10 Ways Nintendo Can Keep The 3DS Successful In 2012

The Nintendo 3DS has gone from a shaky launch to become one of the best selling consoles of 2011. How can Nintendo keep the momentum going in 2012 ?

3D Movies

You€™d have thought that being the world€™s first device to offer glasses-free 3D, that the 3DS would be swamped with 3D Movies. Sadly, thus far all we€™ve had is a few trailers of fare such as Puss In Boots 3D and The Green Lantern without any full length features. Considering that 3D TV technology is out of the price range for many of us, having full 3D Movies on the 3DS in 2012 would give the handheld a significant boost of attention and another good reason to own the 3DS. If Nintendo do eventually offer us the ability to download and watch 3D feature films, we can only hope that they€™ll also go one step further by offering us more than just recent blockbusters like Tintin and Hugo. Sitting on a train and watching Jaws 3D or Friday The 13th: Part 3D - as they were originally artistically intended - is an amazingly tempting proposition, no matter how shameful.

A Bigger and Better Virtual Console

While the eShop Virtual Console has offered us up some classic titles since its launch, the slow release schedule, minimal variety and suspicious pricing of the content has been discouraging. So far, despite promises of games from such consoles as Sega€™s GameGear and the NeoGeo, all we€™ve had from Nintendo are a range of Gameboy games. Sure, there€™s been some truly classic titles such as The Legend Of Zelda: Links Awakening and Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins, but did we really need dated ports of Trick Shot or Breakout ? If Nintendo wants us to keep spending our hard earned cash in the eShop, 2012 will need to bring more frequent updates of varied retro classics, all from a variety of different consoles other than just the Gameboy and NES. It doesn€™t need to stop at portables either. Give us Master System, Mega Drive, SNES and maybe even Dreamcast titles - the 3DS Virtual Console could easily become the definitive retro museum.

New StreetPass Games and Features

One of the most addictive and unique features of the 3DS is StreetPass, which allows the console to communicate with other 3DS systems while in sleep mode. There€™s something oddly satisfying about seeing that little green light appear, meeting other users you€™ve passed and finding out what they€™ve been up to. The in built mini-games - StreetPass Quest and Puzzle Swap - are also fiendishly addictive, giving us much incentive to take our 3DS€™ into the wide open world and keep playing anywhere. With so many possibilities, we can only hope that Nintendo are planning on bringing brand new StreetPass features to the 3DS in 2012. Whether it€™s brand new games, or simply refinements to what€™s already available, we can€™t wait to see where Nintendo are going to take StreetPass in the future.

YouTube 3D

With phones and other portable devices all capable of streaming YouTube content through web browsers and dedicated applications, it€™s entirely fair to expect the same of Nintendo€™s 3DS, which currently is unable to display YouTube on the limited web browser. Furthermore, with YouTube now integrating 3D as an upload option for video, being able to view these clips on the 3DS would be a fantastic feature for the console. For those who can€™t afford the latest 3D televisions and mobile devices, being able to view 3D video from YouTube would be another unique selling point for Nintendo€™s console. When you also consider the possibilities of 3DS users being able to upload and share their very own 3D videos shot using the in-built camera, bringing YouTube to the 3DS seems like a no-brainer.

Fewer Remakes and Ports

To be fair, the quality of many of the remakes we€™ve currently seen on the 3DS have been of a very high quality. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - with it€™s impressive updated visuals and added features - was a joy to behold, as was the decent port of StarFox 64. The upcoming Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D also looks incredibly promising, boasting a huge storyline and some of the prettiest visuals seen thus far on the handheld. However, while the constant stream of remakes has been an acceptable aspect of the console finding its footing, we€™d like to see a year which brings forth more unique titles, rather than another year full of revamps. It€™s not that there€™s no room for more classics - especially if they€™re given the considerable respect we€™ve already seen - but the 3DS needs solid new titles if it€™s going to stay successful in 2012.

