Kirby 3D? Swapnote? Which recent Nintendo announcement are you most excited about?


The end of the week saw a lot of tidbits flooding out of Nintendo regarding Mariokart, new eShop games and the upcoming 3DS firmware update. What did you think? Which ones–if any–got you smiling?

In case you missed any of the details, here’s a quick rundown of the highlights:

– Mi Plaza to be upgraded with Find Mii 2, more puzzles and geographical information about encounters. My reaction: Was hoping for more, here.

– Firmware update will allow up to ten minutes of 3D video recording, including timer settings for stop-motion animation. My reaction: Can’t wait to try it!

– Mariokart 7 to support eight player online play at 60 fps, eight player ghost races, a spotpass-active 3DS MK Channel, the ability to create communities of players to invite for races, player Miis with their own learned AI behaviors, and much more! My reaction: Awesome!

– Kid Icarus and Kirby’s Adventure coming to eShop as 3D classics! My reaction: Nice!

– Free “Swapnote” messaging system coming to eShop in December. My reaction: Looks fun, but…Nintendo’ll have to sell a lot more 3DS units before this really means much.

– Hulu Plus coming to U.S. before January. My reaction: Good; the more, the merrier. Where’s Youtube?

– “Nintendo Direct” added to Nintendo’s website to provide news directly to fans. My reaction: Can’t complain about more info.

Everything regarding the eShop and Hulu and messaging sounds…nice…but the Mariokart information makes the game  sound like the true blockbuster 3DS needs. Can’t wait.  Be sure to check out the new “Iwata Asks” video about the game.

So, what do you think? Were the announcements all you’d hoped? Which new feature are you looking forward to most?


  1. I’m excited for EVERYTHING!!!! 😀

  2. None, to be honest.

    Find Mii original was OK, but it’s pretty uninteractive, even for an RPG. The second seems to be similar.

    Video recording will be the same as the camera. Neat, but not going to use after a few minutes due to a terrible-quality camera.

    Mario Kart is more Mario Kart with a tiny bit of new online features and (in my opinion), bland graphics.

    More 3D Classics is cool, I guess. Again, I would like something new to play though–a “director’s cut” of an old video game doesn’t count.

    Swapnote is exactly what the idea for Pictochat should have been. Great and all, but we have phones on which we can email and text. This is then…pretty worthless.

    Hulu Plus is…neat? I mean, we already have Netflix. Quality won’t be great, and we already have phones which can do it better.

    Nintendo Direct is…I guess just an improved Iwata Asks? That’s neat, but still has the feel of “We control the flow information. You will know what we tell you.”

    Honestly, it feels like everything that they just announced is something that would have been cool being announced for the iPhone when it first came out. It’s not that time anymore, and it’s not a phone. We need new games. We need something to play–not something to fiddle with. I’m not going to take my 3DS out to take a video, and no one else will after the first week of it coming out–the cameras are terrible, and no one really cares about the fact that the video is in 3D.

    This is a gaming handheld, not a phone, and Nintendo needs to man up and accept that. Phones are for fiddling around with. Phones are for (consumer-friendly) cameras and video. Phones are for slightly new touches on old games. Gaming handhelds are for games. Give us more of them, and stop wasting your time.

  3. @monkat

    Wouldn’t more games be dependent on 3rd parties then?
    Nintendo’s already releasing a good chunk of games by the end of this year, it’s still empty as heck because 3rd parties have been late with their releases… saddest thing is, in more than one interview and news, 3rd parties have pushed back their 3DS releases just because they were worried about low sales…

    …which is counter-productive, since sales aren’t doing as good as they could be because of a lack of games, and they’re refusing to release their games now due to lack of sales… ……like an endless cycle.
    Almost all of the games I’m absolutely looking forward to on the 3DS releases in 2012… the only company that has a valid excuse is Konami, since they actually pushed back Metal Gear Solid 3DS to 2012 originally to add in more features to make it worth purchasing (when compared to the HD Collection on the PS3).

