The 3DS is currently the top selling dedicated handheld video game platform in the world so you would assume that because of that that the system would have quality games being released every month, but you’d be surprised just how “mixed” that assumption can be. Why i used the word mixed is because yes there are many quality game being released for the platform on a monthly/ bi-monthly basis, but so many of them are exclusive to particular regions. What this means is that even though the 3DS owners in the US may get Ace attorney in January, Europe or Japan may have to wait till December or vice versa. This detachment that has been created between regions is due to the systems being region locked and the failure of many games getting localized or simply released in particular regions is simply ridiculous. What this does is hurt the platforms image in the same way that the Wii’s image got damaged. It was a top selling console that was considered to have a library primarily consisting of shovelware, and that is what the 3DS is technically starting to become.
How many people actually buy those crappy movie games? how many buy those mediocre indie titles? (I mean no offence to the indie crowd as a whole, because there are very few gems among them).
These types of poorly made games hurt a consoles image and that is a shame seeing as there are so many great games already developed for the device that may already be translated that are just not ported to other regions, oh and don’t give me those stupid arguments like; “it cost money to localize them”, or “it expensive to manufacture for just a niche group”. those kind of arguments are defeated easily by two simple things, one being the internet (digital download), and the other being that many of these games can be textually localized for less or by indie groups, and they would still be completely accepted.
By not insisting that these games be available in most if not every region, via physical or at the very least digital means Nintendo is limiting themselves and hurting the image of the 3DS. compared to their direct competition, the PS Vita, they are potentially doing better, but compare both devices catalogs of quality titles that are available internationally and you may see the Vita comes out on top. Games like One Piece Super Grand battle X, Inazuma eleven 1,2 & 3 and Beyond the Labyrinth are system sellers, they are also not first party titles, and that looks good to consumers. When we see more 3rd party support we are more likely to buy, keep and use our systems. You see even though there are more 3DS sold than Vitas we need to consider how much of them are actively still being used, how long they are actually used and what titles are played more than others. On my 3DS for example I have a 3rd party game as my most played game and of all the games I’ve played on it I may have only completed the 3rd party ones that I bought. This is not a jab at Nintendo’s first party, but rather a simple example of a 3DS owner that would prefer more options for his handheld and I’m sure that I’m not alone.
list of games US 3DS owners need:
- E.X Trooper
- Entire Inazuma Eleven franchise
- Dragon Quest VII
- Beyond the Labyrinth
- time travelers
if there’s any that I missed feel free to let us know in the comment section below.
if you’d like to hear more of my thoughts on this topic, then I suggest you listen to the Buttonsmashers podcast.