Worldwide Streaming Services

While the U.S has Netflix on the 3DS - giving subscribers a library of streaming and downloadable video content - here in the U.K and other areas of the world, we€™ve got no such feature. With applications like LoveFilm and Netflix recently launching on consoles such as the Xbox and PS3, it€™s a shame that most 3DS users currently aren€™t able to enjoy films and TV shows on the go. In 2012 we€™d like to see Nintendo give us more apps like Netflix and perhaps TV on-demand services like the BBC€™s iPlayer and 4OD. Such applications would hopefully begin a series of exciting new features for the 3DS eShop. If the 3DS is going to continue to prove itself as a worthy competitor with mobile devices and Sony€™s Vita, it€™s certainly going to need them.

New AR Card Functionality

One of the biggest features which was heavily touted with the launch of the 3DS was its inbuilt Augmented Reality technology. Coming with a selection of AR cards, the 3DS allowed us to play a selection of inventive mini-games which would - through use of the 3DS camera - take place in the real world and alter the surroundings as we played. As awesome as it was first playing AR trick shot next to a disgruntled pet, or fishing on your living room floor, the novelty of these initial games soon wore off. For such an initially hyped feature, it seems strange that Nintendo haven€™t expanded on the feature for anything other than the occasional AR functionality built into games like Nintendogs. Why not give us new AR games with a future system update, or even start including brand new AR cards with upcoming retail releases. Imagine an AR card bundled with Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D which would give you a selection of stealth mini-games.

More First-Party Games

Despite a troublesome launch, the Nintendo 3DS managed to turn itself around at the end of 2011, becoming one of the biggest selling consoles at Christmas. This was all thanks to Nintendo finally giving us some quality first party titles in the form of Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 - with Link also laying the groundwork with Ocarina of Time. These three games all helped make the 3DS worth owning, offering portable gaming experiences which go well beyond what you€™d find on a mobile phone app store. However, they also go to show that without Nintendo's own games, the 3DS could potentially suffer. It€™s not that there€™s no strong third-party games - the upcoming Resident Evil: Revelations looks as good as anything Nintendo have provided for the 3DS - but it€™s the Nintendo titles that draw in gamers and keep the 3DS unique to other consoles. 2012 needs to be a year of new adventures for Mario, Link, Metroid and Donkey Kong, and we€™d certainly also like to see Nintendo create something entirely new for the 3DS.

Full Sky 3D Content

When it was announced that Sky would be providing 3D content to the 3DS, many of us were excited at the possibility of something similar to the Sky Player service on the Xbox 360. Sadly, so far all we€™ve had are short trailers and clips of full 3D programming, uploaded sporadically to the Nintendo Video application. It€™s nice to watch a 3D clip of Peter Gabriel in concert or a scene from a David Attenborough documentary, but it basically leaves you wishing that you could access the full show - and perhaps that€™s the idea. We€™d like to think that plans are underway to offer Sky subscribers full Sky 3D content on the 3DS in 2012, rather than simply teasing them with glorified adverts.

Frequent System Updates

Since the launch of the 3DS in 2011, Nintendo have rolled out a series of system updates for the console, all of which have seen major improvements. We've seen the addition of a refined friends system, web browsing and most recently, the ability to record 3D videos. An upcoming update will also allow us to download additional content for games, making the 3DS the first Nintendo handheld to offer DLC. These updates have all been welcome, and there's still so much that Nintendo can add to the 3DS through system updates in 2012. We'd like to see improved home page functionality, such the option to personalize the colour or theme. With so many of our home screens also becoming clogged with downloads and apps, we'd also like to see the option added to create folders, allowing us to arrange our games neatly. _________________ What would you like to see in 2012 for the 3DS ?5 Upcoming 3DS Titles To Get Excited About
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Cult horror enthusiast and obsessive videogame fanatic. Stephen considers Jaws to be the single greatest film of all-time and is still pining over the demise of Sega's Dreamcast. As well regularly writing articles for WhatCulture, Stephen also contributes reviews and features to Ginx TV.