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Is the 3DS doomed to be a First-Party machine again? [roundtable]
Nintendo made their strategy pretty clear RE: the 3DS. Make some room for third-parties at launch, let them get some sales and bring in a new audience, etc. I'm not sure that Nintendogs underwhelming performance was a part of that strategy, but STILL...

Thing is, I'm not sure that it worked. At all. Street Fighter sold alright. LEGO Star Wars probably did okay. Everything else? Maybe not so much. And Nintendo is firing the big guns this holiday season. BLAM! Super Mario 3DS. BLAM BLAM!! Mario Kart 3DS. In addition to, without belaboring the gun metaphor, Ocarina, Star Fox 64, and Luigi's Mansion 2. So, seeya, third-parties, I guess?

I mean, MK3DS is going to be sold at basically a 1:1 ratio with the system from now on. SM3DS won't be as ubiquitous as NSMB on the DS, but it'll be significant. And as much as it pains me, Ocarina and Star Fox 64 will probably be nostalgia-fueled system-sellers. And it's not like Nintendo is going to stop releasing games after that. Have third-parties squandered their chance? Did they ever have one to begin with?

Or am I being too pessimistic? I mean, it was pretty much the same story on the DS, and that had pretty good third-party support. But will that support remain in the Vita/iPhone era?

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Posted: 06/21/11, 22:42:26
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I agree with your assessment of the hardware, but software is what's key here. Is Sony going to create portable-style games for the PS Vita? Unless they've changed their software philosophy from the PSP, the PS Vita could suffer from the same fate as the PSP (although I think the PS Vita will sell much better than the PSP ever did).
Posted: 06/21/11, 23:54:13
You could be right, but so far the press impressions for Uncharted Golden Abyss have been very positive. Plus, Sony Bend has a pretty damn impressive track record creating portable games that really pack a punch (despite the limitations of the PSP).

I'm not saying the Vita is guaranteed to be a huge success, I just don't think you can say it's in the exact same boat as the PSP. I'm taking a wait and see approach, erring on the side of cautious optimism.

I agree, they're going to need more than just a few big blockbusters. But one thing I think is interesting to note is that the multi-touch screen is going to make it very easy for developers to port iOS games to the system, so we may see a ton of cheap/quicky titles make their way to Vita by that route.
Posted: 06/21/11, 23:54:51  - Edited by 
 on: 06/21/11, 23:58:58
@deathly_hallows Of course they have, and it will probably be an excellent game. But put next to Uncharted 3? Anyway I wasn't making an argument that Vita is in the same boat as PSP (it's not, for many reasons, including price) but just that it's highly unlike that handhelds will ever get truly console-rivaling games in these big HD franchises. This doesn't mean they won't be great games.

I really think Nintendo found a more workable solution, which is to offer games that fundamentally differ from their console counterparts.
Posted: 06/22/11, 00:00:59

Shit, I also forgot Animal Crossing, which is potentially huge.

Keep in mind, this thread also goes for Japan, where third-party software sales seem to have been even shittier.

Yeah, what IS Iga up to, besides squeezing those Xbots dry?

I think MGS3D would be pretty big, if Konami didn't cut its legs out with the MGS HD Collection. It's like RE4 all over again.

I agree that the Vita seems to be repeating many of the 'mistakes' of the PSP, regarding its library. But they are also going to have small downloadable stuff, right? Doesn't it run Android, or something? Plus, the existence of the iPhone muddies up the crystal ball a bit.

I'd be happy with DS-level support, but, again, that's harder to get in a post-iPhone world. (Ideally, though, I'd want better-than-DS support.)

Chinatown Wars is a very strange example. I'd call it a disappointment, but it bombed on the PSP afterward.

I DO think the Vita is very similar to the PSP, at this point, in terms of announced franchises and scaled-down PS3 stuff. We'll see if they make a huge push for cellular ports, or something.

