Maybe Joe Gamer and his friends aren't as enthused about 3D gaming as Nintendo hoped they would be. In an interview with USA Today, Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aime, revealed that consumers bought just shy of 400,000 Nintendo 3DS units in the first week after the handheld game console launched. Fils-Aime tried to put a positive spin on the sales figures, but compared to Nintendo's other systems, the 3DS isn't having the same kind of impact.
According to rumors, Nintendo is gearing up to drop the price of its Wii game console in the middle of May by $50, dropping the cost down to $150. We'll have to wait and see if that happens, but in the meantime, both Best Buy and Toys R Us marked the motion-controlled console down to $170. Is it worth rolling the dice, or will you be kicking yourself in a month?
Now that both Microsoft and Sony have added motion controls to each of their respective consoles, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Nintendo may have lost a bit of its competitive edge. The Wii is no longer the only console in town that lets you control the on-screen action by flailing around in your living room. And until the upcoming price cut takes effect, it no longer trumps all other modern consoles at the register. Could these be clues that at Wii 2 is on the horizon?
The Nintendo Wii has always held a pricing advantage over its two main competitors, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 consoles. That's no longer the case with Microsoft now selling a 4GB Xbox 360 for $199, the same price as the Wii. To regain its competitive edge at the register, rumor has it that Nintendo is going to knock another $50 off the Wii on May 15th.
Sony CEO Jack Tretton didn't mince any words when discussing Nintendo's Wii and DS gaming consoles. He isn't concerned about the recently released 3DS, nor is he losing any sleep over third party numbers, which has the PlayStation 3 sitting in third place with 49.2 million PS3's sold globally, compared to 86.3 million Wiis. If you ask Tretton, and CNN did, Nintendo builds 'babysitting tools.'
Let's forget for a moment that watercooling a Nintendo Wii console is about as useful as putting racing tires on a Pinto. After seeing what one looks like (a watercooled Wii, not a Pinto), we don't care. The final result is a thing of beauty that makes for a great conversation piece, even if it won't make Super Mario Galaxy load any faster.
Some things you definitely should not try at home, like microwaving electronic components. Leave it to the professionals and the crazies to take on such tasks, of which Kenny Irwin might be a little of both. Irwin operates the Microwave Show, a YouTube channel dedicated to popping various electronics into microwaves and recording the carnage. His latest experiment is Nintendo's 3DS handheld console.
Nintendo's Hideki Konno, who was a key person in the 3DS's development, is very frank about Nintendo's past failures in the 3D space. In the 1980s, for example, Nintendo tried to push a companion disc player that could be connected to a computer and used with a pair of company manufactured 3D goggles. The project flopped and never made it out of Japan. Then there was the Virtual Boy, a semi-portable 3D system that also required 3D goggles. The recently launched 3DS is Nintendo's first real success in 3D, or at least it's looking that way so far, just don't expect Nintendo's next home console to support 3D.
Never mind the headaches and reported Black Screen of Death syndrome affecting some 3DS consoles, for some, the real gripe against Nintendo's latest handheld game player is the price. Without any extras, the 3DS runs $250, or $50 shy of a slim Xbox 360 console with a 250GB hard drive. Decide for yourself whether this comes as any consolation or more salt in the wound, but a recent breakdown of parts pegs the bill of materials (BOM) and manufacturing costs of the 3DS at $103 and a quarter.
Nintendo's eye-popping portable powerhouse may be the talk of the town, but not all of said talk has been positive. Foremost, early adopters have reported trouble with the novely named Black Screen of Death, which kicks users to an ominous, sadly 2D error message that prompts an immediate reset. For some, however, problems have persisted to the point of angry marches back to the retailer, receipt in hand. Before you toss a brick through Nintendo's window over your bricked portable, however, let's hear the console-maker's side of the story.