  4. @Monkat what Skotski said

    Definitely looking forward to Mario Kart the most

  5. I’m glad that you finally posted the news (In a conscice fashion no less!) And I even agree with most of your points. Although I DO think that people should stop saying that no one has a 3DS. The 3DS picked up steam a couple of weeks ago and shouldn’t be underestimated during Christmas. I know people who never had a DS who are planning on picking up a 3DS soon.

  6. @Skotski

    Yes, it’s largely in the hands of third parties, but you can’t take the blame off of Nintendo. You say that there are a good chunk of games coming out from Nintendo for the system between now and the end of the year…you mean two? Mario and Mario Kart. It’s still October. Granted, we also have Shinobi and Sonic Generations, but with three of those are coming out within a damn week or two of each other, it’s hard to financially justify dropping $120 on video games in such a short span–especially right before the holidays. We either need more staggered releases or we need lower game prices as well. If I remember correctly, someone at SEGA already admitted that Shinobi was ready to go back in August or September, but they delayed it because of slow 3DS sales. Putting it two days before Mario isn’t going to help!

    Yes, there is that cycle of sales going on. What can be done about it is increasing 3DS adoption. Mario will do that. Mario Kart will do that. Sonic … might do that, possibly. StreetPass Quest 2 will absolutely not. 3D Video recording will not. Hulu+ will not. Gimped messaging between only 3DS owners will not. Old emulatable games will not.

  7. I certainly can’t wait for find mii 2. That and 3D eshop classics titles will be most welcome indeed.

  8. IMO, monkat is speaking like a true SONY or MICORSOFT fanboy if I ever heard one

  9. @monkat

    Shoot, I thought Luigi’s Mansion was releasing by the holidays too…
    (counting Wii games it’s still a good chunk, but 3DS is still empty due to it)

    However, StreetPass Quest 2 wasn’t to increase adoption, that was specifically on the request of an investor during an investor meeting:

    3D Video recording had been a plan since the beginning (hinted several times in previous e3s), but wasn’t implemented ’til now.

    Hulu+… is… well… in the same account as Netflix I suppose, though I would’ve preferred Youtube as I don’t really watch full episodes online unless via Netflix.

    Personally, I’m glad the messaging system is coming. Many DS owners had complained about there being no Pictochat on the 3DS (I was one of them), and had hoped for an online version of it… this was their answer to it.

    And as for the “emulatable games”… how can they be emulated if they’re 3D classics? I understand what you’re getting at, but that still wouldn’t matter with the fact that any news on 3D classics are always looked forward to (seeing that it was one of the advertised features of the 3DS since its reveal).

    I doubt any of this news was made to increase 3DS adoption. This news wasn’t revealed on TV commercials, most popular tech websites/magazines, or popular entertainment hubs. It seemed this was directly aimed at gaming news sites. And seeing that it was just an extension of information for the 3DS, I doubt it was going to burst anyone’s bubble to adopt a 3DS… more like something to give current 3DS owners something to look forward to.

    I’m not refusing to blame Nintendo, but I honestly think that more pressure should be placed on 3rd parties than Nintendo themselves. Nintendo honestly should’ve held back the 3DS until more deadlines were enforced, and they should’ve been more in-touch with 3rd parties in order to encourage them to release their games on time…

    …but honestly, I’m just more upset at the 3rd parties. It wasn’t just Shinobi that held back, it was also Harvest Moon Tale of Two Towns, Cave Story 3D, Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition, and Resident Evil Revelations. I understand that releasing alongside other big titles would’ve been problematic, but there was a GIANT GAP inbetween major titles for the 3DS.

    It’s almost as if 3rd parties are hesitating until the Vita shows its face and sees where that market leads. …which is fair, but still a big reason why the 3DS market is drying up right now.

  10. @monkat

    nintendogs: march
    pilotwings: march
    steel diver: march
    zelda: june
    star fox: september
    pokemon rumble: october
    mario: november
    mario kart: december

    Thats eight first party exclusives! no other system has that this year, especally the ps3 or xbox 360. you might not like some of those games, but thats how it goes.

