Nintendo is Never Boring

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While everybody expected Nintendo to announce a price drop for the Wii U, I don’t think anybody could have predicted the arrival of Nintendo 2DS. One move gives Nintendo’s newest console a real pair of legs to stand on, while the other takes legs away.

First, I think the Wii U price drop was inevitable; everybody was clamoring for Nintendo to make the cut. Well, the price drop is real, and it looks like Nintendo is mirroring the strategy they unfolded for the Nintendo 3DS. They let both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U sit on the market for a number of months, and when consumers weren’t gobbling either of them up, Nintendo axed the price tag. Well, we know the price cut was great business for the Nintendo 3DS, but the future for Wii U is still uncertain.


You know you want one… right?


The similarities don’t stop at the price cut either, the timing for both is also eerily similar. Nintendo announced a 3DS price drop on July 28, 2011, which would take effect nearly two weeks later on August 12, 2011. Now, Nintendo announced the Wii U price drop on August 28, 2013 – both on the 28th might just be an odd coincidence – to take effect on September 20, 2013, which is nearly three weeks away. It really is like looking in a mirror, and if you need more evidence of this identical strategy, let’s take a look at the holiday 2011 and 2013 lineup.DKCTF_Package

Nintendo promised to bring a ton of great software to the Nintendo 3DS during the holiday of 2011, and they certainly delivered. They were just coming off the heels of the release of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, and we’re getting ready for Star Fox 64 3D. Then, Nintendo would release the one-two KO combination of Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7. Today, Nintendo is making a similar promise.

For the 2013 holiday season, Nintendo fans will be able to snatch up The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Wii Party U, Wii Fit U, plus a ton of great third party content like Watch_Dogs, Assassin’s Creed IV, Rayman Legends, and the gorgeous Sonic Lost World. I’d argue that this lineup is much, much stronger than the 2011 3DS lineup, at least, on paper it seems that way.

Both moves tell me this: Nintendo banks on offering the best value for their hardware, and an unbeatable software lineup. Of course, the fate of Wii U is still very much sealed at this time, but I believe Nintendo will attract potential customers with this move. Now, on to Nintendo’s other explosive announcement.


Marketing misstep? Or marketing brilliance?

Yes, of course, I’m talking about the Nintendo 2DS, which happens to still be trending on Twitter at this very moment. Calling this a surprise announcement is an understatement, this one came right out of left field. Here’s a rundown: Nintendo 2DS is a cheaper Nintendo 3DS handheld – $40 cheaper to be exact – that plays Nintendo 3DS games, but drops the 3D feature of the Nintendo 3DS. It’s a bit convoluted, but does it actually make sense?

In terms of innovative hardware, this is taking a step backwards. However, if offering value is the intended outcome here, then yes, this makes a little bit of sense. Giving consumers the option to buy Nintendo 2DS at its attractive $129.99 price tag will undoubtedly win some fans. As a gamer, I often forget that gaming appeals to a wider audience, one that doesn’t necessarily want to pay $200 for a handheld device.

Will I be buying a Nintendo 2DS? Absolutely not, I’m quite content with my Nintendo 3DS handheld and have no desire to own Nintendo 2DS. Quite honestly, I think the Nintendo 2DS is ugly, and I’m not a fan of the name. In fact, I think Nintendo needs to put more thought into the naming of their hardware next time around.

Regardless, one thing is for sure, Nintendo is never boring.

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  • Matt S

    I agree with you on the 2DS – that is one ugly console. My bigger worry is if the 2DS becomes popular, game developers are going to stop bothering with 3D – after all, if there’s a lot of 2DS’ out there it becomes difficult to assume 3D, and that means you can’t make the 3D a core part of the game experience.

    • MF_Parko

      It reminds me of those Leapster learning devices, which are also quite ugly imo. As obvious as the second point is – and I believe the handheld will sell well – you could be right, developers might ignore the 3D functions to save time and money.

  • Chalgyr

    The 2DS has absolutely no appeal to me at all, but then I actually enjoy the 3D effect quite a bit on my unit, and while the hinges are always a concern on the DS systems, I still prefer being able to fold mine down.

    It’s funny that you two both mentioned the neglect of 3D though – my son and I were talking about that last night as well and hope that’s not the case or it could rankle some 3DS owners who feel like they’re not getting what they were promised by the system or Nintendo.

    That said, I love the price drop for the Windwaker Wii U, which I think just became the family Christmas Present this year.

    • Robert

      Many people are quick to dismiss 3D as a gimmick or something that barely anyone uses. I really enjoy the 3D when implemented well and I’d like to see it continue. I enjoy the effect it brings and while it’s usually not critical to game play (sans SMB3DL), it does add a little something extra.

      I thought Steamworld Dig did a fine job of using 3D in a very unobtrusive way. It didn’t hurt that the game looked great to begin with.

      .must .. resist… WW … Wii U..

      • MF_Parko

        I’ve been resisting the Wii U for close to a year. I might cave in next month, assuming I’ll have enough money saved up.