News Article

Talking Point: What We Want To See From Nintendo's Next Handheld

Posted by Damien McFerran

Pocket-sized predictions

The 3DS is now more than three years old, which — if tradition is to be followed — places it roughly halfway through its effective life span as Nintendo's main handheld system. It's almost certainly the next piece of hardware that Nintendo will seek to replace, and given the (quickly quashed) rumours of new hardware swirling around this year's E3, it got us thinking about what we want from the next portable console to come out of the company's Kyoto labs.

Nintendo has been a market leader in the handheld sector for decades, kicking off its dominance with the Game & Watch line before unleashing the seminal Game Boy on the unsuspecting masses at the close of the '80s. The Game Boy line has since been retired and its successor — the Nintendo DS — is officially the most commercially successful handheld games console of all time with over 150 million units sold. The 3DS started badly but has since turned into something of a triumph, although it now faces stiff competition from smartphones and tablets which many experts argue have stolen a considerable portion of Nintendo's market share in this sector.

Taking all of this into account, Nintendo's next handheld is going to be a pivotal release in the history of the company. It needs to create a system which proves once and for all that dedicated hardware is the only real option when it comes to playing the best games on the move — smartphones and tablets are not implicitly designed for gaming, despite their amazing level of popularity. It also needs to ensure that any new system builds on the things which have made the 3DS so great: a robust design, the best pocket-sized games money can buy, easily expandable storage and addictive StreetPass connectivity to encourage people to take their consoles with them everywhere.

Below we list the key areas we think Nintendo needs to focus on with any new handheld it produces — please note that none of this is based on inside information or rumours, but instead is just our personal thoughts on the subject.

It's time to ditch the gimmicks

The 3DS was revealed at a time when 3D tech was very much in fashion — 3D televisions were making big waves and 3D movies were giving people a new way to experience entertainment. The console's ability to generate such images without the need for glasses was a revelation (even if Nintendo was found to have "borrowed" the idea from elsewhere) and it was the ideal hook to get new buyers interested.

However, as time has passed 3D has become less and less essential. When used correctly it can make some games look amazing, but the fact that Nintendo has ignored it for some key releases (Pokémon X & Y made little use of the effect) speaks volumes; then there's the release of the 2DS to consider, which is about as close to an admission of failure from Nintendo as you're ever going to get. Auto-stereoscopic 3D is a neat trick, but we can't see it being included in the next Nintendo handheld, even if backwards compatibility with 3DS software is included. As the 2DS has illustrated, the effect simply isn't required to enjoy 3DS games.

Physical media = RIP

We're not sure about you, but here at Nintendo Life we're beginning to grow tired of having to carry around multiple 3DS game cards, despite them being tiny and perfectly pocket-sized. Nintendo has given the 3DS eShop a real push of late and the fact that you can easily (and cheaply) upgrade the console's SD card means that it's possible to download plenty of titles and access them without having to fumble for physical cartridges. It's the ideal situation for portable players.

Taking this into account — as well as the digital revolution that has occurred on smartphones and tablets — there's a very good chance that Nintendo's next handheld system will abandon physical media entirely. Think of it logically; game cards are a throwback to the days when internal storage and online distribution simply weren't technically feasible — there's no real justification in having to buy physical games on a handheld anymore, especially when it goes against the principles of such a device: mobility and ease of use.

While the collectors among us will no doubt lament the passing of physical games, it's an inevitable future and one that is already happening in the PC and mobile sectors of the gaming market. By removing the need for such media Nintendo will be able to reduce the cost of any new system (no physical delivery method means no need for a cartridge slot) and internal memory is so cheap these days that throwing in 16 or 32GB of internal storage won't break the bank — keeping the SD card slot would also be a fine idea.

Playing the graphical arms race

Nintendo has a history of ignoring the need to create powerful hardware just for the sake of it — both the DS and 3DS have triumphed over technically superior systems, and the original Game Boy was viewed by some as a relic when compared to the Sega Game Gear and Atari Lynx — both of which boasted illuminated colour displays. As we all know, the Game Boy overcame its limitations to destroy the competition, but there's only so many times that Nintendo can play this particular card.