At E3? Yeah, I noticed that, too. Not only did we NOT get a new list of games, we didn't even get a status update on most of the logos that were flashed on the screen last year.
Posted: 06/22/11, 00:05:12  - Edited by 
 on: 06/22/11, 00:07:17
Thread successfully derailed


I feel that few games really took advantage of the hardware. NSMB was probably the worst offender. Maybe Mario Kart was right up there. And the games that really did showcase the DS' capabilities didn't sell as well (The World Ends With You). Most other games didn't have any business being in the DS, although you need "traditional" gaming experiences since realistically we shouldn't expect every game to start a revolution. It's true that for Nintendo, a lot of its big franchises overlap, (Mario Kart, Super Mario platformers, Zelda?) And certainly when I think of portable gaming, there is nothing inherently unique about it. I game mostly at home anyway so I wouldn't mind an deeper and wider experience within reason. With that said I think Sony is doing something right with Cloud gaming. Being able to save your game and continue right where you left off is a godsend for portable gaming.

And when we look back at the DS library, there are only a handful of good games that benefited from touch or dual screen controls. Other could have been done bigger and better on Wii, and many were (Mario Kart for example). That still didn't stop Square Enix and Capcom from putting console-like experiences on the DS and PSP respectively. Final Fantasy IV and Monster hunter are two hardcore games, that don't exactly lend themselves to quick, five minute bursts, but yet they both did very well.

I think that at the end of the day, a good game is a good game. It doesn't matter if it's a console game coming to a portable. Paradoxically, however, if we lose the portability aspect, what is the point of having the device in the first place?
Posted: 06/22/11, 00:40:41  - Edited by 
 on: 06/22/11, 00:54:15
I wasn't able to read all the replies cause I'm at work, but I think it is way to early in the system's life to be worrying about something like this.
Posted: 06/22/11, 00:53:41
Is somebody trying to come up with the argument that the DS was nothing but a first party machine? Ludicrous.
Posted: 06/22/11, 01:25:02
The Vita will get western support, maybe some eastern support.

The 3DS will get eastern support, maybe some west support.

The DS IMO was not as great as it was because of first party games. It was the third-party gems that really made the DS a great system. Games like Radiant Historia, Okamiden, etc. is what made the DS good.

The Vita is a console that I will wait on. Sony is not proven in the handheld scene (the PSP was good but a lot of ports were on the machine) and I don't want another PSP situation in which like someone said in this thread I get a watered down version of a console game.

Sony needs to understand that I play handhelds to get a handheld experience. I don't want a console in my hands where ports of Ps3 games come into play.

The DS was nothing like the Wii/Gamecube and as such it got original titles. The PSP was too much like the PS2/PS3 and it didn't get original titles.

The Vita some what solves this problem with the touch screens but with the dual analog sticks developers may just port a ton of games/make watered down ports of Ps3 games, while having the multi-touch screens/gyro as a novelty.

I guess the same can be said about the 3DS as above too, but I don't see developers porting down games to the 3DS because the technology isn't there for the 3DS currently. This may backfire or this may lead to 3rd party gems like how the DS shaped out to be.
Posted: 06/22/11, 01:25:11

Another pitfall for Sony- banking on western developers for Vita support. Why do you think their 3rd party announcements were so threadbare? Mark Rein cares about making big pictures in the living room and on the PC. He could not give two shits about dedicated handhelds.
Posted: 06/22/11, 01:30:00


The West and East are really different right now in gaming tastes.


-prefers handhelds over consoles (hence the support for handhelds, and all the JRPG's the DS and PSP got)

North America:

-prefers consoles over handhelds (hence the support mostly for consoles, PSP/DS didn't really see much in terms of western games. One genre really lacking IMO was the first person shooter, which has a crazy fan-base in North America and the western rpg).

Was it always like this? I am too young to know.
Posted: 06/22/11, 01:38:10

It has been worse in the past. Nintendo was the only ones putting forth an effort on the handheld front for what feels like two decades. 3rd parties put their scrubs in charge of watered down ports and cheap commercial cash-ins for movies and cartoons. Disney may have put a couple decent games out there at some point. With the advent of the DS (will be the #1 console of all time when all is said and done), it became much more difficult, at least in the east, for 3rd parties to ignore the $$$ possibilities.
Posted: 06/22/11, 01:42:06

152 developers are currently working on Vita games.

List here.

