Alex Phillimore: (alex.phillimore-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2014-09-07 04:17:08
Nintendo has announced the New 3DS - a, um, new 3DS which is loads better than the original. Not only is it faster at downloading things but it also plays games the original 3DS doesn't. But it's not a new console, no - because only some of the new games Nintendo makes won't play on old models. Most will. Probably. I dunno.
It's a bit confusing to have a console on the market that plays new games but won't have content exclusively made for it. It reminds me a lot of the old Nintendo 64 expansion, the 64DD, that was meant to play Nintendo 64 games as well as a few new games here and there - but sold badly and was cancelled. It also reminds me of the unreleased Mega Drive Floppy Disk Drive and the Master System Floppy Disk Drive, both of which were scrapped during development and re-purposed for the Sega Mega-CD...which again, sold badly. There are other examples of expansions designed to be fitted onto existing consoles to make them play new content and all seem to have failed.
I don't think the New 3DS will fail, but I do wonder why it exists. Some could say it's for Smash Bros., with its extra analogue stick designed to be like the C-stick on the GameCube pad. However, while this makes sense for Japan, as the console is launching in October there, very shortly after Smash Bros. comes out, the West isn't getting the console until 2015 - and by that point most people will have already purchased the game and will have been playing it for months. Rather than making a 'sort of' successor to the 3DS, Nintendo could probably have held off another year and announced a brand new, more powerful console for a late 2016 release - that would have put the original 3DS console on the market for a good 5 years, which is about the same amount of time as the Game Boy Advance was available at retail before the release of the DS.
I'm no console manufacturer, however, and I'm sure Nintendo will be announcing a brand new handheld system around that time anyway - such is the way of the world. I will probably pick up a New 3DS depending on the games (if it can play downscaled Wii-quality games there's a lot of potential) but I'm not going to be happy about it...unless they release a pretty limited edition one, in which case I'll be all over it. Curse you, Nintendo!