The 3DS was arguably outgunned in terms of raw specifications the day it was launched, and is aging badly when compared to the latest smartphones and tablets. Realistically, there's no way Nintendo can maintain parity with such challengers — phones and tablets are refreshed on a yearly basis, while handheld consoles have a life cycle which is almost five times longer. However, the rapid nature of hardware development made in the mobile sector could ironically benefit Nintendo with its next portable; the high demand for fast, mobile chipsets has reduced the cost of such components, and companies such as Nvidia and Qualcomm, both of which have honed their talents on a seemingly endless production line of Android phones and slates — would no doubt be more than happy to supply Nintendo with the internals for any new portable system it creates.

Of course, Nintendo using smartphone-style chips won't allow it to avoid being outdated after a year or two, but it will mean that the company can be on level terms to begin with, without having to overcharge for the console on day one (it already made that mistake with the 3DS).

Touch and go

Back when the original DS hit the market, the notion of a gaming touchscreen was a real eye-opener. It changed forever how people interacted with games and arguably paved the way for devices like the iPhone and iPad. However, Nintendo has been left behind in this regard by its insistence on using cheap but primitive resistive screens in its products.

Resistive screens are, as the name suggests, based on the concept of pressure. You have to push a finger or stylus onto the screen to register an input, and the display can only track one point of input at a time. Resistive screens are also prone to damage, given the malleable nature of their surfaces. Over time they lose their accuracy, and if dust or dirt collects around the edges of the screen (a common problem on the DS Lite) then some parts of the display become unresponsive.

Pretty much every other touchscreen device on the face of the planet right now has moved onto the far superior capacitive tech. These screens don't require pressure to function and can detect multiple points of input — which allows for multi-touch gestures, such as the famous "pinch zoom" command you see on many phones and tablets. While many critics will point out that a resistive screen with a stylus is more precise than a capacitive screen with a finger, many hardware makers have produced pens which can be used on such displays — Samsung's Galaxy Note range comes with the popular S-Pen, for example.

Therefore, Nintendo really has no good reason to avoid using capacitive tech in its next system, aside from keeping the price down. In fact, it really should have employed such a panel in the Wii U GamePad — but that's a discussion for another day.

Connection is the key

The success of StreetPass on the 3DS — and the abject failure of Sony's PS Vita rival Near — shows just how well Nintendo understands the habits of gamers. StreetPass is ingenious; it rewards people for carrying their console around with them, and by doing so ensures that when they want to indulge in some gaming on the go, they will pull out their dedicated gaming system instead of playing on their phone.

StreetPass is one element which Nintendo absolutely needs to enhance in its next portable console, and it needs to make the experience even more "sticky" so that people maintain their connection with StreetPass for even longer. Collectable items and puzzles are all well and good — and the additional StreetPass games were a masterstroke — but gamers will expect something more advanced in future hardware.

Connectivity also extends to how Nintendo's future systems interact with the web, as well as the various social media accounts which drive so many people online. Like it or not, portals such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ carry considerable clout with casual technology users, and the ability to share content with these services can make or break new systems — especially mobile ones, which are in your pocket at all times. Games like Animal Crossing: New Leaf and the forthcoming Tomodachi Life understand this to a degree and allow you to share images online, but it's an incredibly cumbersome process which needs some serious streamlining in the future.

Finally, there's the thorny issue of Nintendo Network IDs. Nintendo has taken steps recently to unify accounts so now your eShop credit balance is shared between your 3DS and your Wii U. That still doesn't go far enough for us — there should be a system in place which allows you to migrate your account (along with purchases and other data) to another machine with the minimum of effort. The system transfer as it exists now is all well and good, but it's hardly an elegant solution.

We also want to see an end to the Nintendo's strategy of making its customers pay for the same game several times over. When we've purchased Super Mario Bros. on the Wii and 3DS already, we really shouldn't have to shell out again to play it on the Wii U. It's the same game, and because we're buying it from the same retailer each time (and in the case of the 3DS and Wii U, using the same Nintendo Network ID), a system should be in place which knows we have already bought it and allow us to download it to our other systems free of charge. This notion of "cross buy" already exists on Sony's consoles, and if you have an Android or iOS device you'll be well aware of the fact that you can access your past purchases on any phone or tablet you sign into. This is now the norm, and Nintendo needs to make sure it gets up to speed with its next handheld.

