Coin-OpEd: What's in a launch lineup?

The 3DS launched this week, and I haven't the foggiest why you people bought it. Seriously, what's in this launch lineup?

Hey everyone,

How's it going? How's your mom? I hope she's well. Anyway, I saw a bunch of you picked up Nintendo's new 3DS over the weekend. Here's what Nintendo said: "US day-one sales numbers for Nintendo 3DS were the highest of any Nintendo handheld system in our history." That's bigger than the DS and Game Boy Advance, which have gone on to sell a respective 144 million and 81.5 million systems through 2010.

Hey, so I'm trying to figure this out, because right now, from my perspective, all of you who bought this system, that decision you made is tantamount to bringing a jet ski to Antarctica. Sure it's pretty. Sure it's fast. But Holy Jesus, the water's frigid.

Here's how GameSpot saw it:: 8.5, 8.0, 7.5, 7.5, 7.5, 7.0, 6.5, 6.0, 5.5, 5.5, 5.0, 5.0, 4.5. By my calculations, that's a median of 6.5 and a mean of 6.461538. (See, I can do math. What now, Ms. Williams?!) Taking that value, we're left with the equation: $250 + tax / 6.5 = X, where X is the approximate sum of Poor Decisions. OK, review scores can't be the reason why you all bought this thing.

Why are you here? Where are you going?

Maybe its less the scores and more the franchises that you all were drawn to. The top-scoring 3DS launch title was Capcom's Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition. Now, far be it from me to demean SSFIV:3DE by calling it an inferior port of an otherwise exceptional fighter, but who are we kidding: Until you can plug a Tournament Edition FightStick into the 3DS, it's kind of an inferior port of an otherwise exceptional fighter. Over-the-shoulder camera-view? No thanks.

Nothing says Age of 3D like a top-down turn-based tactics game, so with unbridled enthusiasm may I present Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars. Shadow Wars earned the honors of top-rated original title on the 3DS, and to Ubisoft's credit, it's a well-crafted, entirely worthwhile game (even if it would have been just as good on the DS). But do the Benjamins come out to play for a turn-based strategy game? Me thinks no. Eh, at least it isn't a Petz Pony game.

In the 7.5 range, we find Nintendo's top-rated launch title, Nintendogs + Cats. Out of curiosity, have you all heard anyone play Nintendogs + Cats? It's all the frustration of owning a real animal, without the requisite face-licking. Julian, sit. Sit. Sit. sit. Julian, sit. You little bastard, I'm going to toss you out the window. *sigh* Julian, sit.

Someone had to get the lowest review scores, and who but the franchise's diehard following didn't point to Samurai Warriors: Chronicles as a forgone conclusion? (In fact, that game's Metacritic average currently sits at a 6.0, so good on you, Tecmo Koei.) No, instead it was Steel Diver from a relatively obscure Kyoto-based company called, let me see if I can get this right, Nintendo. (You may have heard of Nintendo. It's the company with audacity enough to support the launch of its new $250 handheld with a janky wreck of a submarine game.)

If this dog could urinate on your rug, it would. And it would laugh at you and laugh at you and laugh at you.

Software of the $40 variety seems to be a non-starter; maybe it's the pack-ins. Let's see, Face Raiders takes casual misanthropy to levels not seen since the days of Jonathan Swift. And as easy as it would be to call the AR Games "neat" or "interesting," in reality, they are throw-away tech demos with lasting appeal to rival a drunken mascot donnybrook at your local sporting event.

StreetPass. Here, at long last, I'm seeing system-selling software. I have a coworker whom I will call Sophia that seems to be utterly enamored with the StreetPass feature, maintaining that while she owns not a single 3DS game, she'll nonetheless compulsively check her 3DS Mii Plaza, hoping for new puzzle pieces, a stronger RPG fighter, or chat updates. Nintendo's commodification of social ties here is inspiring.

In fact, on multiple occasions I have seen my coworkers huddle together, tittering away at the unexpected enthusiasm they have for this mode. You know, when a grown man squeals with the verve of a gleeful child at the arrival of a new puzzle piece, I think I get that. For better or for worse, that's an image not soon to vacate my mind.

