Can the 3DS hold its own?

Nintendo’s new 3DS handheld features graphical improvements, as well as the ability to produce 3D effects without the need for any special glasses.

It seems that Nintendo has found itself the Midas Touch, as the sales of both the Wii and Nintendo DS broke records across the board. And now, with reports of Amazon pre-orders for the system breaking records in the UK, it seems that Nintendo will have another successful life cycle ahead of it – or will it?

While it’s easy to spot the high numbers during the system’s launch window, at its core the 3DS is not anything more revolutionary than “Oh, it’s a DS that play games in 3D!.”

Of course the 3DS will probably sell bucket loads, but what kind of lifespan will it have when its greatest innovative component is 3D graphics? With consoles lasting past the typical 5-year lifecycle, it’s difficult to believe that 3D is going to be as revolutionary then as it is now.

We now live in a world where everything needs  to  be  in a form of multi-media.

A cellphone doesn’t just make calls; it can update your Facebook status, check your email and in some cases, program your DVR. While Nintendo tries to add all the bells and whistles of the glorified pedometer and messaging services, it’s major competition is still mobile games.

The launch titles of the 3DS are weak, and while there are promises for better games in the future, it seems that Nintendo is playing the “Trust Us, We Have Mario” card. However, gamers have seen in this trick before with the Wii (How’s Skyward Sword coming, Miyamoto-San?), and have been burned one too many times before, and the hardcore Nintendo fateful are still nursing those old Wii Wounds.

You've broken his heart, Nintendo!

Hardcore gamers may be put off by the new handle, finding it not “new “enough to be excited for, and still a bit sore from being cast aside for the younger, casual game market. These gamers may have turned to their phones to replace their handhelds, playing in short spurts during commutes to work or waiting for the latest PS3 firmware update to install.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, casual gamers may not be entirely sold on the idea of throwing down $300 on a handheld gaming console that appears to be exactly like its successor.

And again, sure the 3D is cool, but is that a strong enough selling point? The proof is in the pudding as they say, and while the launch of the 3DS is most likely going to be a success, I’m curious to see where the handheld stands after the novelty wears off.

While those buying the system on launch date will be pacified with playing Nintendogs + Cats and Pilot Wings Resort, other fans will be waiting it out.