Here Are The Nintendo 3DS’s Biggest Mistakes

Here Are The Nintendo 3DS’s Biggest Mistakes

It was a great day when the Nintendo 3DS went on sale in Japan on February 26. It was also a great day when it launched in North America the following month. Shame the rest of the 3DS’s timeline hasn’t been so great. It’s been awful.

Here is a list of Nintendo’s 3DS blunders (so far).

Mistake 1: Satoru Iwata mentioned a DS successor to the Asahi Shimbun. Nintendo later said Iwata’s comments were “misinterpreted”. The Asahi Shimbum stood by its story, saying it was correct. This looked messy.

Mistake 2: Nintendo suddenly announced it was working on a Nintendo DS successor via a rushed press release. The press release revealed the successor had the temporary name “Nintendo 3DS”. Apparently, Nintendo was worried a Japanese news outlet was going to break the news. Even though this had already happened.

Mistake 3: Nintendo issued a health warning for players under six about the optional 3D effect, echoing sentiments made to Kotaku at E3 by Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. The warning itself was not a mistake; however, it lead some to wonder how family-friendly the 3DS was.

Mistake 4: 3D in gaming handhelds is largely untested on a mass market scale. Nintendo took the leap, and in the process, made some people sick.

Mistake 5: The 3DS is a power drain, and the battery life is weak — weaker than the Nintendo DS’s, making it appear regressive.

Mistake 6: In Japan, Nintendo priced the 3DS at ¥25,000. For a company that has spent this console generation triumphing value for money, the high price seemed out of character. Ultimately, the 3ds got a sudden (and unusual) price drop.

Mistake 7: In the US, Nintendo priced the portable at $US249.99. Like Japan, the international price was cut. Nintendo did offer free games to those who purchased the machine before the price cut, a smart move.

Mistake 8: Save for Nintendogs + Cats, Nintendo didn’t have the games and demos it showed at the 2010 E3 gaming expo available at launch.

Mistake 9: The launch games weren’t so good. Actually, most of them stunk.

Mistake 10: The games are region locked, and that sucks. The DS’ games weren’t, and that was awesome.

Mistake 11: The 3DS e-Shop was delayed (twice) and was not ready at launch. This only added to the perception the handheld had been rushed.

Mistake 12: Countless game delays and cancellations. Not all of the delays and cancellations were Nintendo’s fault, of course, but they still had a negative impact on the 3DS’ launch.

Mistake 13: The new add-on 3DS thumbstick looks tacked-on, and it makes the 3DS seem like it wasn’t thought-out. It also doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the current model. Why buy one now when an inevitable redesign seems right around the corner?

Nintendo’s rollout for the 3DS is one of the sloppiest product launches in recent memory. Nintendo, a company that prides itself on polish and perfection, seems to have bungled the 3DS. But there’s still hope. Nintendo has big titles waiting in the wings, and next week, the Kyoto-based game maker is holding a 3DS press conference. Nintendo can still right all its wrongs. Look at how the DS Lite improved the DS and ended up one of the best consoles this generation. The same thing can happen again.

Top photo: Nintendo, Luke Plunkett


  • 01. Who cares.
    02. What?
    03. Shut up and take my money.
    04. CASUALS. (But seriously, nobody I know has gotten sick. This actually happens? What a bunch of casuals…)
    05. Genuine mistake. I can see why battery life sucks, but screw ’em.
    06. Twisted logic. Any gamer with their head screwed on knows why it cost so much.
    07. Where’s the mistake here?
    08. Developers are pansy bitches! Let’s blame Nintendo!
    09. DS launch titles were TERRIBLE! That being said, nobody cared.
    10. Wah wah wah.
    11. Genuine mistake. You’d think with all the staff they had spare from all those cancelled games they could’ve pulled something together.
    12. Capcom cancelled the 3DS Mega Man game! Let’s blame Nintendo!
    13. Looks tacked on? Honey, that isn’t a real photo. Isn’t this whole thing a rumour?

    It’s like that song: Cause two out of thirteen, ain’t bad…

    • Anything in 3D makes me want to puke. And I’m definately not a ‘casual’ as you put it. In fact most people can’t watch 3D effects for more than about an hour without getting a headache. Google it and don’t be such a dick.

    • Anything in 3D makes me want to puke. And I’m definately not a ‘casual’ as you put it. In fact most people can’t watch 3D effects for more than about an hour without getting a headache. Proven medical science actually.
      Google it and don’t be such a dick.

    • Anything in 3D makes me want to puke. And I’m definately not a ‘casual’ as you put it. In fact most people can’t watch 3D effects for more than about an hour without getting a headache. Proven medical science actually.
      Google it and don’t be such a jerk

  • I agree that the 3DS was not the smoothest launch ever, but I still have hope that it can redeem itself! It is still very fun to play

  • While some alien, new world order, mafia conspiracy is keeping game prices inflated for Australians, region locking was the biggest issue for my non purchase. I had the money and the will to purchase in march but could not get over that hurdle.

  • Yeah, I’d say that the main problem was tr fact that there were no Nintendo 1st party titles on release. They simply should have delayed the release until Ocarina of Time came out.

    • smart. i bought one after the drop then had to trade it in at half the price… i feel like me dad just spat in my face and told me he never cared about me and then stole $150 from my wallet.

  • For me the biggest issue with the 3DS is regional locking.
    If there was no region locking, I would’ve had Devil Survivor Overclocked now.
    Who knows when that game will be available in this region?
    Which then makes me think what other games will we miss out on in Australia (yes I know we can get euro games – so by extension, what games will euro zone miss out on)?

    • I would have preordered Cave Story 3d by now from NISA as well >.>

      But nooooo… region lock put a stop to that plan <.<

  • Yeah, the battery life and region lock are probably the two worst things they’ve done.

    Also the buttons (particularly the d-pad) are kinda shit.

  • Most of those mistakes don’t really concern me, the original DS launch was shaky as well, if a little more low key.
    What was stopping me from getting one was lack of games. Now it’s lack of games + inevitable SKU re-design

  • I would have to add that the battery issue hasn’t bothered me. I have yet to run out of power (as I remember to plug in the 3DS when I get home in the evening). It’s become a habit for me now.

  • Geez, look out, the Nintendo fanbois are here! Brian, your list is no good as it contains logic the vast majority’s agreed sentiment.

  • Now that the price has been reduced the 3DS is looking a lot more tempting, though at the moment I can’t see any games on it that I urgently want (waiting for Mario Land 3DS and Mario Kart, as well as possibly Sonic Generations).

    Region-locking, however, really turns me off the thing. I’d go on holiday to the US and get the odd game with what spending cash I had left (considering they’re a bargain compared to here in the UK). In my opinion, if I can’t buy games from wherever I am, then it’s not a true portable.

  • Oddly enough from that huge list of “mistakes” only the region locking is really the only deal breaker for me.

    Everything else is just bad timing or just dev decisions out of Ninty’s hands (well except for the 2nd stick… that would just be on the why annoy your customers for territory)

    Honestly they only reason my DS still has life in this day and age is because of the very many imports i buy of JRPG’s and whatnot that have never seen the light of day in au.. hell a stroll through JB, EB, Game or Gametraders shows just how pitiful the line up has become here in au =/

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