The price needs to be right

The arrival of the iPad has changed the gaming industry, whether we like it or not. It occupies the top end of the price spectrum and is much more expensive than any handheld games console will ever be, but it's still one of the biggest rivals to both Sony and Nintendo. The reason is simple: buyers see an iPad and are sold on the possibilities it offers; it can play games, movies, music, surf the web, show newspapers and magazines, store books, display photos and even function as a PC of sorts. Although the average iPad owner probably uses their device for only a couple of those things, the fact that it offers so much is what tempts them to part with their cash in the first place — and once they've done that, it's harder than ever to convince them that they need another piece of hardware just to play games.

While the 3DS is capable of doing much more than just play games, Nintendo needs to position it's next machine properly in order to fight back against a generation of buyers hooked on their tablets. The pricing of the 3DS was a disaster, forcing the company to quickly reduce the price. Any new device needs to get the cost right from day one; Nintendo's famous reluctance to sell hardware at a loss may have to be put to one side. More so now than ever before, market penetration is all about how many units of hardware you can sell, and Nintendo no longer has the handheld entertainment sector all to itself.

The cost of the machine isn't the only thing that needs to drop. While the vast majority of smartphone and tablet games can't hope to compete with the cream of the 3DS library, the price difference between the two is remarkable. It's little wonder that games like Angry Birds or Candy Crush Saga can become so successful when the barrier to entry is practically non-existent; free-to-play gaming might be frowned upon by most seasoned players, but for throwaway portable gaming, it's a surprisingly successful method of distribution.

Nintendo is obviously aware of this, as its experiments with Steel Diver: Sub Wars and Rusty's Real Deal Baseball attest. If it does take the digital-only method with its next machine, Nintendo will have to look at reducing the cost of software to ensure some degree of parity is maintained with the rest of the market. Premium iPad and iPhone games often sell for prices which aren't far off the cost of top-line eShop downloads, so there's clearly a middle ground that can be hit here. By taking physical distribution out of the equation — and the additional costs which come with it, such as packaging and logistics — Nintendo should be able to achieve this.

Don't go changing

Nintendo may need to do a lot with its next handheld, but there's just as much we'd like to see remain the same. The clamshell design of the DS and 3DS is arguably one of the reasons why such machines have been so incredible popular; there's a physiological advantage to having a console which protects its delicate screens when not in use. Compared to the scratch-prone PSP and PS Vita, Nintendo's handhelds feel like they can cope with anything — and that's an important quality to have in a mobile device. You're more likely to take it out of the house with you if you know it can withstand the often demanding rigours of the road.

We've also grown fond of that iconic dual-screen display over the years, despite the fact that many developers don't use the setup to anywhere near its full potential. Having two screens means you can display more information and consequently makes everything from viewing a map to arranging your inventory much easier. Developers such as Phil Fish may question the need for such a configuration, but we'd like to see Nintendo stick with it.


So that's our thoughts on what Nintendo's next handheld should (and shouldn't) do. What are your hopes for the system? Do you want Nintendo to tear up the rulebook again and come up with something revolutionary, or are you happy with an evolution of the 3DS? Perhaps you think it's time for the company to resurrect the iconic Game Boy line for a new generation? Or perhaps the future lies in a system which unites both the home and portable formats in a single hardware platform? You know what to do — leave a comment to tell us what you think.

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User Comments (307)

ZeroZX_Dev

#1

ZeroZX_Dev said:

All I want is better graphics, and HD screens.....
Oh yeah, and a second analog stick would be awesome.

Takerkaneanite6

#2

Takerkaneanite6 said:

I Like All The Ideas, Except For The Game Card Idea, I Like The Cartrages Personally, Not Sure About Anybody Else

Peach64

#3

Peach64 said:

I honestly have no idea how you make a successful handheld in this day and age of mobile/tablet gaming, but from a personal point of view, I'd really like to see them ditch the two screens. I've been playing on a modded original GBA recently and I really, really prefer the form factor of the buttons being either side of the screen, and no clamshell to throw the balance off. Has there really been any games which needed 2 screens? Plenty that have done interesting things, but I can't think of any that I've played where it has been essential. Things like inventory screens and map screens are becoming rarer and rarer in games these days are better alternatives are used.

I love features of the Vita such as being able to play the PSOne Classics on it, without having to buy them again, and the remote play with the PS4. It would be fantastic if the next Nintendo handheld just let you play any Virtual Console games you'd already bought on other platforms, and of course, if it could stream games from the main console, like the Gamepad can. Obviously these features haven't made the Vita sell, but as I said above, this is all just about what I'd like to see, not what I think would make it a success.