  11. ….I totally forgot about Pokemon Rumble… shoot, there goes my money.

  12. I totally forgot about Pokémon Rumble as well. If I wanted it, though, I’d just pick up the much cheaper Wiiware version :-/

    That said, kevin, I wasn’t only listing the games that I was interested in (I’m only getting Mario out of all of them). Anyway, eight first party exclusives is wonderful, until you take into account that it’s the system’s launch (so three of those are made specifically for it), two of the others are remakes of old games, and that those are the only games even worth retail price that have come out this year (if them at all.)

    Also the Xbox 360 this year had 7 first-party exclusives. Last year had 9. PS3 this year had a whopping 19. Heck, even the PSP last year had 7 first-party exclusives–and those last two weren’t even including PSN releases! While it doesn’t mean much, the Vita has 12 first-party titles announced for next year–delays expected, as with 3DS.

    I understand. It’s the 3DS’ first year. It’s still getting it’s sea legs. Nintendo is known for having poor third-party support. That just means that Nintendo needs to push more out just to survive, and it’s not doing that.Heck, I’ve played Catherine alone more than I’ve played Zelda, Starfox, and Pilot Wings combined!

    Also: why is there no downloadable title support aside from old games? Japan has gotten several games, Europe has gotten one, and America has gotten none. Pokédex doesn’t count as a game. Several games have been announced, but Nintendo should have made a push with some of their Japan-only (for now) titles. How long could it take to localize Pushmo? It’s like translating a game of Tetris–surely not going to take several months, editing included. If a small company like XSeed can push out as many games as they do per year, Nintendo of all companies can push out a single downloadable game here.

  13. @monkat

    Sadly, Nintendo of America always seems to be failing on side of downloadables…
    People normally blame Nintendo as a whole, but Nintendo of Japan has always been fantastic with their downloadable apps and games even going back to the Nintendo Wii (like being able to order pizza through your Wii… 🙁 )…

    Also I don’t think it’s really fair to compare Catherine to those games…
    As for now, there aren’t really any titles on the 3DS that require several playthroughs just to explore every inch of content in them… more games wouldn’t really solve that, it’s the RIGHT kind of game that would solve that.
    So far it looks like Mario’s supposed to be leading that, while Mario Kart’s hoping to solve the multiplayer replayability aspect…
    …it isn’t much overall, but that’s Nintendo’s offering. I’d love to see 3rd parties offer that…

    Sadly, the closest thing we have right now was Harvest Moon Tale of Two Towns, but even that’s just a port from the DS version — though you can’t blame them, they’ve released HOW MANY Harvest Moon and Rune Factory this year alone? Heck, they’ve already got the next Harvest Moon getting ready exclusively for the 3DS — Marvelous Entertainment has been on a roll, but their excuse of pushing HMToTT 3DS was kind of pathetic (were worried about sales… which they weren’t competing with any big titles when their DS version released).

    Honestly, I’m on the standpoint that we’re blaming Nintendo too much… I mean, they’re still releasing DS and Wii games, trying to upgrade the 3DS to please 3rd parties, and still working out the kinks with the WiiU.
    …and 3rd parties are doing WHAT exactly? For the 3DS, I see that Nintendo and Konami has an excuse — yet I’ve got nothing with other developers…

  14. Oh, and I’m aiming more for the 3DS version of Rumble Blast…

    I already got the WiiWare version, but having Streetpass functions for Rumble Blast is making me want it. I tend to love me some Streetpass, especially competitive kinds.

  15. @Skotski

    It’s absolutely not entirely Nintendo’s fault. No matter how strong a queen ant is, it won’t survive long without a colony.

    That said, Nintendo’s in an awkward spot. Third party games somewhat rarely sell well on Nintendo systems because they have to compete with Mario and Zelda, and it’s been that way since N64. Now they won’t put games on the system because the market simply isn’t large enough.

    Nintendo, then, has two choices. They can either just wait for third parties to do /something/, or they can do something and hope third parties fall into place. If I had the chance, I would release strong at the beginning of a system, and let third party publishers know that they are “taking a year off” at some point after the install base is larger.

