News: NOPEtendo!

Nintendo 3DS Released in Japan!

For months, has faithfully been following the development of the first handheld system with a 3D interface, and by following, I mean mocking endlessly. In the beginning, the speculative performance made it sound great, but as time wore on, we learned about the 3D headaches, the price, the battery power, and other things that made us lose our Nintendo fanboy erections, or at least put us at half-staff while we waited. So now that we have reached the fated day of release, has Nintendo given us the glorious system we so desired?

NOPEA swing and a miss. For starters, as with every system, pre-orders are taken to give the more eager fans the chance to get their system while others go about it at a more leisurely pace, with the company’s desire to be that as many people as possible buy it. The sound logic would be to ensure you have made plenty. Instead, Nintendo’s logic was to make sure that there was a media barrage and constant commercials being shown in Japan, but also ensure that people knew there would only be enough systems available at launch to cover the pre-orders. This point was so driven home so bluntly that unlike previous DS launches with lines stringing along for hours, the customers were taken care of within minutes. A Destructoid writer in Shinjuku saw only about fifty in line, all of whom were gone in a mere ten minutes. No crazed fans, no scalpers, nothing. The humble Japanese did not even feel it necessary to try because they knew that the 400,000 sold were all pre-order only. This is a glaring contradiction to Nintendo’s projected 1.5 million sold by end of first quarter 2011, but surely the system must just be so fantastic that it will be bought right away when more become available, right?

NOPELeading up to the release of the 3DS, reports were flung back and forth over what the health advisory on the system should be. Many speculated that the 3D visuals would lead to eye strain and headaches, such that doctors were even recommending that children under age six should not use the device for fear it could damage their developing vision. Now that the system is out for public use, the reaction is shockingly clear: it hurts like a bitch. For every thirty minutes of 3D play, users are recommended to take a ten to fifteen minute break just to let their eyes rest. Some users are even reporting that the onset of pain is a mere five minutes after using the system. This could simply be that our eyes are not used to the graphics and would need some time to adjust, doubtless what Nintendo’s legion of fanboys is hoping, or it could be that the Virtual Boy will soon have a partner in death. But wait! There must be something to save the livelihood of this technological achievement!

TUNA TITSErr…maybe? We have already covered that the line-up of launch games for the 3DS is meager, with another Professor Layton and RRRRRRRRRRidge Racer being the only notable ones, though there are many more promised between now and June. Can these games alone save it? What about…other methods? Immediately prior to release, Nintendo was making some proud statements about the DRM they have added to the latest incarnation of the DS, boasting that the flashcarts previously used to play illegal copies of games were now unusable. My Lusi-darlings, what have we learned about companies declaring they have unbreakable anti-piracy measures?

Challenge AcceptedOf course, these things really are not much of a challenge anymore, especially not to the industrious Chinese. Amusingly, the R4 was the most recognized of the flashcarts used for DS piracy, and the Chinese site released a video of the R4 being used on a 3DS. Seeing as the 3DS is still JAPAN ONRY, the legitimacy of this video is in question, but even if this is a fake, there is no doubt that the gauntlet has been thrown and it will only be a matter of time before you can hack your Nintendogs.

Can Nintendo Do ANYTHING Good Anymore?!

Well yes, just not actually relating to their systems…or their games…or anything that Nintendo actively did. One uplifting story found in Nintendo Power magazine this week describes one woman’s struggle and the ability to overcome it with the inspiration of Metroid’s blonde protagonist. Michelle Perl, a 25-year-old artist living in New York, found herself unable to overcome losing her mother in 2007 to cancer. All her life, Michelle had been like the rest of, lazy and fat, ballooning up to 200 pounds during her high school years, with self-esteem that would make even Oliver Motok look chipper.Vowing to her mother that she would improve herself, Michelle found strength in Samus Aran. She plastered her room with tons of Metroid paraphernalia to keep herself motivated by the positive self-image of the Nintendo’s first non-princess. Exercising regularly and eating healthier, Michelle kept track of her progress with the Wii Fit and ultimately lost fifteen pant sizes and now weighs a respectable 110 pounds. “Sometimes, even a fictional character is enough to give you a powerful dose of inner strength.”

what the fanart hell


  1. Fifteen minutes rest for every thirty minutes of play?! Are you sure they aren’t just describing the battery usage?

  2. TUNA!

    I want the 3DS to be successful, but this is not an auspicious start for it.

