The newest gaming platform from Nintendo, the 3DS, is almost here - and looks to completely change not only portable handhelds, but gaming in general. After all, it is the very first 3D gaming platform, and has a long list of titles for launch alone, which is more than enough to bring in potential buyers.
However, while there is plenty to ensure sales around the initial launch, what about keeping the 3DS popular in the long run? 3DS producer Hideki Konno talked about a few potential features that could do just that.
We already know that the e-shop and web browser will be available in May, there's still a lot that could make the system better. Right now, a 3DS user can exchange 12-digit codes with other 3DS users and build a friends list - much like with the DS and Wii. However, there is no real way to interact with them at the moment. All you can do is see which friends are online and what games they're playing. Konno mentioned that he would be interested in adding something like a text messaging feature in the future, to increase interactivity between players.
The possibility of game demos being available for download was brought up, though Konno seemed a bit reluctant in regards to the subject. He explained that he was unsure of the effectiveness of game demos, in regards to encouraging players to buy the full games, as it can actually deter players from picking up the game - since they're satisfied with the demo alone. Still, if they were going to put demos up for download, Konno explained that they would be acquired via the 3DS SpotPass feature. Players would just leave their 3DS on sleep mode and automatically receive game demos or even full games (in some cases). A mere possibility at this point, but it has been confirmed that the 3DS would receive system updates through this feature.
Konno also mentioned that they wanted to move away from games that absolutely required 3D. Nintendo wants to reach out to as many gamers as possible, and realizes that some simply can't see 3D, which would make playing some games like Super Mario 3DS very difficult, if not impossible.
Finally, Konno talked about reducing the prices of downloadable games, like Apple's App Store or Steam. Konno said that Nintendo didn't want to follow that same path, seeing something that they worked on for a long time being sold at such a low price. Konno explained that, as a developer, he wanted to protect the content and ensure it's sold at the price it should be sold at.
Do you agree with Konno's thoughts on selling downloadable games at set prices? What about his thoughts on game demos? What other features would you like to see added?
The Nintendo 3DS launches March 27th.