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Saturday, August 30, 2014

The "new" 3DS... a mistake?

So in case you haven't heard, Nintendo announced the "new" Nintendo 3DS through a Japanese Nintendo Direct recently. If you want more details, here's a good article. Check that out and then come back.

Caught up? Excellent. It looks cool, but it has me a bit worried. Don't get me wrong, as someone who doesn't currently own a 3DS, I'll probably get one. Here's the problem, the system has a faster CPU and roughly double the RAM. And as the article states, there's already one game confirmed to work only on the "new" Nintendo 3DS, Xenoblade.

In case you weren't aware, the 3DS has sold a shit ton so there's a lot of people who have already paid money for a 3DS that won't be playing portable Xenoblade... unless they upgrade.

Now, new models of handhelds and indeed, home consoles are nothing new. Pretty much all of Nintendo's handhelds have gotten tweaked or upgraded versions, although these upgrades are usually cosmetic, or change something non-essential like manufacturing cost, usability and battery life. Nothing that anyone absolutely needs. Well, at least for the portable version of Xenoblade and whatever other games may come out that require this new revision, you will absolutely need it.

Things like an extra analog thumbpad... thing and buttons can be added to an existing 3DS right now via an addon. The NFC capabilities required to read Amiibo figures will come to existing 3DS systems via another addon. There's no way, however, to add a faster processor or extra ram to your current 3DS. This segments the market in a way that few other hardware revisions have. I honestly think they should have just waited a year or two and announced a true sequel to the 3DS system with faster hardware, more ram and its own library of games that only it can play. Doing this sort of... 3DS 1.5 just seems bizarre.

I'm not really upset about this myself, I just find it weird. I also wonder how people are going to react to this. Is the 3DS, Nintendo and their library, so beloved and respected that Nintendo will get away with this without too much backlash? Am I just crazy in questioning it at all? I'm really not sure. We're just going to have to wait and see, I suppose. But it's not what I would have done.

What do you think about all this? Leave a comment below and let me know.

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