But in the end, what are we looking at here? An ancillary feature that can sustain itself for only so long. Nintendo: Where is your tried-and-true Mario Forever strategy? How is it that of the three games you launched alongside the system, none were deemed "great" by GameSpot's critics. Worse, how is it that one earned the ignominious "poor" rating?

Does Nintendo really want people's first impressions of the 3DS to be Steel Diver?

And things started out so well. When the system debuted at the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Nintendo was quick to point out first-party support, announcing that new installments in the Kid Icarus, PilotWings, Mario Kart, Nintendogs, Animal Crossing, StarFox, and Paper Mario franchises were en route. You want to build buzz for a launch system? Give me a new Kid Icarus!

(As a side note, I realize that pining for the release of a game whose lead character is a small boy who flits about dressed in a Grecian toga is problematic. Readers, do not judge me.)

My reserves have run dry, so I'm left to assume that, oh no, all of these systems were sold on a promise. Is that it? Is it that the 3DS is flush with potential, and what's currently available is good enough to justify the purchase of a system that has yet to justify itself? What's the downside of waiting until there's a reason to buy the 3DS? Explain this to me, you crazy early-adopters. Convince me to buy a 3DS.

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Discussion

270 comments
doriot
doriot

i am doing the same thing Bigmeanie1. I might get it for my birthday! In september! I'm Siked!

Bigmeanie1
Bigmeanie1

i didnt get one but looking at paper mario n zelda... i think i just might get one...... after a price drop of corse!!

system_xn
system_xn

"Convince me to buy a 3DS." Why? It's obvious you don't want it. Any long time gamer knows a weak launch line up is nothing new and it won't stop people from buying a console at launch. I myself didn't buy it but i'm not going to try and make anyone feel bad for doing so. Nor will i ask them to justify their purchase. It's their money and they can buy whatever the @#%* they want with it. @Greatfox424 right on!

shafe-man
shafe-man

I didn't get a DS. 'Nuff said.

lance435
lance435

This article said the basic reason why I'm not planning on getting a 3DS this early. The 3DS launch lineup was, in so many ways, disappointing. A good game here, and a whole lot of bad ones on the next. Maybe Nintendo is just simply targeting a "kiddie" market, those who don't think as practically as most teens and adults do with their video games, to get a good start? This would be a wise move in order to give time for the quality titles (Ocarina 3D and Kid Icarus to start a pretty decent list) to be improved and released on a more competitive schedule. As seen on the disappointing starts of both the DS and the Wii, all we have to do is give it time.

Greatfox424
Greatfox424

I am not surprised the slightest with an article like this coming from a writer of this site. I actually rarely come to this site anymore for reasons like this article. The editors of this site are 100% biased on any article they ever write and are completely close minded to every topic they speak about. God forbid something new and original comes out and people are excited for new technology. It seems to me that this society completely bashes everyone and everything that steps out of the lines of the expected. On top of that, those same people have to constantly "speak their minds" as if their opinions are fact. Seeing garbage like this is upsetting and I truly miss the days where video games and anything about video games were just about fun and not like what someone else had mentioned before in the comments in where they said they had enough of this "console war media driven" bull. Well, now that I rambled enough I have two last comments to say to the so called writer of this article: GET OVER IT. GET OVER YOURSELF.

penandpencilman
penandpencilman

BOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! When the first ds games came out, they got a mean/average of about 6.7, and they say the ds is so amazing.

Darth_Quanstars
Darth_Quanstars

wow usually if i wanted to read a crazy rant like this I'd have to go to someone's stupid gaming blog but thank god gamespot has now stooped to this level and i can just find them here

octahedron8
octahedron8

Honestly? I needed a DS that supported WPA, since the DS Lite only does WEP, preventing me from using any Wifi-related game features, and if it weren't for the 3DS I wouldve just got a DSi. But the 3DS has enough extra "stuff" over the DSi that it seemed worthwhile to me. Will it end up being worth it? Who bloody knows. I've only had the thing for a day and I'm quite enjoying it, despite only using the 3d effects about a third of the time. But hey, I got Victini after all, so either way something good came out of it ;P

Blink3r
Blink3r

True, most 3DS owners bought it because of what was promised... I did the same with the Wii a few years ago and Nintendo never delivered what was promised. Needless to say, I learnt my lesson and I'm not getting a 3DS until I see the stuff right there on the table. -.-

