Nintendo 3DS Slow Start Was Due To Software Rather Than Price Tag

EEDAR Vice President and video game analyst Jesse Divnich has told Destructoid that the reason the Nintendo 3DS initially failed to take off wasn’t due to the controversial price tag but was more to do with the lack of enticing software. Divnich noted that despite the price cut the system only really took off when Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 were released. What do you think?

“I think we can all agree that the slow start of the 3DS was primarily the result of the software line-up, and not the price point of the hardware. Even when the 3DS dropped to $169, it still didn’t move and it wasn’t until a few strong first-party titles came out that the 3DS hardware began to take-off.”

97 thoughts on “Nintendo 3DS Slow Start Was Due To Software Rather Than Price Tag”

    1. It’s a Nintendo system. What are we gonna wait for, a third party game that you can get on any other system? (Looking at you Super Street Fighter IV!) You can’t get Mario and Zelda anywhere else, and so we will always wait.



  1. Completely correct. I was an early buyer of the 3DS and I fully regretted my purchase until the release of Mario 3D Land because of the lack of system-selling games other than Zelda.

            1. Not really. Personally, the NES games weren’t all that fun for me, hell I would’ve preferred all 20 of them being GBA games, rather than 1/2 being NES as a lot of those really sucked or were only good for their time.

    1. Agreed. I had big regrets because of buying it on day 1, TLOZ alone couldn’t make it any better.
      But yeah, buying it that early at least had one pretty awesome advantage though, maybe not for everyone but for me. I was one of the lucky 3000 people to win a AR-Shirt [:

  2. I think it was a mix between the 2 really..It cost a lot and the release titles where not amazing ;3 Still got mine on release date though..

  3. I think he’s largely correct; however, I think a major reason the 3DS launch was so successful (sales-wise) was because of an unofficial 3DS launch game; Pokemon Black and White. Instead of buying a last-gen DS to play the massive hit, a lot of people chose to get a 3DS instead. These people led to increased DS sales overall, as they now had access to the massive library of DS games as well as the 3DS library; really a win-win situation all-round.

    1. Why do you say that the launch was “so successful”? Are you talking about the very first weeks or???

      Also, it’s not a complete win-win situation as the 3DS price was way higher than the DS price.

            1. The initial sales were incredible, …then people realized the eShop was nothing but DSiware, and there was no software to play.

              Sales Dropped like a rock,

              So I partially agree with you.

        1. As for this price comparison, it doesn’t make much sense as long as we are talking about costumers who can’t spend much money (which this discussion is about, right?).

          1. No, it was about people who wanted to get Pokemon Black and White. I think you’re making too many assumptions based off of other comments/reading between the lines.

            1. Still doesn’t make much sense. About all people who wanted to get Black/White already had a DS. Those who didn’t, but wanted to get it for the best available price still bought the very much cheaper DSi.

              Your price comparison only applies for people who have either broken DS systems or haven’t entered the gaming market, yet invests for the future (3DS software). Making them a large minority.

              1. I doubt it was a minority; just like the Wii was a great entry into GC games and the (first) PS3 was an entry console into PS2 games, the 3DS was an entry system into DS games as well. Based on my personal experience, a lot of adults and children (new gaming system) got a 3DS but buy both DS/3DS games. They see the 3DS’s library as massive already, because of that massive backlog that’s there. Adult gamers view the 3DS as an amazing investment (and as a handheld GC, which was an amazing console), while children just want a new console (but their parents buy DS/3DS games because they know children won’t care). 145 million DS’s were sold; there’s still tens of millions of potential DS owners that didn’t get one, and the 3DS is the perfect overlap between gaming generations.

                  1. He’s saying, that because the 3DS was backwards compatible, people who had already sold their DS’s after they completed HGSS, (thats alot of people, I know 2 myself) went to buy a new DS, and decided to future proof themselves by getting a 3DS and buy DS games till they wanted a 3DS game, (again I know at least 1 person who does this)

  4. $250 for a handheld will only be purchased by fans of the company. $180 sounds a lot better to a random consumer, even if it’s not such a big difference in price.

  5. This is definitely the case. I got one very close to launch date and didn’t have a game till Ocarina of Time 3D came out as I wasn’t impressed with the launch titles at all (Rayman 2 again was really irritating to see, even though it was a better port (closer to the DC port IIRC) than the DS’ version. It’s surprising there still isn’t many 3DS titles out worth getting besides the Mario titles. I can see it picking up more momentum almost a year after launch.

  6. The only game that was out to convince me to get a 3DS for my birthday in July was Zelda. I’m completely happy with my early purchase cause now i’m an Ambassador :)

  7. I think this is further proof Nintendo better throw a substantial amount of money at thirs party developers from now on if they don’t want history to repeat itself.

      1. Haha xD good one, but he’s also right. I think Nintendo got lucky this year with the Wii because of Just Dance, which is third party

        1. Indeed. What’s even more crazier would be imagining the sales if there was third-party support on the PS360-scale. The Wii U has some very high potential!

      2. Lol….if the wiiU does what it’s supposed to do ( I hate using these terms) which is appeal to the hardcore and casual gamers it should sell more than the wii but what nintendo wants to happen and what is going to happen might be two different things….I bought 3ds at launch but I like shiny new electronics but it was a dust collector until Oot came out then it became a dust collector again but now with all the games on the eshop and mk7 and sm3dl i can always find something to play it just sucks no awesome 1st party games until march.

  8. I think it was due more to the high price tag. People just don’t have as much money as did even back when the DS was released. But, I’m sure the crappy game line up helped consumers justify holding off on buying a 3DS.

  9. So tell me again why an article about the 3DS’s slow start is necessary during a time in which the 3DS is doing amazingly

  10. He’s completely right. And they need to make sure they don’t make the same mistake with the Wii U. They’ve got to have that killer first party or even third party game that sells the system.

  11. Once Pokemon grey version, the eventual remakes of ruby & sapphire and generation six pokemon games hit the 3DS, then the system will truly strive… aside from NEW games that the system desperately needs, no more redone HD ports of N64 games, please… we don’t need majora’s mask =P

  12. It was both especially with the over priced price tag that it was offering at the time. Let alone everything was rushed so that it would just be out before Vita

  13. I totally agree. Were they really expecting to move units with games like Steel Diver? Seriously? Until Mario 3d land, I seriously wasn’t that much interested in it.

  14. I agree obviously. I think this was the third parties fault as well. This was their chance to shine and everyone including nintendo expected them to deliver something. But what happened? some just pulled out and some others said they wanted to see how the system will fair. This is the first and last time nintendo will foolishly depend on 3rd parties (I hope), especially for the wiiu

  15. dah prices was to much 4 me at starts cos my mums.had to go outs working street to affords it.and she ugly so it take long time.also i keeps spendings all me money on crystal meth.

  16. It doesn’t take some vice president game analyst to figure THAT one out…
    3DS comes out: Slow start.
    Price drop: A little better sales…
    Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7: Great sales.

  17. Wow, obvious much? I think everyone would tell you much the same thing about the 3DS, it launched without many great games and initially paid the price for it.

    Of course more people would buy the system when better games came out.

  18. Like
    if the 3ds came out around June people would be running to the nearest game store.See what Nintendo did was releasing the handheld in the most random time as well as the vita going to do. People just dont want to spend money at that time. The WiiU will come out when the time is right know it.

  19. Uhhh, my friend wanted a DSiXL for Christmas, but then I told him that the price for the 3DS isn’t very different between the two, so he ended up taking my advice. I don’t know where that incident would be characterized in all of this (he barely plays with it though). Anyways I got my 3DS in late May, and honestly I didn’t really notice the price, I just didn’t have any games (had to settle with Nintendogs+Cats, ugh).

  20. I agree totally about the game aspect playing a major factor in the sales increase, but I also believe that the price drop had something to do with it, thats why I bought it. I went to a Gamestop on the day that it dropped in price just to get it on first day of its new sale price. I got Street Fighter and Nintendogs, but I primarily lived on downloads until I got Zelda and Tetris in November for my Birthday and then Mario for Christmas.

  21. Totally agree – another console another typically Nintendo games drought. They always make this mistake…Well since the N64. Nintendo would be more than stupid to not already be working on a Mario Land sequel for 3DS. Mario sells consoles, and I;d argue the majority of 3DS/Wii buyer are only really interedted in Nintendo games, only a few 3rd party games ever Buck the trend.

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