The New 3DS announcement has sparked a flurry of debates and discussion around whether or not Nintendo’s newest handheld is necessary so soon into the 3DS’s life. Our writers Jesse and Heather stand on opposing sides of the fence, feeling respectively strongly for and against it. Today we will see Jesse’s take on the matter, with Heather’s rebuttal to follow next week. Let’s get right into it!
Last week Nintendo announced the New 3DS, an updated model to their popular handheld system. More than just a simple cosmetic update, the New 3DS will sport a 2nd analogue stick and two extra shoulder buttons.
Most notably it will have a faster processor, of which newer and more power-hungry games can take advantage. Xenoblade Chronicles has already been announced for the New 3DS, and Nintendo says it will not run on older models.
This is a step in the right direction for Nintendo. Customers have been clamoring for a 2nd analogue stick since the 3DS’s inception. It opens up a lot more options for gameplay, and eliminates the need for bulky add-ons that have the same effect. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, due out next year, is almost certainly going to take advantage of the New 3DS’s hardware upgrades, and it’s no doubt compatible with games that are already out, such as Resident Evil: Revelation.
The New 3DS might also open the doors for new developers. There is already a huge library of excellent 3DS games available, but by and large Nintendo develops them. A faster processor and more control options might encourage more third-party developers to bring their titles to the system, and in turn bring more gameplay variety.
Since the early 2000s Nintendo has been in a vacuum. While Microsoft and Sony have been fighting the console wars generation after generation, Nintendo has been in the background, unable (or unwilling) to contend. Once their focus shifted to motion controls, they lost a lot of their “hardcore” fan base to the other guys. With the advent of the New 3DS, those players craving a more in-depth experience (and who have lost faith in the PlayStation Vita) might gravitate to this new model, helping Nintendo to usher in a new era for the company.
There are certainly some concerns to be had with Nintendo’s current direction though. Is Nintendo adopting a policy of releasing yearly updates to their hardware, such as many computer and tablet developers do? This isn’t likely.
Nintendo has done this kind of thing before with the DS/DSi and GBA/GBAsp, but those upgrades always felt justified. Nintendo has always used older generation hardware in their products. Using established technology is cheaper, and easier to develop with. When Nintendo upgrades their hardware, they themselves are upgrading. They have a history of not rushing products to market, this generation being the exception.
Nintendo has made some mistakes over the years, but the New 3DS is definitely the right thing for them at this time. Their unwavering focus on games and gameplay has kept them alive all these years, while Microsoft and Sony duke it out around them, quickly turning their consoles into media centers. This reinvigorated focus on the hardcore gaming market can help bring Nintendo back to the days of yore, when everyone had an NES in their house, complete with moms and dads yelling at their kids to “shut off that Nintendo!”
Do you disagree? Perhaps Heather counter-points, discussing her annoyances regarding the New 3DS are more your speed! Check that out here.