Thursday, August 18, 2011

Still Not Buying a 3DS

For those of you that missed the recent news in the hand-held gaming space, Nintendo dropped the price of the 3DS by a whopping $80. This is old news at this point, but there you go.

I was blown away by the 3DS when Nintendo first showed it at E3 2010. I wanted one instantly, or sooner. Then, half a year later, Nintendo announced the price. My dreams died. $250 dollars for the console, and game prices were getting a hike to $40 each.

I would have been willing to spring for one at $200 or less, back then. I would have felt the pain, but I would have gone for it. After seeing the unit in person, and watching the lackluster launch line-up and half-baked support, even that price is too much, now.

But wait, you might say. It's now actually lower than $200. Surely $170 is a good price. Well, frankly, no. Not for me, anyway. I'm just not that impressed by the hardware. Even worse is the way it's locked down. Basically, the only things I can do with a 3DS are what Nintendo lets me do. And cartridges are still $40.

On the flip side, I just bought an Android tablet for about that same price. That tablet does tons of things, and has even more potential. No lock-downs. Games are anywhere from free to maybe $5 tops. Not as deep as the games on 3DS maybe, but certainly playable, and fun diversions.

But this isn't really about tablet (or phone) versus game console. It's really about computer versus game console. Even at the new, reduced price, the 3DS just doesn't do enough to justify its price tag. When you factor in how expensive the games are, it looks even less appealing.

And when you factor in the greatest depression since the great depression, everything looks overpriced. And my final factor, a personal one, and the nail in the coffin - I spend so much time writing these days that I don't even use any of the gaming systems I already own.

So, my final take - I miss the days when portable systems cost less than half what consoles did, when they were under a hundred dollars at launch, and when I could afford them. The 3DS isn't as cool as I thought it was, back around E3 2010. Maybe I'll get one in a few years, when they are around 130 and there is a decent library available.

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