Kewlan

#4

Kewlan said:

I want to see connectivity between the home console too. It would be amazing if I could pick whether to play on the home console or the handheld. I would also like it to be more like the android OS. All games work for (almost) all versions, and it's only the hardware that gets and upgrade from time to time.
Edit:
Oh and with that, I would like them to have a game library that's similar to Steam's (and games saved on an account and not hardware), so it feels safe to buy digital copies without them disappearing.

Cyb3Rnite

#5

Cyb3Rnite said:

HD would be useless. The screen wouldn't be big enough to notice the difference, and it would cost much, much more to produce.

Heiki

#6

Heiki said:

Ditching physical media? I will refuse to get a game console that's digital only.
Lower price? Game companies are barely standing with the current price scheme.
I agree that they should stop with the gimmicks, though.

MrMario02

#9

MrMario02 said:

Nintendo Has Trademarked a portable console that has swappable button layouts already.

unrandomsam

#11

unrandomsam said:

@Cyb3Rnite If phones can have it at a cheap price with all the masses of extra profit they get from games they can do it. (They have never done premium hardware but they need to start).

@Corleonis88 No difference if you use a capacitive stylus. (At least with the quality Nintendo goes for. Stuff like for drawing that needs pressure sensitivity is a different thing). The best resistive ones are also fine but they didn't go for that either. (The Panasonic Toughpad uses one and it has multitouch).

Guitardude7

#12

Guitardude7 said:

You lost me when you said the console should be digital only. Sorry but no. I prefer physical games. When i digitally own a game I don't really feel like I own it. Digital should ALWAYS be an option, not the main feature.

Grumblevolcano

#14

Grumblevolcano said:

I really wouldn't want digital only. Even now I only get digital for eshop exclusives and free games (yes, I put up with a free digital copy of Pikmin 3 as part of a Wii U bundle I bought last September and will do the same for MH3U/W101 with the MK8 promotion).

unrandomsam

#16

unrandomsam said:

@Takerkaneanite6 I don't mind cartridges. I don't like optical media though no reason to be still using them when flash is so cheap and the premium is still so high on the games. If something is a cartridge chances are I will play it far far less than as a download. (One at a time change when I finish it).

Pinemeowth

#17

Pinemeowth said:

Also- I don't like the digital only idea~ there's somethin' nostalgic about cartridges so I would be a bit pissed if I heard nintendo we're dumping them.

torotoid64

#18

torotoid64 said:

I wouldn't mind a Gameboy comeback the Two screens has got to go, especially with the Wii U

SchamMan89

#19

SchamMan89 said:

I think Nintendo needs to continue using gimmicks with their handhelds. It needs something for it to stand out from its smart phone competition. Nintendo was banking on 3d, and while I enjoy the effect, I don't think it makes enough of a difference.

Also, I prefer digital media, but it's still soon to drop physical media support completely. The next handheld will need a presence on store shelves to be seen amongst the sea of smart devices.

kyuubikid213

#20

kyuubikid213 said:

Didn't the PSPGo ditch physical discs? I don't remember that selling well. And on top of that, there were a fair amount of games not available on the store with Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep being one I recall the most complained about. Also, no physical carts/disks means no used games...

That alone would kind of turn me off on a handheld...

swordx

#22

swordx said:

Digital only? Sounds like the PSP Go HOME! Not everyone has internet, and even then I like my collection. I have mixed feelings getting Pikmin 3 free with Mario Kart 8 because it's digital...

Doma

#23

Doma said:

"Physical media = RIP"

Untitled

Hell no... Downloads are preferable to me, but i'd never touch a region-locked, account-less device of theirs if it was limited to eShop. That's when Nintendo and i will part ways.

Guitardude7

#24

Guitardude7 said:

Gameboy is overrated. I never want to own another single screen console again. The convenience of dual screens is unrivaled when it comes to games. it would be a GIGANTIC step back for Nintendo to revert to single screens again.

unrandomsam

#25

unrandomsam said:

@kyuubikid213 No used games could mean lower prices. Also if all the money leached by the used market went to Nintendo they would be doing fine right now. (The only people needed in the chain are NIntendo and the customer the rest just takes money that could be either saved or go to Nintendo).

The PSP Go changed the form factor. (Breaking stuff like Star Soldier in the process).

