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Why the 3DS isn't selling well

Nintendo is not happy with initial sales of the 3DS. Here's why it's not selling as well as they anticipated.


Nintendo is not happy with sales thus far for the Nintendo 3DS despite claims that the 3D handheld broke records in the first week of its launch.

Since then, most headlines about the 3DS cite Nintendo being disappointed with sales post-launch. The original DS is certainly a tough act to follow, but there are other reasons why we think the 3DS is off to a bumpy start.

The price
Overall we liked the 3DS, but we felt that it was a bit too pricey for a handheld console that doesn't necessarily provide all-in-one functionality like other devices out there. Now with the Wii dropping to just $150, the 3DS is now $100 more expensive than its home console cousin.

The games
The launch game lineup for the 3DS wasn't exactly exciting, so we'd understand if a large population of potential customers are waiting for a killer app. To the surprise of many, Nintendo did not put forth a notable first-party effort, offering only three titles at launch. We liked Pilotwings Resort, but haven't dusted off Nintendogs + Cats or Steel Diver in weeks.

The 3D controversy
There's no denying that when it's initially experienced, the 3DS' 3D effect is spectacular. That said, for some gamers it's a short-lived novelty. While claims of headaches and nausea seem to have subsided, there are still very real and annoying issues regarding viewing angle and motion. A sneeze can knock the 3D out of sync and playing it on something like a subway is beyond frustrating.

It's also very confusing when games try to combine motion controls with 3D. The two essentially cancel the other out. If you move around the 3DS console to control say, Super Monkey Ball 3D, it's guaranteed to un-sync the 3D effect.

Other shortcomings
Most of the online functionality of the 3DS is currently, well, offline. Even though we were told that May would see the debut of a 3DS store, we're still waiting. Of course the month is still young, but there hasn't been any sign of what's to come. Also, the 3DS' battery life is astonishingly short, something we've never really had to deal with in a Nintendo product before.

We finished our official review stating that the 3DS has a bright future. We still stand behind that sentiment, but it's tough to see a light at the end of the tunnel when there continues to be a severe drought in the games department. Sure, the redesigned 3D rendition of Ocarina of Time will most likely sell systems, but we still think gamers need more of an incentive to take the plunge.

Why don't you think the 3DS is selling as well as Nintendo had expected? Do you own a 3DS? Are you satisfied with your purchase? Sound off below in our comments section.