The Nintendo 3DS Has The Launch Line-Up Blues

On February 26, the Nintendo 3DS goes on sale in Japan. Folks want the hardware (bad), but do they want the games?

The 3DS is a compelling piece of hardware. It has that what the French call I-don't-know-what which will appeal to the masses. Players can see 3D with no glasses! Brilliant. And it has Mario games. And Zelda games. But not at launch. At launch it has pet simulator Nintendogs Plus Cats. Yeah.

Eight games will go on sale on February 26: Winning Eleven (Pro Evolution) 3DS Soccer, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition, Samurai Warriors: Chronicle, Tobidasu! Puzzle Bobble 3D, nintendogs + cats, Ridge Racer 3D, Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D and Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle.

Launch line-ups are often underwhelming, but this is really, really underwhelming. Compare it to the launch line-up for the original Nintendo DS. And 3DS games are doing OK, but not quite yet lighting up the Amazon Japan game charts, a decent enough barometer for sales. At the time of posting, Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle is ranked 16, while nintendogs + cats (Shiba version) is 46, Super Street Fighter IV is 58, Samurai Warriors: Chronicle is 63, Ridge Racer 3D is 68 and the other games are... somewhere over 100 on the ranking (Nintendogs + cats Toy Poodle version is 125, Dead or Alive: Dimensions is 145, Winning Eleven 3DS Soccer is 157, nintendogs + cats French Bulldog version is 211, Tobidasu! Puzzle Bobble 3D is 429 and poor Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D is 587.

Those numbers will no doubt change between now and launch day, since people will want to get something. And I expect Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle (which I'm buying) as well as Nintendogs + Cats (which I'm not) to do well. The thing is, the whole thing feels so lackluster, so slapped together. For someone who is excited to get his hot hands on a 3DS in a matter of days, I'm not so excited about what there is to play on it. Of course, more titles like Steel Diver will hit by March, and no doubt truly interesting games are in the pipeline. But for now, all I gotta say is good thing it runs DS games.


    Honestly, this is why I have just purchased a DSLite (the DSi has nothing extra I want). I owned one upon initial release and then sold it, but since then Chrono Trigger and others have been released.

    Anywho, I made the difficult (or not) decision to wait until the 3DS 2.0 is released (which it will be, soon, hopefully with a better battery at least), and hopefully by then some decent games other than Layton and SSFIV will be around (OoT & Wind Waker perhaps???).


      Satoru Iwata has stated that they "got this one right" referring to the 3DS and referencing the original DS. He said they have no plans to release another iteration of the 3DS in the future because they have packed every innovation they could into it. I personally think they will come out with a new unit, but that we are looking at two to three years at least before a better battery version comes out. I would like to see a third party add-on battery pack that is the size profile of the 3DS, is fairly slim and maybe snaps onto the bottom of the unit while plugging into the back would be a great fix. Or if a snap on battery pack was contoured to be like a controller grip would be a great accessory too.

        My guess is a new model at about a year after release. 18 months at the maximum. No first piece of new hardware is the best it can be.

        I just want a battery with greater capacity than the one included.

    The DS launch line up sucked. Just as badly. It was only 6 months later when Advance Wars and Kirby launched that I bothered.

    It's still better than the launch lineup of the Nintendo 64.

      Better than super Mario 64????
      You surely jest, sir

      At least the N64 had Mario 64 (which was amazing). I picked up that, Pilotwings 64, Cruisn' USA, and Star Wars. Yes, that was a little underwhelming at the time and Sony had fun calling it a "plumber's box" because they took months to release Mario Kart or anything else noteworthy. But I have to agree with the writer on this one. I have reserved a 3DS for day one launch, but the only title I will be picking up is Pilotwings Resort and maybe, just maybe Street Fighter if nothing else comes out from Nintendo within the few months after launch. Aside from that I plan to get the most out of the AR cards. Here's hoping we don't have to wait too long for more first party titles, because yes they are the only ones that look very promising.

    I'm quite pumped for Street Fighter and Samurai Warriors.
    Great line-up as far as I'm concerned.

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