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New 3DS Exclusives: For or Against? [roundtable]

I was listening to our friend Guillaume's podcast this week and they were discussing how Nintendo can boost sales of New 3DS and set it apart from regular 3DS and 3DSXL. I was surprised to hear that all four panelists agreed that they need to make more exclusive games than just Xenoblade and that they seemed to agree that they should be paving their way to a future where more and more games were exclusive to New 3DS.

I found this kind of puzzling, because I feel like the New 3DS can sell on its own merits. People like new tech and there's enough things here to justify upgrading from 3DSXL and especially from the original 3DS that the carrot of exclusive games shouldn't be necessary to get sales going. As far as I'm concerned, as long as they keep releasing desirable games for 3DS, they can expect New 3DS to sell in the same way that DS Lite and 3DS XL sold well even though they didn't have exclusive games. And although the DSi did have a big exclusive library thanks to DSiWare, I don't think it was much of a force behind sales because I imagine the mainstream audience didn't take much advantage of it.

I realize some people see the upgrade from 3DS to New 3DS as more like that from Gameboy to Gameboy Color, but the Gameboy had been out for close to a decade when that came out. 3DS has only been out for about 5 years and people aren't going to be as happy about big Nintendo handheld games not being available for the hardware they shelled out for not too long ago. And of course there's the age old idea of splitting the userbase, where Nintendo isn't going to be able to take full advantage of the many millions of 3DSes already in homes.

Now, I'm going to be upgrading to New 3DS as soon as possible because I still have the monstrosity that is the original 3DS and it's got some issues, so it won't personally affect me if games are exclusive, but I still would empathize with people who would be understandably upset at noteworthy exclusive titles for 3DS, especially if they already upgraded to a 3DSXL this generation. Xenoblade is one thing, as its available on Wii already, but if the new F-Zero was New 3DS exclusive (as Guillaume suggested), that would be a bitter pill to swallow.

Do you guys agree with me? What's in Nintendo's best interest? What's in your best interest? I'm open to hear that I'm wrong and that New 3DS exclusives are good for everyone, but I just don't see it.

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Posted: 12/23/14, 11:43:51  - Edited by 
 on: 12/23/14, 11:46:03
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Good to hear!
Posted: 12/23/14, 23:28:18

What makes the 3DS XL sell? Surely not that many people care about the bigger screen.

I think that Nintendo handhelds just keep selling as long as Nintendo keeps a strong lineup going and when new iterations come out, those naturally become the ones people buy. There's also a solid amount of people who upgrade because they want the new tech or their old ones broke, and families that get a second or third one so little Timmy can have his own, but mostly I think it's just that Nintendo handhelds are mainstream toys that don't rely on being the new hotness to sell. Every Christmas there's going to be tons of parents picking them up and they'll buy the new ones, especially once Nintendo phases out the old ones. I think being the "lead DS" when games like Pokemon Black and White came out sold a lot more DSis than the camera did.
Posted: 12/23/14, 23:45:12  - Edited by 
 on: 12/23/14, 23:46:26
@Jargon I think a TON of people care about the bigger screen. Personally I like the pocket-sized version but for the many who don't actually carry it in pockets, a bigger screen seems to be a huge sell.

I do think New 3DS will be a hit, and that several of the people here saying they won't buy one... will. I honestly would not have (my only DS is my original "fattie") but my 3DS broke so... there you go.
Posted: 12/23/14, 23:59:51  - Edited by 
 on: 12/24/14, 00:01:01
I'm sure I'm in the vast minority but I will happily buy any handheld Nintendo puts out, in fact right now I'm arguing with myself over buying on of the NES SE 3DSes, so damn cool, I'd buy one for sure if Nintendo would let me play my games on it.
Posted: 12/24/14, 00:09:11

I think a fairly high percentage of gamers care about it, but I think people look at Nintendo handheld from a gamers perspective far too often. Which is what I think the RFN crew did as well.
Posted: 12/24/14, 00:32:41
It may be a bit easier to sell the New 3DS then it was with the DSi given how people are now more used to these marginal upgrades to their devices.
Posted: 12/24/14, 01:14:36
Zero said:
deathly_hallows said:
But are kids still playing Nintendo handhelds in massive numbers?

A ton of my elementary students are.

I second that. It's pretty popular, which is surprising in an urban high school.
Posted: 12/24/14, 01:23:49
Yeah in my high school class of a little over 100 by the time we graduated in May at least 1/5th of us owned a 3DS.

