(Photo: Troy A. Blevins / MJ)
(Photo: Troy A. Blevins / MJ)

By JOHN PUSTELNIK, Guest Writer

The Nintendo 3DS is Nintendo’s latest handheld game system, but with games available on smartphones for 99 cents, perhaps people don’t feel as inclined to buy a 3DS as they would have 5 years ago.

The Nintendo DS is the second best-selling video game console of all time. Perhaps part of the reason is due to its broad range of games that appealed to consumers who normally don’t play games.

Games like New Super Mario Bros. and Brain Age were able to be simple enough for the casual consumer, and deep enough for the regular video game player. These games simply appealed to everyone.

The DS was released in 2004 and has sold 152.50 million units. It didn’t have smartphones to compete against. The 3DS on the other hand, was released in 2011 and has sold 22.19 million units.

The broad range of consumers that normally don’t play games who bought a DS most likely own a smartphone now.

So, why would they bother buying a 3DS this holiday season?

Ask any person who regularly plays video games what they think of the 99 cent games available on smartphones compared to the $20 – $40 games available on the 3DS.

They know very well that with the more expensive price tag of a 3DS game usually comes unrivaled quality and depth. These types of people don’t play games to kill time, they play games for the experience, much like people who watch movies for the experience, not to kill time.

The problem for Nintendo is, how can they get this message through to smartphone users who can’t comprehend paying $40 for a game when they can get one on their smartphone for 99 cents? To them, a game is a game.

If they can have fun and be content playing game with a 100 dollar production value, then they will never buy a 3DS. On the other hand, if they want a deep experience with production values in the millions, good music, gameplay, and story, the 3DS is right up their alley.

  • Diamond Ammo

    I don’t mean to be rude but were you dropped on your head from the grand canyon and with a miracle, you survived?

    You pay $40 for 3ds games because they are quality games like resident evil revelations and monster hunter 3 ultimate. You can’t get a smartphone game that rivals the quality you get with an average 3ds game. Take a look at the monster hunter game on smartphones, now take a look at 3 ultimate on 3ds, and tell me which one is the REAL game.

    Exactly. Developers aren’t gonna be making games on smartphones that rival a dedicated handheld’s because they have a price cap of around 10 dollars max, no developer will invest millions of dollars and put lots of work and effort to create a masterpiece for a 10 dollar game that will be thrown to the curb and get drowned out by all the casual games and it’s worth more than 10 bucks.

    I use my 3ds xl at home and on the go, I do have a nexus 4, but not for gaming, It’s for being a pocket computer, my 3ds is for quality core gaming

    The best smartphones can do right now is offer games with vita-like graphics to make it LOOK like it’s console quality, but they are not they are just repetitive,have bad voice acting and have no depth. Even original ds games still beat smartphone games of today

    the smartphone gaming age is far off, in may ever even come.

    I suspect to combat smartphones sony and nintendo for next gen will have a version for their dedicated handhelds that have calling and texting support, who would need ios and android then huh? Real games+ calling and texting=win