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OPINION: 3DS finally finding its feet

Michael French
OPINION: 3DS finally finding its feet

For a while I’ve been hopeful that more people will see the depth that 3DS has to offer. I don’t mean the 3D display – because, in many ways, that’s been a bit of a red herring. I mean the genuine potential that a high-powered Nintendo handheld can deliver.

3DS is packed with clever features.Just take StreetPass. David Yarnton at E3 encouraged me to wander the Nintendo stand to collect StreetPass hits on the off chance I snatched Satoru Iwata’s elusive Mii; crossing anonymous gamers on the Tube and swapping Mario 3D Land times and achievements has been one of my most enjoyed extra-curricular games activities all year.

They are just two of the cheeky, innovative challenges that even the most risqué iPhone games haven’t managed.

Now, with software worth playing to match the hardware, we’re seeing sales seriously pick up. It was the best-selling device last week.

Here’s hoping momentum carries through to Christmas and beyond. Retailers want that to happen. Third-parties also – and Sony too, I reckon (because if Nintendo can’t sell a handheld that has two exciting Mario games with it, the handheld games device market really is in trouble).

HAS?PRICE?CUTTING?GONE?TOO?FAR?

I don’t have the answer to that question, but there’s plenty going on to suggest this question needs one.

As we go to press, Gamestation announced a deal that halves the cost of Skyrim. It’s just the tip of the iceberg in a year that has seen games come in expensive for day one and plummet in price by week five. In many cases these games are shipped in with agreements to slash prices – buyers and sales execs have been doing these deals for years. But this year it’s happened to almost every game.

£20 for Elder Scrolls, which you can see in the November charts published this week has done incredibly well, or £10 for Deus Ex, one of the better games released this year. Won’t this do more harm than good as time goes on?

DON’T FORGET TO TUNE IN

Next Monday’s Young Apprentice final focuses on video games. Lord Sugar charges his young would-be entrepreneurs with making their own games, and the best wins his backing. 

I don’t know who wins, but I do know this: you should tune in. One segment summons the collective intelligence of UK games personnel (and some from MCV) to watch the young designers’ pitches. 

And the games themselves are good. If the finale matches the content, the episode will be an early Xmas present for the UK industry: good PR when there’s more eyeballs on us than ever.

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Tags: Retail , price , 3ds , video games , sales , cuts , young apprentice

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