When it comes to creating superb DS-exclusive titles, nobody rivals Nintendo: we know this, you know this and developers certainly know this, resulting in a marked decrease in DS boxed releases as publishers look to distribute their funds elsewhere. Jools Watsham, founder of Dementium and Moon developer Renegade Kid, thinks the 3DS may be just the ticket to revive flagging third-party support for Nintendo handhelds.
Everyone seems very excited about the 3DS. I know I am. I think the beginning of any new platform’s life is the best time to release original games. They have a much better chance of selling due to the limited selection of games available.
Watsham makes a good point, although this wasn't exactly true of the DS's release line-up: the biggest-selling title was by far Super Mario 64 DS, and the only truly original titles were Sonic Team's underrated Project Rub and WarioWare: Touched! In its first year the machine received Meteos, Nintendogs, Trauma Centre and Lost in Blue among other quality exclusive titles, but Western publishers soon began to see the good games were mostly coming from one place: Japan.
I think the number of US developers supporting the 3DS is going to be larger than it has been for the DS in terms of teams who are focusing on creating original so-called “core” games. I think we’ll see a lot of the current Wii and iPhone developers adding the 3DS to their development plans.
Whether Watsham's prediction is right and we'll see a wider array of core games developed outside of Japan will only become clear in time, but with the support of talented Western developers there's a possibility Japan may not hold quite such a monopoly next time around.