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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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The 3DS will be 4 years old, going on 5 early next year.
Posted: 12/27/14, 03:19:14

Right. In March of 2015 the 3DS will have reached the absolutely lowest boundary of my "4 or 5 years at least" range. =) Considering that it launched at the very end of March means that if the N3DS launches mid-March, it won't even have reached that full 4 years.

To say "going on 5" is a bit slippery. After all, the year after that is going on 6 you know.
Posted: 12/27/14, 10:37:03  - Edited by 
 on: 12/27/14, 10:38:13

Close enough!
Posted: 12/27/14, 20:11:42
If I had my way Nintendo would release a new handheld every year.
Posted: 12/27/14, 21:41:37
Hmmm. The 3DS is that old, isn't it? I kind of don't want a next-gen handheld quite yet, as the 3DS pretty much does everything that I want it to do... more powerful hardware will just mean bigger game budgets and more reasons for publishers to play it safe. I'm hoping that when it does happen, however, that we get a nice high-resolution 3D display. I'm much more optimistic about that happening after the improvements made with the New 3DS screen.

As far as the question of this thread... well, exclusives are fine where necessary, but they should try to keep it to a minimum. Software that can be played on all hardware but has New 3DS exclusive enhancements is ideal.
Posted: 12/27/14, 23:36:21
If the New 3DS had a higher resolution screen and a full-size second stick I'd say done and done. But since it's still lacking in those areas I'm ready for the next one! (although I will be bummed if the next handheld doesn't have a 3-D screen, which it probably won't, because I do love the 3-D!)
Posted: 12/28/14, 00:02:31

I thought the 2DS was a death sentence for the future of 3D screens, but after they unveiled the New 3DS with improved 3D, I'm a lot more optimistic... they obviously continued putting effort into R&D on the effect, and it's even converting many people who previously always played with the slider turned off.

There's at least some hope now!
Posted: 12/28/14, 04:03:23  - Edited by 
 on: 12/28/14, 04:03:58
@Hinph Well Nintendo isn't in charge of the screen tech, Sharp is. And Sharp is continuing to develop it's tech for 3d without glasses.

I suspect Sharp found a way to get some tech to use basic facetracking to dictate where people are in relation to a 3d screen and managed to sell Nintendo on the whole thing.
Posted: 12/29/14, 01:48:21

Good point. Could have definitely been Sharp engineers that came up with the head tracking tech for the screens and Nintendo just implemented it. Guess we won't ever know for sure now that they stopped doing Iwata Asks interviews to give us insight on this stuff.

Hopefully more people are sold on it now that you don't need such a specific and easy to lose sweet spot... but then, I know a lot of people just hate 3D in general. I don't really get it, but I guess that's just how it is!
Posted: 12/29/14, 16:07:24
I think 5 years should be the bare minimum for a system, but 6 or 7 years is more ideal (or more). Some of the best games around came out late in the system cycle, because that's when developers really understood the hardware and could produce amazing results. It's unfortunate that everything kind of "resets" when a new system comes out.

I also don't understand the appeal of stopgap systems like this, the new hardware needs to be significant to be worthwhile. But that may just be because I've only ever put value on the games and have never really cared about hardware features.
Posted: 12/29/14, 23:26:05
I'm all for super long hardware cycles. New hardware rarely has much that interests me, would rather spend that money on games.
Posted: 12/30/14, 01:22:32
I got a New 3DS XL for Christmas and it was then I realized I don't really have any games that use the new features (especially Amiibos) so I all for so exclusives or maybe some games that have extra features that can be used with a New 3DS (like in Smash Bros).
Posted: 01/06/15, 06:17:57
Eh. I've been dying for high-resolution on a Nintendo handheld for years and years. Until they finally achieve that, I want each gen to end as quickly as possible.
Posted: 01/07/15, 18:36:55

They have no excuse not to implement a reasonably high resolution screen on the next-gen handheld. Costs have no doubt come way down. It's painful going from the beautiful 2560x1440 screen on my LG G3 to... whatever 1990's looking bullshit is going on with the 3DS.

I obviously don't expect them to go nearly that high, and I'm even willing to sacrifice a little resolution if they give us 3D again, but there's no reason why the next screen shouldn't look gorgeous.
Posted: 01/09/15, 03:30:14

Part of me thinks that the "cheap" look of the 3DS/2DS is actually a selling point for Nintendo. I still think the vast majority of sales are to kids and parents probably are much more comfortable giving kids things that don't look like they can easily be broken. That does seem to be changing though, with the popularity of IPads with little kids. And maybe high resolution screens are becoming more durable? I think Nintendo should be able to find a way for it to work next generation, but I think that's always going to be a factor in their handheld design.
Posted: 01/09/15, 03:37:17

Yeah, goes back to Gunpei Yokoi's philosophy of "Lateral Thinking of Withered Technology" that has served the company well in many, many instances.

So I definitely am not expecting a display of similar quality as my phone anytime soon, but I am pretty certain that it will still be a marked improvement... and most likely finally in "good enough" territory for me personally, just as the current 3DS is in almost every other category.
Posted: 01/09/15, 04:49:40
I think they could at least approach standard definition without costing much more, especially in 2017 or whenever the next system might be. The top screen of 3DS is 400x240 (or 800x240 with 3D on, used for the effect), and the bottom is 320x240, those are both really low. I'd think that 800x480 and 640x480 screens would be cheap enough to produce these days, even if the top screen is 3D again 1,600x480 doesn't seem like that much.
Posted: 01/09/15, 21:15:18
Nintendo has a history of getting better screens each time their handhelds jump up a generation. I have little doubt that the 3DS successor will have a higher res screen than the 3DS. And it'll be fairly significant.
Posted: 01/09/15, 23:35:39
Posted: 01/10/15, 01:25:01

At first you had my curiosity.

Now you have my attention.
Posted: 01/10/15, 04:41:43
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