I find it ironic that I am capping out this day with a post about a “rant” from one of my favorite gaming analysts, Adam Sessler, that actually bashes on the price tag of the Nintendo 3DS as costing “too much”. It’s been making it’s rounds on the internet with several very mixed reactions, most of them being outrage as the price is mostly understood given what we are getting. Heck, Adam acknowledges himself that despite what he thinks the 3DS is most likely going to still sell well. So, he’s not saying it’s really a detriment to sales, it’s just a general outcry that handheld gaming is just too expensive. More thoughts on this inside. Oh, some Zelda stuff too.

Today’s Posts:

2011’s Most Anticipated: Zelda Informer staff member Dathen Boccabella takes a look at some of the best hardware and software that will be gracing us this year.

Conduit 2 Weapon Introduction: A look at some of the weapons Conduit 2 is bringing to the table in the exclusive Wii FPS.

Gamespot Fails at Ocarina of Time 3DS: Gamespot is a well respected website who often seems to have a few gaming blunders in their video content, which makes you wonder if they actually hire people who know what a video game is. Okay, that’s being a tad harsh, but they definitely suck at showing off Ocarina of Time.

Cutscene Footage from The Last Story Emerges: This is a very lengthy, very well put together cutscene from a game we staff are practically begging Nintendo to localize. The game is a behemoth, and is on par to compete with long standing RPG giant Final Fantasy. While I don’t speak a lick of Japanese, the way the characters interact together physically as well as the action on screen just really tickles my fancy. It may take a year of work to localize both text and the voice acting… but it’s worth it. Please make this a holiday 2011 release in the west.

Reggie Explains Friend Codes on the 3DS: Hey, I may want usernames instead of numbers like the rest of the world, but at least it’s confirmed we can recover our digital data should we do the unthinkable and lose our 3DS.

Around the Community:

Enhancing Difficulty in Zelda: Zelda Universe writer dakota takes a deep look at how we gamers call for Nintendo to make Zelda harder. Grant it, I don’t agree with his points or the conclusion – we shouldn’t be forced to make a game hard by applying our own self imposed restrictions – but it’s still an informative read.

Today’s Reflection: Does the Nintendo 3DS Cost too Much?

Look, the Nintendo 3DS is expensive. For 250$ I could almost purchase a Playstation 3, I can purchase a decent version of an Xbox 360, and could purchase a Wii with an extra game. So it is a wonder at the cost and how “accepting” we are of the price tag. Grant it, we have had the DSi come out for about 180$… and it’s a mere 70$ more than that for something that is vastly superior. So what’s the problem?

While I am a fan and will be making this a day one purchase (and I was relieved the system wasn’t 300$ as many feared), I think after watching Adam talk about it a couple times now I finally get what he is saying. The games themselves will be between 40 and 50$, which is already the price of present Wii games (though notably cheaper than the competitors). Still, with a 10$ increase in game prices along with a 100$ increase in initial handheld cost (Nintendo DS was 150$ at launch), it’s true that handheld gaming is moving beyond actually being “handheld gaming”. This may be why companies such as Apple have really been making headway into gaming on the go. It’s cheaper, it seemingly has more creative and addictive games, and frankly it’s just easier to carry around.

As the 3DS hits store shelves for 250$, and the PSP 2 that is supposedly a portable PS3 will debut for what is most likely a 350 to 400$ price tag, you begin to reach the point that portable gaming just isn’t what it use to be. The people buying these systems are no longer gamers on the go, or kids going on long car rides. They are people who simply want to play games that only come out for those systems in the comfort of their own homes. They want to experience Ocarina of Time in 3D and can only do it through the 3DS. They want to play the next Kingdom Hearts game but it only comes out for the PSP2. What you’re really seeing here is that the “handheld” market for Nintendo, and Sony, is mostly about at home playing – it’s just another gaming console we hold in our hands. I mean, why get a PSP2 when it’s just a smaller version of the PS3? Oh, because it has exclusive games.

It’s true – when I game at work I play on my iPod, not my Nintendo DS. Now toss on hefty price tags? I don’t even want to bring it with me anymore. I’d be too afraid of dropping it on cement, or trusting such a pricey handheld around coworkers or friends at school. It’s a handheld… and it’s so damn expensive it shouldn’t leave the house. Doesn’t this defeat what hand held gaming is “supposed” to be? Problem is… it’s going to sell. It’s going to sell very well. Good thing Apple grabbed the moving game market that it seems is no longer targeted by Nintendo. Heck, 3D effect itself has to be kept relatively stable to experience, which isn’t possible on bus trips, train rides, or in the back seat of your parents car.

What do you think? Is the 3DS too pricey to really be a handheld system?

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