Objection! Nintendo's 3DS Launch Line-Up

This was an emergency, completely last minute Objection. Usually the Objection series focuses on discussions around more serious gaming topics - this time I just wanted to vent a little. The topic? Australia's 3DS launch line-up. My partner in rant-related crime? Vooks, who brings you the Nintendo Store update every week.

Let's get to it.

MARK: So. The 3DS launch titles have been announced. Thoughts?

VOOKS: As expected... apart from the huge gaping hole that is the lack of Pilotwings Resort and Steel Diver! Alright so maybe I'm over dramatizing it, there is still upwards of 15+ games to play on day one.

However this sets an unhealthy precident for Nintendo - how can they not release Pilotwings at launch? It's silly for two reasons - Pilotwings Resort is the 'Wii Sports' of the 3DS lineup, a game anyone can play. Nintendogs isn't going to sell to (most of) the male crowd. The second reason is that it's worrying that we're getting game delays from day one - very worrying.

We know Nintendo is trying to give third parties time to shine, but some of the third party line up can't shine. You can't polish a turd as they say.

MARK: I think the strange thing is that Nintendo stated on the press release that only Super Street Fighter IV and the Nintendogs SKUs would definitely make launch.

I just got off the phone to confirm, but all the third party stuff that is guaranteed for the US market, we have no real idea at the moment when some of those titles will be released here. I think there’s a bit of an issue – if you’re going to region lock a console, you should be making sure that games are coming into the country! Otherwise savvy consumers will get grouchy.

VOOKS: Is it strange - or is it actually worrying that they don't know? It's Nintendo... and they're launching a new console. If anyone should know it should be them!

I don't think we should worry about the third party situation too much, retailers have a good selection for launch day. However, that being said, I do think we'll see some fall through the cracks. Will we have every game that the US or UK get on day one? Probably not, but it's just so surprising to see that the games we're missing out on are Nintendo titles.

This whole situation is very worrying, if Nintendo are delaying (or can't get) their own games out on time from day one, it won't give buyers any sort of confidence that choosing to buy locally is the right choice. We got lucky on the Nintendo 3DS price, but delays from day one and the inability to import (at least from the US and Japan) - it's worrying.

MARK: I think you’re right – third party support is strong. I suppose the real story is the lack of Nintendo games. There’s no Mario game, no Pilotwings, no Zelda, no Mario Kart. In short – no real reason for traditional Nintendo fans to pick up the console day one.

Traditionally, Nintendo games have been the big driver for Nintendo consoles, but it seems that this time round, Nintendo are convinced that the tech will sell itself – which it will, to begin with, but I wonder if we’ll see a big drop off once the early adopters get their 3DS fix.

Because not only is Pilotwings missing launch, according to the press release it's missing the launch window entirely – which means we won’t see another Nintendo game on the 3DS until after June. That’s a helluva long wait from March.

VOOKS: I think you're wrong on that point Mark, there's no way Nintendo will wait until June to release those games. No one will stand for a three month delay on launch games - those games have to be coming soon after. Nintendo wouldn't do that to us... right?

You are right though on the other point, Nintendo usually lets Mario or some other big named character sell the console. This time with the hardware being as different as it is they WILL let the whole '3D wow' aspect sell it for a while. The amount of included games and trinkets in the system out of the box too will help that.

Hopefully they avoid the mistakes of the Wii, where they left it too long and everyone got sick of the 'Wii Sports machine'. That started the whole long running joke about the Wii collecting dust. Games came - just way too late and a lot of people got sick of waiting. The same thing is happening with Kinect as well.

I read this on NeoGAF and though it was apt: this whole Steel Diver and Pilotwings Resort at launch situation is a good microcosm of how Nintendo treats its various external regions. America gets both, Europe gets one, Australia gets zero.


    Everyone knows Nintendo hates Australia.

      Well we did poop in their hat that time we were the first in the world to load up the New Super Mario bros Wii torrent!

      Nintendo don't hate Australia, they just don't care.
      This is partly because Australia hates games.
      Think about it, a very costly classification system which can exclude titles for extreme content, no R+ classification, costly retail and a dedicated but relatively small fanbase.
      Even though we don't, it certainly looks that way to game companies. We make risks riskier. Why should they stick their necks out?

    I agree - I got the press-release myself and I was a little...gutted. I'm not convinced Nintendo really know what their customers want...

      That's prolly cos most customers don't know what THEY want either.

