3DS Launch Titles

The 3Ds is out now. You can have one if you want. It’s a little surreal, isn’t it? The thing is just…out there. It doesn’t feel real to me. I remember a similar sense of bizarre disconnection from reality when the 360 was released, as well as the PS3. But I didn’t always feel this way. New systems used to land with a titanic crash, they used to shake the entire landscape around us. Something has changed in the world of gaming: we don’t release launch titles anymore.

I mean technically we do, technically you have to. The 3DS has games you can play on it. But where’s the killer app, so to speak? Am I the only one who felt this was a crucial part of any launch? Is it the AR stuff? Is it the new iteration of “Street Fighter”? Don’t tell me it’s “Pilot Wings.” That’s just sad. This is one of the biggest launches in Nintendo’s history, their DS series has been second only to the Wii in its raw sales horsepower, so why is the software end kicking off with such a whimper?

I have several theories for what Nintendo is up to. Hit the jump.

First, let me briefly assert some backing for my point:

-Nintendo Entertainment System. Launched with “Super Mario Bros” and “Duck Hunt.” Something tells me you’ve heard of those games.

-Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Launched with “Super Mario World” and “F-Zero.” Again, I think you’ve met them before.

-Nintendo 64. Launched with “Super Mario 64.” Changed everything.

-Nintendo Gamecube. Launched with “Luigi’s Mansion” and “Rogue Squadron II.” The former is whatever, but the latter was a pretty big deal.

-Xbox. Launched with “Halo.” Changed everything.

-Nintendo Wii. Launched with “Wii Sports.” Changed everything (like it or not).

-Nintendo DS. Launched with “Super Mario 64 DS.” Changed a whole not, if not quite everything.

I think you see what I’m driving at here. Big, attention grabbing, game-changing launch titles are an important part of system launches, especially for Nintendo, where most of them are first-party. It’s simply in their nature to enter the fracus with guns blazing.

And now, for the first time, they’re not doing it. There is not a single piece of genre-defining software in the lineup. So what’s their game? I have a few theories:

1. The AR. Perhaps Nintendo thinks the real hot ticket is their new AR games, which are bundled with the 3DS, and a lack of heavyweight gorillas in the opening volley is meant to draw attention to them.

2. The 3D is Enough. Maybe 3D is the real launch here. The games aren’t the sole point anymore, it’s how they’re played.

3. The Industry Trend. Launch titles haven’t been in vogue recently, unless you count “Peter Jackson’s King Kong” on the Xbox 360. And you shouldn’t. Maybe Nintendo is drinking the Kool Aid.

4. Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition Counts! No it doesn’t, shut up.

5. Good Old Fashioned Laziness. Nintendo are not above bottom-line thinking. Remember the blue and yellow Toads in the Wii version of “New Super Mario Bros?” Remember that crap? These guys are happy to rest on their haunches if they think they can. And they’re launching a revolutionary 3D version of one of their most successful products, so…yeah.

So what do you think? Is it any of these reasons? Did I miss it completely? Is the 3DS manna from Heaven and anything said against it is blasphemy? I await your witty retorts, Dear Reader.


And now I’m down in it.

  • http://padinga.com/members/mecha/ Mecha

    Mario 64 DS counts but all the cool features street fighter is implementing doesn’t?

  • http://padinga.com/members/laughingfish/ Andrew Allen

    What cool features are these, exactly? I was under the impression it was pretty much a straight port.

  • http://padinga.com/members/ericrobbins/ Eric Robbins

    The DS launch was pretty abysmal, let’s be honest. I definitely am enjoying my 3DS launch titles more than my DS launch titles.

  • http://padinga.com/members/ericrobbins/ Eric Robbins

    Also, “Pilotwings” rocks, so go to Hell.

  • http://padinga.com/members/rurouniq/ RurouniQ

    SSF4 counts if Rogue Squadron II counts. RS2 was pretty low on most people’s radars (people who were not Star Wars fans).

    I actually think this launch is one of the strongest. It may not have a killer app, but the lineup itself is impressive. The DS had SM64, Urbz, Asphalt Urban GT, Feel the Magic, Madden, Mr. Driller, Ping Pals (FUCK), Rayman, Ridge Racer, Spider-Man 2, and Tiger Woods. You literally had ONE game that mattered.

    The 3DS has SSF4, Ghost Recon, Samurai Warriors, Nintendogs, Pilotwings, and those are just the ones that MATTER. Possibly include a couple others like Resident Evil that are doing well. Overall a much stronger lineup!

    Also, Nintendo made a gameplay call with the Yellow and Blue Toads. They needed characters that had different COLORS so that 4 players could follow them easily and not get lost. There just aren’t any heroic characters in the Mario universe that match those colors (Wario is not a hero that would help to save the princess, sorry). They made the right call.