Wednesday, August 17, 2011

7 steps to revive the Nintendo 3DS

When I heard Nintendo was dropping the price of the 3DS so soon after launch, I knew it was in trouble.

Nintendo is no stranger to success. The top five consoles/handhelds include three Nintendo devices. And yet, sluggish sales forced Nintendo to slash prices on its newest offering, the 3-D handheld, the 3DS. You would think the device, which not only offers 3-D viewing without glasses but also offers access to Netflix, video playback, Internet browser and 3-D photography, would be selling like hotcakes. Yet, Nintendo isn't pleased with device's slow sales. The device is a huge step up from the original DS and can even offers backward compatibility. So, what's the problem, Ninny? Why aren't consumers so willing to snap up the device?

I have spent m4d time with the 3DS and have some suggestions for Nintendo to not only improve the device, but reignite sales.

First, the 3DS brings something to the table that other handhelds can't. The ability to see 3-D in the palm of your hand. That ability alone should make it a must-own for any techie. Nintendo, are you listening? Tout the devil out of that feature! Let people know that the device can take pictures in 3-D. Nintendo did a good job of offering 3-D games for the 3DS, but more is needed. And look, ma! No glasses required!

Second, it's a 3-D handheld without a deluge of 3-D content. Nintendo really, really dropped the ball on this one. Netflix offers streaming content for subscribers. Cool. However, a closer look reveals the box art is in 3-D. However, none of the content is in 3-D. Say what?! Nintendo should have had tons of content - free and even paid - that's 3-D. You have a slick 3-D device that can play 3-D content. Make it happen!
The killer deal would have been to partner with Netflix - or a movie-streaming service for exclusive 3-D content.

Third - why are my videos going away?! Nintendo Video is a great service. 3DS owners with wifi can download a grip of 3-D flavored videos. Yet, just as fast as they arrive, they are gone in a flash. Why? I wanted to show my children the trailer to Captain America, only to find out it was replaced with The Smurfs. Um, no. Let the customers pick and choose what videos they want to keep. Personally, I enjoyed the first 3-D video. I loved the Green Lantern video in 3-D. I would love to show the videos off to people, but if I don't download it fast enough, it goes away, forever. Why, Nintendo? Do you NOT want me to show off this handheld?

Fourth - where are the games? You released an updated version of the best selling handheld ever - and you are already taking water. What Nintendo should do is push the fact that you can play old DS games on the updated system. Granted, they won't be in 3-D, but it will give customers a legit reason to upgrade. The display is brighter, sharper and is easily worth $249.

Fifth, the 3DS is well worth $249 and change. Give customers a reason to buy it. Nintendo released a device that was ready to set the world on fire. Yet, people are standoffish, the sluggish economy and unemployment took a toll on sales, right? WRONG. The $249 was a one-time purchase. If Nintendo gave people more 3-D content than we knew what to do with, people on unemployment would flock to buy the 3DS. Video game sales overall aren't bad considering the economic crisis this country, this world is facing. Gaming offers an escape from harsh reality.

Sixth, stay true to what made the DS the handheld of handhelds. The DS wasn't a powerhouse - didn't offer an Internet browswer and the display wasn't HD. Yet, the little DS whipped the snot over the clearly superior Sony PSP. Now, Nintendo's 3DS is on the scene and could have kept the success cycle going but hasn't. Look at what made the DS a must-own device. It was small, fun and had killer games. Nintendo needs to revisit the past and focus on what made the DS the 'It' toy.

And finally, emphasize Streetpass. This feature has so much promise. You can share games, content with other users, making your experience a truly community one. You could walk into a crowd, find another person with a 3DS and swap data. Tell me that's not cool. Jack the Xbox slogan - "it's good fun to play together."

There are many other flaws the 3DS has, but it has so much potential. Nintendo, I hope you are listening. You have a gem on your hands - don't sell yourself short with it.

-- Ski11z

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