    Isn't Nintendo Australia basically just a desk with a phone on it?

      Nintendo Australia's a big warehouse in an outer south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne industrial park. With a desk with a phone on it... ;)

    Is that an editing fail or did Vooks walk out at the end and you had to continue the discussion with yourself, mark?

    I like how you talked to yourself at the end there ;)

      Now Thistler and I look like d*cks cos you edited and approved our comments.

      I remember the days when article were magically fixed and my comments dissapeared into a cloud of snuff.

    There's no denying it's a sucky situation. Waiting is never fun - Kirby in February (for example) is an odd choice.

    But while we (the game savvy people) notice delays, do you think the general public does? Honestly, I don't think so. Titles like Pilotwings not there at launch is aggravating, but the target audience for it (which, let's face facts, is NOT us) doesn't care. Say it comes out a month later - while WE will know that it's a month late, the general public will see it as a new release for their 3DS and eat it up.

    Heck, it may even sell more if released in a months time as there'll be more breathing room for the wallet. (A person may only have money for one game now, but can buy another one next month. Nintendo can then seize that opportunity later.)

    I'm not saying it's a great situation - I was looking forward to Pilotwings. But I can understand why they did it and I'll grab it when it's available. Street Fighter and Rabbids will keep me entertained for a while- I'm in no rush.

    Did you ever rant so hard you started talking to yourself?

    Look at it this way; even just with the launch titles, Australia is getting a smaller 3DS game library right off the bat already. And it is going to get worse over time.

    There is no more reason to buy 3DS in Australia, unless you actually want less choices in game titles.

      and buying in australia will probably net you a limited eshop since everything has to be re rated

    I was never expecting to see the full launch line-up here, but then again, unless Trauma Centre: Under the Knife 3 is announced for the 3DS there really isn't much to entice me back to handheld gaming.

    I see this as driving piracy and importing. It's hurting the local economy, it's hurting Nintendo, and it's not going to hurt Sony or Apple one bit.

    I'll be asking the Nintendo reps some very very tough questions tonight when I speak to them at the retailer 3DS roadshow :|

    If anyone wants me to ask them anything, let me know in reply to this comment, and I'll see what I can do.

      i don't think you can say it's driving piracy just yet

      and realistically it's not gonna hurt nintendo in the slightest if as these companies suggest that the extra price we pay is tied directly to the cost of doing business here.

      then realistically our importing doesn't hurt them

      things like kirby is an issue though. there delay in that is ridiculous. nearly reaching the same level as the rock band delay we were given.

      We live in a digital world with the ability to be anywhere quickly why it takes an extra 4 months to allow us access to a product is ridiculous

      or a full extra month for SMG2

        I assure you that it will drive imports. Games will cost $70-$80AUD, 1.75-2x the price of the US games. DS imports were enormous, and I put it entirely down to price. Likely, piracy will rise as well, as kids/teens will be unable to afford a steady stream of $80 games, and it's obviously not targeted towards adults who could.

        Honestly, delays don't drive importing and piracy as much as exorbitant pricing does, I've found by working in retail.

          never said it wouldn't drive imports

          my point is that imports aren't going to hurt nintendo in anyway

          the only issue is a high amount of imports would result in even less timely releases of games since the market would warant them even less

          as you say the cost is going to be the real killer here people simply can't justify that for some of their games

          to me neither pilotwings nor steeldiver deserve any more than 40-50 australian pricing and thats being generous

          they both seem like something that could be released as an app for 5 bucks

      This the one in Perth?

        Yup, sure is. I'm sure I'll see you there.

        But I likely won't say hello, because I like to keep my 'real' name and this one separate. *tinfoil hat*

      They won't know anything. It'll be like asking an Apple Store Specialist about the 2011 roadmap of their employer. They won't know, and if they did, they can't and won't tell (signed confidentiality agreements as part of the job).

      The guy I spoke to at the Sydney Myer event didn't give anything away either.

    Do they really expect the consoles to sell with this line up? Like it or not, kids and families are the ones most attracted to Nintendo's products, and what parent is going to spend $350 on a game console without co-ercing from their children, and what child will want Street Fighter, and what young boy will want Nintendogs? Way to shoot yourselves in the feet, Nintendo!

    Hahhaa I totally misred this line:
    "My partner in rant-related crime?"

    I thought you'd said "Pant-related crime" - woops

    If any of you guys are in Sydney NSW, join this facebook group so we can organise a streetpass meetup once we hit 40 people :)


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