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The 3DS: One year later

 

Today the 3DS is officially one year old! While the system had crazy 12 months, things are really looking up for Nintendo's newest portable system. Join me in this blog as I discuss the history and the future of the 3DS. 

The 3DS history goes back to around 2010. It was that year at E3 that the 3DS was first announced. All there was many varying opinions on Nintendo's upcoming system, It was generally well received. Many games were announced for the 3DS at E3 2010 (some still aren't even out yet) from multiple game developers. It wouldn't be until 2011 that gamers would be able to get their hands on it and experience the 3D for themselves. 

March 27, 2011. It was on this day that the 3DS was available in North America. The 3DS launched with first day sales that were "the largest of any Nintendo handheld device in history". The 3DS was well received with many reviewers enjoying the 3D effect and built in software. Launch titles ranged from amazing to mediocre, however. With influx of bad third party games and a lack of notable Nintendo franchises, skeptics questioned the 3DS success, but back then, many day 1 buyers were enjoying their handheld. 

3DS owners would have to wait awhile for a notable Nintendo release, June 17 to be exact. It was on this day The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D was released. It was also on this day that Nintendo held their E3 2011 conference. While Nintendo's newest console was revealed, There was a lot of hype for the 3DS. Nintendo finally announced their other promised features for the 3DS like the eShop and the Internet Browser. The eShop released with nearly every DSiware, 4 Virtual Console games and a free 3D classic: ExiteBike. Nintendo fans were also treated to news on all the latest Nintendo games like Super Mario 3D Land, Star Fox 64 3D, and many other games. Things were looking to be really well for the 3DS during this time, but the 3DS would have to face the toughest time of it's life. 

This is the video game industry almost every year... 

About every year, the industry experiences a shortage of new amazing games during mid June to the end September. Although the summer was too bad for PS3 and 360 owners, it was a terrible time for Nintendo fan. It was during this time that Nintendo systems had even a new game released every two weeks. The 3DS was no exception to this. Most of the games for the 3DS were scheduled for a holiday release, and the ones that were planned for a summer release were pushed back. Despite a few refreshing titles, the summer was very cruel for the 3DS. It was during this time 3DS sales slowed to a crawl and we started seeing 3DS doom and gloom articles all around to the Internet. Nintendo's response to this was an announcement of a price drop. The 3DS took about a 30% price cut going from $250 to $170 in less than six months. Along with that Nintendo revealed a new color and the release date of Star Fox 64 3D. In order to appease previous Nintendo 3DS owners, Nintendo announced the Ambassador Program, a gift to "great fans". The program awarded Nintendo 3DS owners 10 free NES games and 10 free GBA games to those who signed up for it in August before the price drop. Some rushed to buy a 3DS while some retailers dropped the price early so consumers could buy a 3DS at $169 and be eligible for the Ambassador Program. The price drop showed a spark sales and a steady flow of sales after. The price drop marked the end of the worst for the 3DS, but it would still have to go through a couple more months to get quality content. 

October, November, and December of 2011 was arguably the best year for video games in history. From Batman to Skyrim to Modern Warfare to Uncharted, there was a game for everybody. For Nintendo we saw the release of Kirby and Zelda for the Wii and Mario and Mario Kart for the 3DS. 3DS sales soared during this time. the 3DS reached 4 million by the end of the year and both Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 reached 1 million. We also saw all those third party games released and we even saw quality 3DS ware for eShop. Pushmo and VVVVV both released in December along with countless others. Good things finally rolled around for the 3DS with even more coming next year. 

Although January was pretty sparse for the 3DS, February saw the release of the biggest third party software for the 3DS yet. Resident Evil: Revelations, Tales of the Abyss, Tekken, Metal Gear Solid and more all released in February. Almost each game released here received generally positive reviews and decent sales, especially Resident Evil. February also saw more eShop goodies as well. Sakura Samurai  and Rolling Western was finally released and we also started seeing the release of NES games on the eshop appear as well. Now near the end of March, we've finally seen Kid Icarus: Uprising , the biggest Nintendo release for the 3DS since December and arguably Nintendo's newest IP. 

With quality software now finally out for the 3DS, the 3DS is becoming a great handheld and a firece competitor for Vita. If you've been on the fence of getting a 3DS, now is probably the best time to get one. With even more promising third party content on the way. April has Heroes of Ruin and Rhythm Thief, May we'll see Mario Tennis Open, and in June Rayman Origins. And that's not even counting all the eShop games that will come out. We'll also probably see more games localized over here such as Kingdoms Hearts, Monster Hunter, Professor Layton, and Theartrythm (I think that's how you spell it). Still not impressed? At E3 we'll get to see even more games coming for the 3DS like  the secret game Sega, Namco, and Capcom are working on, The latest game by Keji Infune King of Pirates and finally get some release dates for Luigi's Mansion 2, Paper Mario 3D, Animal Crossing 3D, and the newest Mario game being developed for 3DS.

Now's a great time to get a 3DS. It's unlikely Nintendo we'll release a redeisgn this year and seeing all the games coming out/out there's something for everyone. The 3DS is becoming a quality system I knew it would become and I can't wait to see what Nintendo has in store for us next. 

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