaps most importantly, get third-parties on board now by giving them real support. Put out the best SDKs. Make them more affordable. Promise to promote the crap out of their games on the official site. Start releasing demos through digital downloads.