Frustration Friday: Nintendo Isn’t Getting It

So the Nintendo 3DS is coming out, and it's insanely highly priced, doesn't do much new, and too many games are remakes.

I have to come to the conclusion that Nintendo No Longer Gets It.  I'm sort of sad at that as they were doing so well, but the DS is just . . . a DS with a few more extra things.  Nintendo's problem is that they're walking between two business models.

The first model is the Monofunction model.  That's the Kindle, that WAS the DS.  It's a device largely used for one thing, dedicated to its use – and cheap enough that you don't want to get a multifunction device.  $250+ for a device is sort of getting beyond the price point for an ideal device – especially when you have competition from the other model . . .

The second model is the Multifunction model.  This is the Smartphone, the Tablet, and so forth.  More pricey than the Monofunction devices, they also do a heck of a lot more, and are often expanding and evolving.  People, in my experience, are willing to pay about $500+ for a good Multifunction device – and in the realm of phones, sign-up deals give you incredible discounts.

The new DS doesn't have nearly enough features to be a Multifunction Device.  It's price is a hefty chunk higher than the $200 or so price point I find is the break point for most Monofunction devices.  Throw in the fact that you're still shelling out a decent amount of money for a game on a cart when you get the much cheaper on the Multifunction competitors . . .

The DS, once a great device, simply no longer makes sense in today's age where Cheap And Single Function or More Expensive And Multifunction are the two patterns.

I see two ways for the DS to go:

  • A cheap, download-oriented system that also runs old carts.
  • Evolving into a multifunction device, a kind of two-screened tabletlike device.

Somehow I don't see that happening.

I feel, for some reason, sad.

Steven Savage