The Nintendo 3DS had a tough start to life, but the handheld's story has barely begun with its biggest blockbusters still to come. MCV looks at why the much talked about handheld should have a very merry Christmas...
SUPER MARIO HAS ARRIVED
One of the biggest criticisms of 3DS so far has been the lack of big, system-shifting blockbusters. And when it comes to major console sellers, you don't get much bigger than Mario.
Not content with a promising new platformer – Super Mario 3D Land – there's the seventh entry in the ludicrously successful Mario Kart series. The previous game on Wii has sold an incredible 27m units worldwide as of April, the last handheld title – Mario Kart DS – has shifted 21m games. It's quite a big deal.
There's more Mario due next year. Paper Mario, Mario Tennis and Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games are scheduled for release. But the two to watch are out this year, with 3D Land due on November 18th and Mario Kart 7 set for December 2nd.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
3DS' original 200 price point was a touch high – particularly for a device without a killer app. Nintendo recognised this and took drastic action in August, knocking a third off the trade price (taking the retail price down to around 150).
3DS has an impressive third party release slate. From Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D to Resident Evil: Revelations, there's plenty of blockbusters on the horizon. The biggest – for the Japanese market at least – is Capcom's double helping of Monster Hunter titles. This franchise has made PSP the hottest games machine in Japan, and is a huge coup for Nintendo.
GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS
Female gamers make up a sizeable chunk of Nintendo's DS install base and the platform holder hopes to convert them with a number of new titles aimed at girls (to go alongside Nintendogs + Cats) and the launch of a ‘Ice White' and ‘Coral Pink' 3DS – you know, because girls like pink.
NINTENDO IS WILLING TO ADAPT
Sure, it looks bulky, but the 3DS second circle pad attachment (which can be used for Resident Evil, Monster Hunter, Metal Gear Solid, Ace Combat and more) is just one example of how Nintendo is prepared to update and iterate on its product. And not just in the physical space either. The company is working on new modes for its popular Street Pass and eShop.
AND THERE'S POKEMON
Spin-off title Super Pokmon Rumble is due in December, and you can guarantee The Pokmon Company are hard at work on a full 3DS RPG.