Soniel1
Soniel1

Tom magrino shut the F up and buy 3DS you know you want it xD

renji4eva
renji4eva

well you have to take the possiblity that maybe people got the 3ds early for whats to come later. im glad i bought my 3ds at day 1 because i can now focus saving my money on some of the games coming out like dead or alive and resident evil:mercinaries

Darksimm
Darksimm

I get a kick out of this piece..The writer acts like these are the only games that are coming out for the system so boo to all the people who bought this product. I think he needs to realize there are future titles to look forward to and very soon for some I might add. Last time I checked pretty much any system that has come out even after all the hype..the launches were less than stellar..the PS2 comes to mind..one of THE most renown systems of its time (and is still going! good for you PS2) launched with a mediocre Smuggler's run and a crappy fireworks game (Fanavision) and yet went on to win that generations console war. So I think this guy shouldn't sell out a system just cause the launch was ONLY o.k. and not mind blowing. And if he is selling it short, kick him to the curb cause he's proved pretty much he's not a real gamer.

suburbancactus
suburbancactus

The titles weren't the best, but they weren't god-awful. It's starting out with the wonderful feature of being a really damn good gimmick. And I think they probably knew that they wouldn't have to launch it with the best games ever in order to sell it, because 3D everything is hot right now. All they needed was a good wow factor, and they're rich. Not saying it's right, just saying it's business. But I think good stuff will come in time, when the mind-boggling wears off.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

@xdpirate "Hardly any improvements since the last DS?" What the frick are you talking about!?

jellyman68
jellyman68

You're probably just resentful as the success of the 3DS shows that nobody gives a crap what score Gamespot give to a game.

psycho_3813
psycho_3813

I bought it early for the simple reason that if I pre-ordered it, I could pay for it over months instead of dropping 250-300 at once. I'm perfectly happy with the decision even though the only game worth anything (in my opinion) at release was SSFIV. I understand the launch titles were weak, but at least I could pay for it over time and afford to buy a game at launch without feeling too guilty. Many individuals will end up buying the system and then sit around an extra few weeks until they can afford OoT or Kid Icarus. I won't have to worry about that when June rolls around. The system has performed beyond my expectations as well, and I have not experienced any sort of bug, glitch, or malfunction. So while the launch line-up was weak, I was able to justify it by looking at the issue as one of economics, and the post-purchase performance of the 3DS. I paid 250 over a few months, and 40 for SSFIV the day the system came out. It averaged to about \$70 a month including the game. It was either that or \$300 all in one sitting. P.S. I understand that the route I took was not necessarily possible for others to replicate. I'm simply offering my justification for purchasing the 3DS despite the lack of any strong launch titles. I don't necessarily disagree with the author of this article, and if one feels as though it would be better to save money and wait until OoT, Kid Icarus, or whichever title sounds best then go for it.

N0sferat_ninty
N0sferat_ninty

Also, don't take his bashfullness on Nintendo seriously... It's a comedic approach on the 3DS-craze. I'm not buying a 3DS until the updated version is out, also, and launch titles with supreme quality have always been the gist of Nintendo, so it IS weird that they'd release it now.

matthews2087
matthews2087

Im thinking some one is jealous of a companies success in capturing the public imagination with a whole new original concept on a portable gaming system. I pre-ordered mine some time ago, picked it up on launch day with a couple of games, SSF4, Rayman and lego starwars. Love it, love everything about it and then some, by all means im no nintendo fan boy, but the system is great, like any new console the launch title are comonly not the great due to it being new and trying NEW ideas with it. I really dont understant what this guy is trying to say, other than hes not happy because he doesnt have one? Give it a month or two more and we will all start to see things we never thought possible on a system, let alone a portable one.