    I guess we have about a month to hear more reports from Japan before it comes out here. I wonder what other bad news arises.

  3. I guess I’m somewhat of a pollyanna at times when it comes to this sort of thing. I don’t really want to see most companies crash and burn when they try something new. However, that doesn’t mean that I won’t call something shit if it’s shit.

  4. How are Nintendo trying anything new?

    Sell underpowered hardware at a profit, safe as houses …

  5. The more I hear, the worse it sounds.

    When it was announced, I was super excited.
    Then we learned more, and I became guardedly optimistic.
    Still more information was released, and I became ambivalent.
    Then more information, and I found myself disappointed.
    Now this, and I am positively disgusted.

    When it releases here, I have absolutely no interest in picking it up. It’s going to take a hell of a lot to renew my interest in this little, hand-held turd.

  6. As foolish as it may be, I do still hold out some hope. Not enough to buy it at NA release, but enough that I will wait until wait for more news. More specifically, as a chronic migraine sufferer, news of about the associated eye strain. The battery life I could probably tolerate, the price I could stash away for, but if the 3D is something your eyes can never get used to and you will almost always get a headache from it, then Nintendo won’t see a penny from me.

    My bigger worry is developers hopping on this train. For example, when I bought my DS, I didn’t really buy it for the touch-screen gimmick, but the fact that it could play GBA games as well. Now GBA games are no longer made, despite the fact that so many DS games don’t or rarely utilize the touchscreen, and the newer DS models don’t have the GBA port. My hope is that developers don’t fall into the same cycle and start making games 3D-only.

  7. Good article.
    And you can turn the 3D off. The graphics are good without, although definitely way behind what the PSP2 will bring.
    Also, every current game console recommends you take a 15 minute break every hour anyway, nobody follows that.

    ALTHOUGH, I was definitely feeling some eye strain when I tried the thing. I chalked it up to 4 hours sleep and maybe still being drunk, but based on reports, maybe it’s worse.

    And no game can be 3D only, Jenifer. Not as long as users have the option to go without. And I imagine that won’t leave because a healthy chunk of the population won’t be able to see it anyway.

    I really want to play a new Pilot Wings, but I’m doubting a day 1 purchase for me now. There are simply way better things coming up that take priority. Dragon Age 2, Team ICO Collection, The Great Smugleaf Game, Portal 2.

  8. “And no game can be 3D only, Jenifer. Not as long as users have the option to go without.”

    Surely that is not true. I’ll eat my own hat if the 3DS doesn’t feature a slew of 3D games which use the tilt sensitivity of the gyroscope to see around 3D objects etc. I can see the 3D being built into the gameplay, which will pretty much make 3D an intractable element of selected games …

  9. Hrm, true. With a message saying “Please keep the 3D slider all the way up”.
    Although even in that horrible example you mention (horrible in the sense that you’re completely accurate), the object would still be in 3D and you’d have the same ability to see around said objects even if that 3D object is viewed in 2D.

    The 3D effect is just an effect, it’s not a hologram, so it could never actually be REQUIRED, thankfully. The 3D effect is cool, but I highly doubt I’ll have it on for more than 25% of the time. Just for epic environments, etc.

  10. I think I’d try it for one afternoon, then permanently leave it in the off position.

    I hope the 3DS doesn’t come out with any must have software for me, as I don’t find the system itself to be appealing. Good games will get me to buy anything though … especially when I have money … :/

    I’m starting to warm to the idea of the PSP2 though, so I’d like to see that triumph over the 3DS.

  11. I’m moderately excited for the 3DS and Paper Mario/Professor Layton/OoT/Pilot Wings is enough for me to know I’ll have it by the end of the year. However, I’m also warming up to the idea of the PSP2, despite my apathetic response to the announcement. But I’ll have to try that out too. The 3DS feels good and the analog stick is fantastic. Hopefully the track pad and dual-sticks feel great on the PSP2.

  12. Kind of hard to get excited over the PSP2 unveiling when they only showed tech demos, but I’m coming around to the system conceptually.

    By contrast I was jizzing myself over all the games presented during the 3DS unveiling, but I got turned off later by the hardware itself.