Yosher

#26

Yosher said:

I just have one thing to say. PLEASE DO NOT DITCH PHYSICAL COPIES OF GAMES!!! Seriously, this might be a big incentive for me to stop playing recent video games altogether, I hate downloading big games. It's all just digital only and I want to build a PHYSICAL collection. Screw a digital only video game market, I'll gladly carry around tons of cartridges.

Meaty-cheeky

#27

Meaty-cheeky said:

The Next Nintendo handheld needs
1.Physical & Digital Media
2. Faster Web browser
3. capacitive tech screens
4. Huge boost in graphics
5. Competitive prices on EShop
6. A Metal finish on the system for a more mature and sexy look like the (iPhone5)
7. Second analog Stick
8. 720p HD at the very least
9. Cross platform purchases

XyVoX

#28

XyVoX said:

Moga Power Pro controller & my Note 3 i can bet Nintendo s new handheld isn't even going to match that spec with its new handheld and the amount of quality games around now is impressive.

kyuubikid213

#29

kyuubikid213 said:

@unrandomsam It could mean lower prices, but that's all subjective.
People are upset now that SNES games cost $8 on the eShop.
And it's not like used games kill Nintendo or something. In order for there to be used games, someone has had to buy it before.

NorthLightSuplx

#30

NorthLightSuplx said:

@Peach64
"I've been playing on a modded original GBA recently and I really, really prefer the form factor of the buttons being either side of the screen, and no clamshell to throw the balance off."
The 2DS is the perfect compromise. I traded in my 3DS XL last week and bought the 2DS and it is very comfortable. It reminds me of the original GBA. I happen to like the dual screens personally.

BossBattles

#31

BossBattles said:

As long as we live in physical bodies, I prefer to own my games to be actual objects in the physical world.

Digital is WAAAAYYY overrated

Donutman

#32

Donutman said:

I love the 2 screens. I hope they thin it down and just make it flashier. Better wifi/maybe 4g...keep the 3d...it's cool...still sd card I hope...but mostly digital media. 100% connectivity with the next home console. Cross buying...cross playing...that's the future Nintendo...look at apple. Ipad 2 can still do most everything a brand new one can. A portable flashier wii u gamepad would be my dream.

memoryman3

#33

memoryman3 said:

@Cyb3Rnite Tell that to Samsung with their 1080p phones....

What resolution would be ideal for you? For me, it would be at least 1280*720 for 4.5 inches of gaming goodness!

River3636

#34

River3636 said:

Downloads are the future. Rebooting a GameBoy would be cool. They totally need to make the screen like an iPad. My screen on my iPad has cracked so it needs to be durable. None of my GameBoys, Ds, or 3DS screens ever cracked
They need to integrated it into their next home console for sure. That way Nintendo can make everything uniformed on one console. I honestly don't why everyone hates on the WiiU game pad controller. The thing is so awesome, if they can make it portable anywhere watch out. They also need to have the specs too back it up

Gen0neD

#35

Gen0neD said:

I, for one, LOVE the 3D dammit! Gimme a better screen resolution; multi-touch screen; dual analogs; backwards compatible; better sound/speakers and I'm set.

Dizzard

#36

Dizzard said:

I don't know if I could go back to a single screen handheld now, it would just be too weird.

Same goes for the clamshell design, it makes storing your handheld a lot less nerve wracking.

River3636

#37

River3636 said:

It can have a dual screen just call it Game Boy again I still call my 3DS a game boy.

minotaurgamer

#39

minotaurgamer said:

You guys just kept comparing them to smartphones and tablets. That's like comparing a game console to a PC. These are different machines with different purposes. They are different. They are meant to be different. They can't be the same. You just missed the mark and kept drinking the game industry's kool-aid.