KWHCoaster
KWHCoaster

"Readers, do not judge me.) " I will, you're a tool.

doriot
doriot

yeah your right :D

JordanElek
JordanElek

I originally had the same opinion (was going to wait until the first hardware improvement), but then the excitement kept growing and growing and I bought one on launch day with Pilotwings. I'm totally happy with my purchase, more so than I even thought I would be. The pack-ins are awesome and way better than expected, and Pilotwings is right up my alley (and a great showcase of 3D). I can't convince you to buy a 3DS because even as happy as I am with mine, it makes almost no logical sense for me to own one. But often, pure logic can't explain everything. If you aren't excited about what you see, don't get one yet.

xdpirate
xdpirate

I totally agree with the author of this article. The 3DS is nothing more than a gimmicky tech demo, with hardly any improvements over its predecessor, except for the 3D (which is horrible).

lotr_fan_7
lotr_fan_7

I'm wondering if this guy isn't jealous cause he didn't get one on launch day. I pre-ordered my 3DS through a retailer so I could trade in my older games which they were running specials to get more for trade ins if towards a 3DS. I also have 3 games: Nintendogs + Cats; Ridge Racer and the Sims 3 (I'm a die hard fan of Sims) I enjoy all of them. Each game has it's own uniqueness that utilizes the features of the 3DS. So yeah the game titles released weren't all that exciting but once you PLAY those games you get hooked.

doriot
doriot

CrillanK I think so too!

doriot
doriot

It doesn't make any sense! Gamespot was talking about how awesome the 3DS is then they bring this article out! I just don't get it!

CrillanK
CrillanK

I like how he sites GameSpot reviews as if they're the end all, be all of opinions. Wonder who he's trying to suck up to within the company. Here's a thought, maybe it's selling so well because the opinions of this site don't truly reflect those of the gamers who actually like a lot of the games, the system software, and the system itself. I personally am still loving the AR games and the five games I bought with the system. I'm also looking forward to a lot of games coming out, the browser, eStore and Netflix. Everyone I show it to thinks it looks amazing and are saying they will probably buy one. The games I got are SSFIV, Nintendogs + Cats, Samurai Warriors, Steel Diver and Pilotwings. All are fun and look great! This guy should just get back into the box he crawled out from.

doriot
doriot

has he even tried it out! I mean why write comments about it if you have no experience?

Weeeooojr
Weeeooojr

I'm waiting for Layton Vs. Wright. That game better come out in NA! Then I'll but a 3DS :D

GunGriffin
GunGriffin

What is this GS more hate for a system that just launched like a week ago? I honestly think Ur out to get fanboys mad and piss people off just for site hits......... Comon guys the Console war is a fake made up media debate that has infected all gamers and stopped many of us from enjoying what we truly love Video games............. I think there should of been an editor to ban this posting by GS because it's just some Nintendo hate fanboy whining about the launch titles 24/7. Honestly GS, or should I say Gauk Spot dose this for every system launch they do nothing but complain, then post bad reviews for as many games as they can till they find one they are payed to trumpit. IE Halo, Gears, Crysis, Killzone, Mario, Uncharted Kid Icraus ETC.......... This is a blatent attack news post that should be posted on the GS blog not on the front news page............ WOW GS has sunk this low now. No wonder people are leaving these reveiw sites in droves.

GameGoddess32
GameGoddess32

I haven't bought a 3DS yet,but I'm going to buy one because of the Nintendogs + Cats game.I loved the original game,but it didn't have cats...it does now! I'm not going to be an early adopter though.I'm going to buy one closer to Christmas...it will be a Christmas prezzie to myself(hey,if no one gets you what you want for Christmas and you have the money to buy it yourself,why not buy yourself a Christmas present?That way,it will be exactly what you want...hehehehe)

KCMasterpiece79
KCMasterpiece79

I actually didn't buy a game at launch. I know that they are not in the least of the highest quality but I find the taking of 3D pictures on the system to be a fascinating and enjoyable experience. There is a 3ds picture sharing website from Japan that I hjave downloaded pictures from and am amazed at the eye popping architecture and beauty of the various locations and people. So for me its not about launch games its about sn affordable way to take 3D photos and blast some friends faces in the process. Plus when you pre-ordered it from a major online retailer you got a free accessory and $25 off of a launch title making it $15 for a pack of stylus' and Piolet Wings Resort (being shipped to me soon) so for me it was worth it.

Iciomura
Iciomura

To the people who write comments: I have to say that every opinion is unique, is not a matter of what’s wrong or right. This whole thing of gaming has become a total war, is pointless to me because we all are gamers, after all. As I always say: “everything is relative”. That said I want to point out that he actually does have a point. But the tone of the article is “unprofessional”. As a writer he must be critical, but he needs to be objective too. I pretend to buy one myself and I felt a offended. I'll buy it anyway, because when I saw kid ikarus, star fox and street fighter, I was pretty excited and I thought they were great. And the 3D thing, made it appealing to me. I think the titles could be better, but I didn’t think they all are so terrible.

