Monday, 28 February 2011

One month to go, but is the 3DS for me?

With the 3DS selling out faster than anti-zombie pheromones would in Racoon City, it’s fairly safe to assume that the portable console’s launch in Japan has been a success. 400,000 units were shipped for day one, with the majority disappearing from shelves in 24 hours. I’ve had eight months to drool over the 3DS and now have one more left to wait until the UK release, but I have no idea if I want it or not anymore.

I was fairly euphoric and overly excited upon first hearing of Nintendo’s magical console that offered goggleless 3D gaming and a serious power boost over the original DS. I saw Ocarina of Time was to be re-mastered and a Resident Evil title that looked almost as good as the home console variants. With treats like a new Starfox game, Pilotwings and even a new Kid Icarus announced, how could any games fan not feel warm and gooey in all the wrong places?

Then the news broke that it would cost around £230 on launch day. This may seem a bit pricey, but for a new console boasting technology that not many people will have had the joy of experiencing; it could have been a heck of a lot more painful for your back pocket.

Mulling it over now though, is the 3DS really going to be the all singing all dancing gameplay revolution that we all saw back at last year’s E3? For starters I’m not even sure that I am in the target market.

We have all seen Nintendo’s advertising campaigns that show slightly famous people relaxing in their living rooms and playing on the DS like it was an alternative to reading or knit work. Looking at reality though, I rarely sit down to play on a portable console when I’ve got my PC or games console in the same room. It’s gone with me on buses, trains and nights away, but I’ve never seen it as a major games platform. I’m not sure if the 3DS can convince me to play it a huge amount at home, especially with Crysis 2 being released on the same day.

An absent feature from the 3DS is a second thumb stick, an issue that pretty much crippled the PSP in the eyes of many. Where Sony learned from their mistake and corrected it with the NGP, Nintendo has decided to debut its portable thumb stick console with only a single nub. Where as many would argue the touch screen can stand in for all the analogue nubs in the world, it does not sit very well in every type of game. Call me old fashioned but the touch screen still hasn’t convinced me that it’s a decent control method.

Then there is the distant call of the aforementioned NGP, or the PSP2 as I like to think of it. It looks like an impressive bit of kit with an equally strong game line up announced for the machine’s early life. Even though it is most likely still over a year away, it looks like an interesting option to wait for.

Last June I probably said I would get a 3DS on launch day, or something crazy like that. Knowing Nintendo’s fetish for undersupplying consumer demand, I can say for a fact that this won’t happen now. In fact I can probably wait until closer to the NGP’s release. Who knows, maybe Ninty will feel like knocking a few quid off the RRP in the spirit of competition?

No comments: