News: 3DS Facing Challenging Times, Says Activision

Is the 3DS ready for the fight of its life?

By Luke Brown. Posted 12/06/2012 15:00 5 Comments     ShareThis

News Desk Masthead - 3DS

The Vice President of Activision’s Mobile Development Greg Canessa has today commented on the 3DS, stating that it is facing a significant competition from mobile and tablet devices. In an interview with iGamer, Mr. Canessa was quoted as saying:

“There’s no doubt that that space faces challenges. They are more directly competitive with what’s going on in the tablet and mobile space and there’s a lot more overlap there, to be honest.

“It is a challenging market, and challenging in a number of ways. From a gameplay immersiveness standpoint, from price point and business model standpoint, I mean it’s $40 for some of those games and you can get great experiences – not necessarily comparable experience, but great nonetheless – for seven dollars on a tablet.”

While this is something that I am sure we have all been aware of for some time, it remains to be seen if and how Nintendo will respond to this threat. I still find Nintendo’s pricing of certain titles astonishing. Only yesterday I was browsing the eShop and recoiled in horror when I realised that it would cost me over £5.00 to download Cut The Rope to my 3DS– the exact same game that I purchased on my iPhone for something like 69p!

image_Super Paper Mario-vs-angry birds.jpeg
FIGHT!!!!!!

Let’s be clear, people do not by a 3DS to primarily play games like this, but the scope and scale of mobile phone games is increasing all the time and we are approaching a time when mobile gaming may truly start to compete with full priced 3DS titles. In the short term I do not think Nintendo will be too concerned by this young, fresh faced upstart. However, in the future I expect the situation will change and Nintendo will need to adapt its pricing strategy if it is to be taken seriously.

Now, before you all start panicking and rashly throwing your poor, unsuspecting 3DS systems in the trash, I would like to point out that Nintendo Gamer has also just published an article which points to the fact that the 3DS is shifting units at a phenomenal rate in Japan. Following the release of Animal Crossing: New Leaf the handheld wonder is currently outselling all the other consoles combined, by more than two and a half times! I think it is fair to say that the 3DS’ best days are yet to come.

5 Responses to “News: 3DS Facing Challenging Times, Says Activision”

  • 1370 points
    xeacons says...

    You also have to realize Japan’s gaming market doesn’t face the same problems we do. They take gaming more seriously (considering they never crashed) and they don’t face the economic problems we do. Which is why we also don’t get a lot of the awesome games they do. They’re worried they won’t sell.

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  • 849 points
    ejamer says...

    Hmm… let’s consider the source before taking this statement too seriously.

    First off, it’s coming from Activision – a company that has provided weak support at best for Nintendo systems and whose business models are to squeeze the most profit possible out of limited ideas, preferably by wringing franchises dry by releasing rehashed sequels as quickly as possible.

    Second, it’s coming from the Vice President of Activision’s Mobile Development – not exactly someone who is going to be cheering on rival divisions.

    Does tablet/mobile gaming present a serious challenge in the portable gaming space? Sure. It forces companies to reevaluate what kind of games they release on different platforms, and what pricing schemes they follow.

    I’m not paying $20+ for Angry Birds on 3DS, even if that is a great game if you are paying less than $3 and only playing for minutes at a time. But that pricing seems more reasonable for something like Resident Evil or most of Nintendo’s first-party releases…

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  • 1396 points
    penduin says...

    Meh. “Handhelds are dying, phones will win”, “Consoles are dying, PCs will win”… There is never a shortage of short-sighted claims like these.

    What these arguments never factor in is that the commodity hardware being championed evolves very slowly in gameplay terms. A PC’s screen, keyboard, and mouse are given, but nothing more. On a phone, there’s a good chance there are no buttons at all, and if there are, they’re designed for texting, not gameplay.

    On the console/handheld side, there’s a major evolution in gameplay about twice per decade (basically, whenever Nintendo releases something). Shoulder buttons, analog sticks, dual screens, motion control, 3D display, asymmetrical multiplayer… we console gamers get all this stuff right away, while PC and phone gamers still have their same mechanisms to play their same-feeling shooters and swipers.

    There’s more to gaming than finding the cheapest, lowest-common-denominator ways to amuse yourself. That stuff _compliments_ the more innovative console offerings. Why everything has to be framed as some competition where only one approach will endure boggles my mind.

    There is still an argument to be made about typical console software pricing, but that’s distinct from the merits of different platforms. There are plenty of $2 games on 3DS too, after all. Many 3DS gamers, myself included, are simply more interested in the bigger and better offerings. No phone gamer would spend $40 on a game, but neither would I if my handheld of choice was a greasy, nondescript slab with no accurate input and tinny sound.

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  • 15 points
    Lukas Velunta says...

    Please do not compare PC gaming to mobile phone gaming, at least the sort that is derivative and designed purely to kill time or make a quick buck. The best of PC gaming is not about FPSes– in fact, FPSes are hilariously considered the realm of consoles, what with the modern glut of Call of Duty titles and their ilk. This happens, even though FPSes are rubbish on dual analogue and infinitely better using the control systems of the– oh look– the DS, Wii, (perhaps) Wii U, and PC.

    “There’s more to gaming than finding the cheapest, lowest-common-denominator ways to amuse yourself.” Funnily enough, that is exactly how PC enthusiasts regard consoles. Nintendo aside, PC is naturally the place where innovation takes place– literally anyone can create a game for PC and release it completely without restrictions.

    I’m not advocating the “PC Master Race”– in fact, I agree with your complementary argument, owning a PC, Wii, 3DS, and Vita– but your analogy is flawed.

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  • 240 points
    Windy says...

    Well I have been worried about exactly this but, So far Nintendo has come out of these issues like a champ. Pricing also seems to be getting comparable. We have what looks to be a really nice experience comming out this week with Crimson Shroud at 7.99 and I’m sure that Gunman Clive is going to be a hit on the 3DS and cost exactly what it costs in the android market at 1.99. So The Eshop has been Comparatively pricing in my oppinion. I think 39.99 is fair to own a copy of a game with a cartridge and I do prefer that. Would I like to pay less? Oh yeah I would but anyone would LOL I think they are doing just fine and a little competition never hurt :)

    Thumb up 0

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