Iciomura
Iciomura

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Iciomura
Iciomura

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ghostjr
ghostjr

View the comments from first to last, read DustinTheWind's comments, and that is what should be on the front page rather than this garbage. Unless Gamespot purposely chose a writer that would chastise and frustrate it's viewers, putting this article up here wasn't the smartest move. Sure, it's his opinion. Sure, it's his right to speak it. But it's pretty immature and makes the site look bad if there is a writer that talks this much trash about a new major handheld that is actually doing pretty well.

Captain_Kall
Captain_Kall

Do You Really think this is level of gaming this is nintendo marketing at its best. They are letting the third parties to have there time in the sun. Why? Because YOU YES YOU WHO ARE READING THIS CRIED AND MOANED ABOUT A LACK OF THIRD PARTY SUPPORT FOR NINTENDO CONSOLE!!! ITS YOUR FAULT YOUR BLINDNESS STOLE MARIO KART AND ZELDA AND KID ICARUS!! LOOK WHAT YOU DID!! Look at the DS there were 1000s of games most of which Nintendo didnt make. And only every 20th third Party Wii game is good (not great but good). I blame the winers.

doriot
doriot

Oh and there is a sweepstake at Gamestop! You can be one of the 60 winners to win the 3DS! You click on 3DS add on home page and wala there's the sweepstake! but you have to go to a store with the 3DS demo and try it out and write about experionce on sweepstake! Grand Prize (60 winners) : 3DS, 3DS carrying case, and a 500$ gamestop giftcard! First Prize: 60$ gamestop giftcard

doriot
doriot

Plus I'm srry if I state the obvious but I think Nintendo just made the DSi XL so they could raise money to make the 3DS!! OR they just wanted money....

MobiusWolf
MobiusWolf

One of the upsides this doesn't mention is that the 3DS works with most network security types, unlike the DS which only supports WEP encryption. Call me crazy, but I like not having to turn off my network security in order to use the online features of the games I want to play. I agree that it would have been nice to see at least one of Nintendo's main franchises in the starting line up, but the initial launch set seems to have something for many gamers and I'm thoroughly enjoying the two titles I picked up at launch (Lego Star Wars & Samurai Warriors) because they're the kind of games I find fun.

doriot
doriot

I think he is just ticked off that it was too much money so he's conplaining about the 3DS!

phoenix_44
phoenix_44

I'll convince you with a crowbar. Nobody can make you buy one you freak, its everyones own decision. Some people will buy it because they are Nintendo fanboys who need the new system out of sheer loyalty. Some people will buy it because they are video gaming fanboys, and love everything to with the industry and just want the opportunity to not miss out on a historic moment in gaming history. Some people might even buy one because they themselves actually like some titles in the launch lineup are just want to have fun. And who they hell are you to judge them? I know that you were very clever in your choice of words, and you didnt actually say that 'anyone who bought one is an idiot' but that is how I and everyone else reads it.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

Somebody needs to take a nap. This guy is about to flip **** over launch titles? And the tone in which this was written needs to be adjusted a bit, or I'll be removing GameSpot from my tabs. There are so many other great sites that don't patronize their readers.

SinStriker
SinStriker

Has a point, but somehow too critical. Why not criticize the Kinect or the Move instead?

19wert
19wert

This article does not belong here and is a disgrace.

Adult__Link
Adult__Link

Another reason is because people like to own new things, I know I do

Adult__Link
Adult__Link

II don't know how this website works, but I don't think this should be a Feature on the front page where younger people can click on it to see a curse word or two unless there's an age verification. Secondly, Launch titles never predict how well a system is going to do, I think most of us are sold on promises like Zelda, Mario, Kingdom Hearts ect... and given our past experience and joy with Nintendo products, we bought this one up. Not saying the Launch titles are the greatest, but Nintendo has been around for a long time, and we feel comfortable now getting this system because it has alot of good features and if publishers see how well it's doing, there will me more and better games developed because of it So great system, mediocre launch titles, promises, and good personal experience with Nintendo is why alot of people probally bought this :D