    Instead, Nintendo is releasing relatively little with relatively little quality and hoping third parties fall into place, which just isn’t working. That just leaves the consumer with nothing–exactly what was explicitly promised with the 3DS, granted, but certainly loses brand trust.

    The thing is, you can’t really blame third parties for anything–they’re third parties–they have no responsibility or stake in the system. For all the system matters, they could not exist at all (and in practice….well, you know).

    Games, though, are difficult to make. Quality titles can take many years to create, not to mention actually market and publish. Adding games is a long-term solution. In the short term, though, Nintendo has several things they can do that they simply won’t. They could remove region-locking–there are more than a few great retail and downloadable titles (great system – buy now in Japanese, get the translation when/if released) out in Japan. They could make deals with indie developers to port and sell their games cheaply, potentially with financial and manpower help from Nintendo.

    And hey, what happened to those AR cards? I could see myself going to a gas station and picking up a new card for a buck that unlocks a new AR “mini-game”

    No, no. I’d much rather buy a $2 video clip, when I could buy the movie it’s based on used for about the same price.

  16. @monkat
    Not all the Dreamworks shorts are going to be based off their movies (such as the pig who cried wolf), though I’m sure that wasn’t the point.

    AR cards are being implemented in games. Tetris Axis has AR functionality, obvious upcoming Nintendo games have AR functionality, and 3rd parties (at least in Japan so far) are also implementing it into their games. It’s trickling at a good rate, as AR cards shouldn’t be the main focus of the system, though it should be one of the memorable features (unlike something like the PS Eye) – it’s going at a steady rate. If it were a part of every major game, you’ll more than likely hear a lot of complaints about developers spending too much time on a feature they don’t care about, or too many developers using the functionality poorly (like how Wii games had too much motion control only games when the games would’ve been fine with classic controls).

    — as for 3rd parties, we know very little of what’s going on between Nintendo and 3rd parties. 3rd parties practically had hinted constantly that their games would release early on in the 3DS’ release, yet there’s nothing to be heard from them now other than excuses.
    And I definitely do agree on the point that 3rd parties don’t have responsibility on the system, but they definitely have responsibility over the sales in general. Take out all the 1st party games from the Nintendo DS, and you still had a thriving market of games from 3rd parties there (I should know, I only had….. 1 1st party game on my DS, and had a ton of 3rd party games). They honestly shouldn’t be hesitant with the 3DS now, considering it’s giving them everything they wanted (many companies wanted to develop for the DS, but it simply couldn’t hold the games they wanted to release for them) and (as far as we know) doesn’t have a limitation on what they can place on there: they’re not forced to use the 3D (minimal 3D examples used well are Shadow Wars and Harvest Moon ToTT – where only the menu and text boxes popped up a little), or forced to make games significantly larger than a DS version (Harvest Moon being the main example).
    There’s little to no reason for them to jump in there… it’s like watching an empty dance floor, saying they won’t dance until more people start dancing – yet no one’s risking it, despite knowing that if ANYONE dances: it’ll fill up the dance floor.

    Nintendo can do something about it, but fact is they still are making the “last” games for the Wii and DS (with even Reggie saying that 2012 still has more coming out for both systems), and still working with the Wii U. I’m not sure about you, but the Playstation only has to worry about PS3 and PSVita (with probably a crack team working in the background for PS4) – with only worrying about those purchasing PS3 games. Nintendo’s on 4 fronts at once. If they focused more on one side, the other side feels cheated (much like the large complaints of those who had just picked up a DSi when the 3DS was publicly announced — the people screaming that the Wii was abandoned — those who have little hope on the Wii U based on just the original news given to them on e3 — and of course the 3DS users still begging for more).
    Nintendo consoles can still survive on mostly 1st party games alone, that’s for sure (by all statistics, the Gamecube shouldn’t have survived) – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Nintendo’s trying to get back their “hardcore” (ugh) audience while still introducing their casual audience into normal gaming (as to pull them away from the iPhone/iPad competition)— meaning they’re focusing on nearly impossible odds during this transition (from Wii & DS to 3DS & Wii U) without 3rd party support.