75 from Japan
20 NA
57 EU/AU/Pacific


Updated list
Posted: 06/22/11, 02:56:03  - Edited by 
 on: 06/22/11, 03:02:27
@New Forms

Lists are nice. Let's see what actually materializes in March of 2012.
Posted: 06/22/11, 03:25:52

Indeed. We don't need to pull out the old Gamecube lists and such. Those were massive failures and disappointments.
Posted: 06/22/11, 04:53:31
@New Forms

152? First off, I need to see a list of all 152 names of these developers before I believe that #. And even so, I wonder how many I have never heard of before..probably something like 130. And even if true, those #s meaning nothing...well, they do mean one thing if true, there will end up being alot of those developers who end up probling closing shop or not making much money.
Posted: 06/22/11, 05:39:41
I guess the notables (at least the ones I can recognize off that list) are:


Tomy Company
Ignition Entertainment
Marvelous Entertainment
Namco Bandai
Chun Soft
D3 Publisher
Square Enix

North America:

Epic Games
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
High Voltage Software
2K Games
Paramount Digital Entertainment
Rockstar Games
Electronic Arts


Take 2

It also seems a lot of the EU have repeats of NA support as well.

Overall, I could recognize a lot of Japanese "support" (I use that term loosely), some NA support, and little EU.
Posted: 06/22/11, 05:50:45  - Edited by 
 on: 06/22/11, 05:52:27
Just reporting what I read, guys.
Posted: 06/22/11, 16:28:20

Although actually? I'm not going to question your premise. It's interesting to me what the 3rd party situation is going to be on 3DS. I remember a lot of developers were ready to jump on board with the original DS, almost from the get-go. Iga was trying to figure out how to use the touch screen for Castlevania, Itagaki promised a new project for the system at the system's E3 unveiling, Square was on-board from the get-go, and SEGA already had demos of a new Sonic game to show, and the announcement of "Project Rub."

But the 3DS? I dunno. Capcom seems to have jumped on board right away, which is nice to see. Square's got a couple of things cooking. Konami's got a port of Snake Eater, which as mentioned above, had it's legs cut out from under it thanks to the announcements of the HD remakes. And I *think* SEGA's got a couple things in the pipe, including a Wii/3DS multi-platform game. Assuming that's still in development - there was no update or news at E3 about it.

I think I heard this either on IGN's Nintendo Voice Chat Podcast, or Radio Free Nintendo Podcast, but one of the "editors" mentioned how he was expecting this E3 to be the 3DS's "coming out party" so to speak. I was assuming the same thing. When the 3DS was first announced, there were TONS of company logos and names provided on a big screen that seemed to stretch across the entire stage. All developers were on board and ready to go. But between then and now, a lot of those projects haven't been touched upon since, went without a mention, or got outright canceled. And what came to replace those? Not much, honestly. Namco announced a Tekken game for the 3DS, so.... yay?

In any case, it's a bit too early to really tell what's going to happen. I mean, the system is what? 2 months old? Maybe 3 months old, if we wanna be generous? In "internet time" that seems like FOREVER, I know. But in the grand scheme of things, the system is still very much an infant. Right now there ARE a lot of game being developed by a lot of different companies, but I think it's too soon in the 3DS's lifespan to really forecast how things play out.

It's going be an interesting generation for gaming enthusiasts. No doubt about that.
Posted: 06/22/11, 16:57:03
My favorite third party 3DS announcement this E3 was THQ saying that Saints Row was actually never being developed for the 3DS.

I mean, WTF. Apparently to show up on Nintendo's hype reels and to have a logo of your franchise on there, you don't actually need to be working on anything.

Which I guess explains a lot.

Guess we can forget about Ken Levine's games showing up on the Wii U.
Posted: 06/22/11, 17:06:11
Pretty sure that was Rich from NVC, but it could have been Jonathan Metts from RFN too... I listened to both of those back to back yesterday so they're a little muddled in my mind.

Anyway, I think what happened is that Nintendo wanted to focus on the Wii U, and maybe 3rd parties are backing down a little from the 3DS due to the lackluster sales and the general climate of disappointment and dismay coming from the mainstream gaming press.
Posted: 06/22/11, 17:06:14
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