Is this the death of the Nintendo 3DS?


It’s been quite a crazy week. After the not so surprising news that the Nintendo 3DS wasn’t selling as well as expected for various reasons (mostly because of the lack of killer titles on sale right now), a lot of uncertainty has fallen upon Nintendo. And with that, a huge amount of criticism and skepticism upon any piece of news that has the Big N name on it.

That’s why, when a picture from Japanese games magazine Famitsu revealing this add-on for the 3DS leaked online the gaming community went ablaze. Especially considering

There was pretty much no information about it, just a picture and a big text mentioning Monster Hunter Tri-G (a remake of Capcom’s super popular RPG for the Wii coming to the 3DS). But that didn’t stop news sites and bloggers everywhere from claiming that Nintendo was already dead.

All of a sudden the most talked-about story in Nintendo related news was how the gaming giant didn’t have the foresight to include a second analog input in its latest-gen handheld, something that “all modern games need nowadays”. Gaming website IGN even wrote several articles about how much this was needed, while at the same time claiming Nintendo was doomed. Seriously, all this coming from one single picture leaked online.

Now let me be clear on my thoughts upon this. First and foremost I have to strongly disagree on the absolute need for a second analog input. While I understand the benefits that this second pad can bring to control in games, I also believe that it is completely unnecessary on the 3DS. You know, it’s not like the handheld lacks control inputs when it has a touch-screen, a D-pad, one analog pad and a gyroscope. Developers should seriously try to be a bit more creative and map their control schemes around these readily available inputs that every 3DS owner already has.

Now that Nintendo has finally given its press conference the true nature of this artifact has been revealed.

And, just as I thought, in no way this is a mandatory add-on. Just in the same way that there won’t be a 3DS redesign this year with a slide pad included. It’s just an optional attachment that a few games will make use of, mainly ports of console games whose developers thought that fans of the original would probably want to keep the original control layout of. In this case, Monster Hunter Tri-G, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D, Kingdom Hearts 3D and Resident Evil: Revelations. Oh, and it’s also a cheap add-on of around $12 for it.

Meanwhile Nintendo’s conference was full of other announcements, from release dates for Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 3DS to Kid Icarus: Uprising, Fire Emblem and even a new Square-Enix RPG, among others. Even more, the announcement of Monster Hunter 4 coming to the 3DS, which considering what a huge system seller that series is, it could easily be the piece of news that is more forthcoming on the future success of the system.

Yes. Success. Now all gaming sites are talking about the great things coming up for the 3DS, when just a few days ago everyone was spelling a certain doom for the entire company just because of one single, unexplained leaked picture.

It tells a lot about the current state of games journalism…