Well, a 3DS price drop eh? That was rather quick. As I’ve mentioned before, Strategy Informer doesn’t cover the handheld portion of our industry so on a personal level I only keep a casual eye on what’s going on over there, especially Nintendo. Still, this is a surprising move, even with the recent news that their share price has also dropped, so something must not have gone according to plan. Personally, I question the 3DS’ relevance on the market at the moment – it’s too little too soon, and at the price tag that was being asked for it, I wouldn’t be surprised if it hasn’t sold that well. Not sure what the software is like for it – are there any games that make the 3D part worth it?
I fell out of love with my DS years ago when I realised there wasn’t that many decent games about – so I traded in nearly all of them for 360 games instead, keeping only Advanced Wars: Days of Ruin and my handful of old GBA games (I’m still rocking the 1st Gen DS’s with GBA compatibility). I just felt like there was too much crapware – and the few decent titles were getting buried. Sure, re-releases like Final Fantasy III & IV were welcome, and I’d bought… III I think before The Great Purge, but in terms of new and interesting IP’s there wasn’t a lot that I could find. Things haven’t changed much from what I can see, but I’m starting to play my DS more and more thanks to youngest brother – he still has faith. Now I’m armed with Final Fantasy III & IV, along with Pokémon Platinum and I got my Breath of Fire II (GBA) game back.
I also bought Infinite Space, by the same guys who did Vanquish and Bayonetta, which is kind of weird, and cool. It’s a space-based RPG with a little bit of strategy involved. As Yuri, you fly out among the stars, gaining in experience and getting a fleet together. Main selling point is the fleet customization, which covers everything from crew, to ship type, to load out and a whole host of other features, or some I’m told. Reading some reviews there were a few things that put me off – design choices that don’t break the game, but can get on your nerves over time. Still, I had a voucher so I decided to give it a go in order to try and revive my handheld gaming. I’ll let you know how I get on.
On the other hand though, the 3DS price drop means that it will now be significantly cheaper than the upcoming PS Vita, although that at least has games and hardware to back up the price point, without relying on gimmicks. I’ve said this to others whenever it comes up, but I think the Vita, despite sounding like a health biscuit, will have a better time of things than the PSP will. The support just wasn’t there from the third parties, and then there was the PSP Go incident – that was a bad idea if ever I saw one. It wouldn’t have been as bad if there was an easy way to convert games bought on UMD onto the PSP Go. It’s why I’m uneasy about buying a kindle – all my favourite books I already have in paperback form, and I refuse to buy them again just so I can have them on the kindle.
Of course, Nintendo wasn’t the only company whose shares have dropped recently – THQ took a hit as well. Apparently Red Faction: Armageddon didn’t sell that well, which is a shame because I kind of liked it. EA’s Bulletstorm didn’t sell well either, now that I think about it. Child of Eden didn’t do great either… I remember one marketing person (who seems like he knows these things) commenting that the games industry is “so fucked right now”.
Maybe he’s right.