I'd just like to take this time and say: mission accomplished
Posted: 12/24/14, 01:34:14  - Edited by 
 on: 12/24/14, 01:34:49
I want exclusives, because I'll have the platform. Like you said, the DSi actually had quite a few great digital exclusives. (Well, they USED to be exclusive.) I don't see the New 3DS getting too many, although Xenoblade is already bigger than any DSi retail exclusive. I hope that normal 3DS games can at least use the extra power for more grafx.

BTW, Gui, I was one of the faceless nerds going insane when you kept calling King of Swing Jungle Climber. Even more so after you dissed it!

Love King of Swing.
Posted: 12/24/14, 03:24:12
I'll admit I'm also looking forward to the NEW 3DS for the Amiibo compatibility. I'm not keen on having to buy that "hockey puck" peripheral to get my figurines to work with future 3DS games that support them.
Posted: 12/24/14, 03:32:28

That's another thing that I think could sell New 3DS on its own. If amiibo becomes huge (and would you bet against Pokemon amiibo?) you can just imagine the employees at retailers selling moms on the New 3DS by telling them they don't have to buy any additional hardware for it to work with the latest craze.
Posted: 12/24/14, 03:35:29  - Edited by 
 on: 12/24/14, 03:35:41
You know what could sell the NEW 3DS? Super Mario Galaxy 3D.

EAD Tokyo already said they are working on a new 3D Mario title. But they refused to indicate the platform for which the game was being made for. Hmmmm.


Posted: 12/24/14, 19:04:45
That would be brilliant, and it would look SO FREAKING COOL in 3D.
Posted: 12/24/14, 19:12:32
I'm for it. There's a chance that the New 3DS will be a home for some great games that might have been held back in some way on older 3DS tech, or might not have released all together. This platform raises the bar for 3DS games. They can run better, be more visually complex, and have better play control. I hope developers will take advantage of that potential even if it means limiting these games to exclusivity.
Posted: 12/24/14, 20:42:53
sirmastersephiroth said:
The only thing I don't like about the New 3DS is that it's not out yet.

*looks up from New 3DS XL*

What's that?

*Goes back to game.*
Posted: 12/25/14, 00:49:19
Probably not a good idea for Nintendo to pursue especially if you think that we are only a couple years until new hardware that will have new games.
Posted: 12/25/14, 04:29:21
I think they could do some small eshop things but nothing major. I think that's why DSi wasn't all that offensive to people.
Posted: 12/25/14, 05:19:36
I'm pretty much against the idea of exclusives because, frankly, it just underlines the fact that the 3DS should have had better tech to begin with. All this talk we've heard about power being unimportant sorta craters the moment they admit they need a new 3DS to make 3DS games. I've committed significant money to the 3DS. Keep making games for it Nintendo.
Posted: 12/25/14, 05:25:00
Personally I would also rather they just come out with a new system in a couple years. If they start making new exclusives for this thing (at least, substantial exclusives), then I agree with Kris. It's like, at that point, just make a new system. Otherwise, sure, give a couple games some bells and whistles here and there but don't exclude 3DS owners. Nintendo hasn't had much foresight in the past couple years regarding system tech, so it'd be refreshing to see them start to future proof their systems a bit more.
Posted: 12/25/14, 22:27:16
Zero said:
I'm against New 3DS exclusives even though I am definitely going to buy one to replace my broken 3DS. I just don't think it is a good message to send to Nintendo hardware owners that maybe you get a few good years and then bam, the market is split on you.

Pretty much exactly this ('cept my 3DSs are still working great!). Now, personally, I think what the New 3DS offers is a little more useful and interesting than a typical hardware revision. So, in that case I'm a little more on board at least in the sense of how much I want one and how soon. But, more importantly, I've always felt that there was (or should be) an unspoken agreement between hardware manufacturers and consumers that when you buy this expensive technology, they will try to support it wholeheartedly for at least 4 or 5 years. That's fair to me.

(3)DSs are outstanding systems and revisions are fine and I see how they are good money-making strategies. However, "revisions" that act as barriers of entry to games within the same generation? No. Not cool.

As for caring about how Nintendo can/should use the New 3DS to become even more financially successful? I want Nintendo to stay in business and do it comfortably enough that they can continue making quality games with the same level of artistic freedom and craftsmanship they've demonstrated for years. Beyond that, I don't give a waddle dee about what Nintendo, or any company, can do to make money just for the sake of making money. I'm never going to root for Nintendo, or any company, from that perspective. ..... unless I own some of their stock I guess?
Posted: 12/26/14, 07:43:24
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