    3rd parties can fill in that void. I know you’re saying that Nintendo can do a better job at it if they simply tried, but that’s like tossing torches at them while they’re juggling and telling them to breathe fire in order to please the new crowds — when they honestly are worried about the leaving audience.
    Not like they couldn’t have just abandoned their work on Zelda, Kirby (also counting the one that just released for the DS), Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, Pushmo, Tetris Axis, and Pokemon Rumble Blast. Adding to it is also ridiculous considering all the games releasing 2012, such as Luigi’s Mansion 2, Animal Crossing 3DS, Kid Icarus, Fire Emblem, and Fortune Street.
    Then you’ve got that dual-stick add that they made practically just to please Capcom in order to get Monster Hunter 3G and 4 on the 3DS (system seller those games are)…
    Wii U still heavily in the works (what with the promise of not revealing anymore news until closer to its release… they could very well be adjusting it with every new reaction and change to the 3DS)… (also including promised games for the Wii U by Nintendo… such as Pikmin, which people have been begging for a while— not to mention the dual release of Smash Bros. for both Wii U & 3DS)
    And the 3DS’ functions finally meeting the promises that it had originally (such as these software features noted).

    With sprinkles of 3DS Classics (which are NOT just the original game boosted up with fancy graphics — they actually have to build it from the ground up, though that doesn’t take drastically too long).

    Honestly, Nintendo’s doing enough. Maybe not enough to make the 3DS the best it can be doing, but it’s doing enough in trying to keep all the audiences happy at once.
    I can’t argue on the topic of region-locking, however, that’s beyond just 1st party business — that’s a WHOLE other argument that has to do with importing and publishing sales…

    It is sad that Nintendo has to take a step back and basically say “Can’t really do anything about that yet, working on other things at the moment – ask the 3rd parties why they aren’t doing anything.” But I prefer THAT over just the 3DS getting all the love, losing big on holiday sales if they just right-out cancelled all work on Wii and DS related things, and the Wii U being rushed to make up for any investors jumping ship after a failure on holiday sales.

    In an alternate reality, all your hopes would be answered if Nintendo just barred out all 3rd parties and made their systems “For Nintendo, By Nintendo – only”, but I love Nintendo’s systems being used masterfully by 3rd parties (my favorite Wii, DS, DSiWare, and WiiWare games are all by 3rd parties) — as I honestly don’t really love most of Nintendo’s 1st party games.

  17. Also, one way Nintendo could help, but glad they aren’t: 3DS VC releases.

    The Wii had a lovely run of VC releases in the beginning — but eventually died out a good year back. They had released too much, too fast – with companies who had owned those games releasing their games on XBLA and PSN while preventing Nintendo’s WiiWare service from touching them, or obvious copyright & legal issues (Earthbound).

    It is HORRIFICALLY slow on the 3DS’ VC releases, true enough: But at least I’m guaranteed that it won’t die out as fast as the Wii Virtual Console service……. unless the PS Vita manages to steal that market.

  18. Quite honestly, if anyone’s seen the video, it looks very much like Reggie’s begging. He’s desperately announcing feature after useless feature, and at one point claims that the 3DS has “great games”. He’s lying through his teeth, and even goes so far as to tell the average consumer, “What’s wrong with you?” And now, Nintendo’s opted to release all of its potential blockbusters within the same quarter – holiday season. As if there isn’t enough oversaturation during that time already! If they were smart, they’d release one, maybe two good games at a time, allowing each one to sink in and each family to get another paycheck. Case in point: Skyward Sword – 11/20. Super Mario 3D Land – 11/13. Who has the time and money to buy and play both games in the short window of time until December rolls around, and pretty much every good game the 3DS is going to have for a while enters the market? And hasn’t Nintendo realized that, since more families have Wiis than 3DSs, they’re more likely to buy Skyward Sword than SMB 3D? They really need to consider spacing out their releases. A jumpstart is nice, but there’s simply too much to buy.

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