Goginho

#40

Goginho said:

I've yet to read the article, but what I want is the natural progression to the 3DS (XL), meaning size, dual screens, 3D, HD, dual analogs, and backward compatibility. That's the main thing that only seems natural. Anything more than that is extra in my books and probably won't cover my next-gen, handheld needs. Never take out the 3D; don't listen to people calling it a "gimmick". I love the 3D. Two thumb pads is only natural, I guess, and it would make a lot of games more accessible, such as a Super Mario Sunshine (props to devs of Luigi's Mansion 2 for the work.around). HD is not that necessary for a handheld screen size, but I assume, since technology gets cheaper by the month, that it won't cost a whole lot to amp up the resolution a tiny bit at least. Dual screens is obvious, I mean, it's just so conveniant and practical, and if you have a clamshell design anyway, then it would be meaningless otherwise. The clamshell design is the most ideal for various reasons (I'm sure it's self-explanatory). Please keep backward compatability, as well as physical cart slots.

shane1228

#41

shane1228 said:

I'm not sure if I have any complaints about the 3DSXL gaming wise. Sure the graphics could be a little better and we could use some HD but then you start approching the current gen power. I think the 3DS still has a few years left in relevance, minimum.
My biggest complaint about the 3DS is the awful apps that make it pretty much useless for anything other than gaming. I mean just god awful apps. Theres some advice Nintendo. Next time you are going to have to compete with tablets and smart phones. I mean give people a reason to pick up their handheld gaming device even if they are not interested in gaming at the moment.

Kodeen

#42

Kodeen said:

@Peach64

I'm like you, but would rather a single screen clamshell again, like the GBA SP or the Nvidia Shield.

Maelstrom

#43

Maelstrom said:

I'll only buy digital games that cost more than $15 if I can easily transfer them if something breaks or gets stolen.

ajcismo

#44

ajcismo said:

Most important to me is a unified account system. This is an absolute must, and in this day and age there should be no more excuses as to where it is.

Zyph

#48

Zyph said:

Oh and resistive touchscreens are more precise IMO. And there are multi-touch resistive touch panels in the market. Capacitive ones are sensitive...but that's just about it.

ZenTurtle

#50

ZenTurtle said:

Don't go digital until there's a proper account system. I personally like physical media. I want better graphical quality and processor, as well as an easier way to develop games for the console and run the code. I would also like Nintendo to retain backwards compatibility - the GBA was awesome because it could play monochrome GB games and GBC games. Nintendo should keep compatibility with DS games. The eshop could be so much more- taking advantage of Nintendo's whole software handheld library as well as NES, SNES, N64, GCN and Wii games (although wii games would need the wii u, obviously). The eshop's pricing should be rethought- with deals if you buy a certain number of games, and VC and digital full price games are SO expensive, with games such as Pilotwings resort still £40!

NickieBoy

#51

NickieBoy said:

I say ditch the camera, the resolution is terrible. Its annoying when I'm playing a game like Spirit Camera and I can see the ghost more clearly than my environment...

B3ND3R

#52

B3ND3R said:

I honestly think that the 3ds should not go anytime soon... I love it, and I feel like it'll last a lot longer..

Artwark

#53

Artwark said:

@Peach64 I don't know. I love the dual screen gameplay and I really wish Nintendo sticks to that!

Sure one screen will do fine, but it just destroys the point of innovation. This is Nintendo you're talking about not Sony.

6ch6ris6

#54

6ch6ris6 said:

wow there is so much wrong in that article
-3D is awesome. games look much better with it.
-i will never go digital only. i will never buy a system that is digital only. i want to OWN the games i pay for.
-did i miss something or have you really forgotten to mention a second circle pad???????????? this is the biggest issue with the 3DS! nintendo really needs to solve it with the next handheld
-

Dark-Link73

#55

Dark-Link73 said:

Ok. So. Let's take it from the top. The release of the 2DS IS NOT an "admission of failure by Nintendo". If you actually pay attention to the marketing for the 2DS, you'll notice that it is targeting the 7 and under demographic whom, if you also paid attention to the 3DS earning label, it is harmful for their eyed to use the 3D effect. Just because you might not 3D it doesn't make it a "gimmick".

As for digital only, as much as I like the idea, I prefer physical games better. Besides, I don't think it'll be a good idea to go digital only until our purchases are tied to our accounts and not the console. Unfortunately, after what happened to Microsoft with the 360 where people basically pirated games by logging in their friends' consoles and allowed them to download games they had already purchased, I doubt Nintendo would come out with a handheld like that. High potential for lost revenue. Currently, I don't think there is any feature that might prevent such illegal distribution unless you're connected online 24/7. That wouldn't work on a handheld console.

As for the "graphical arm race". Quality over quantity man. Pretty graphics don't make great games.

As for "connectivity". I don't know about google +, but Facebook is not a place for gamers. That's why Nintendo created Miiverse. If I were to share a post or pic on Facebook, most of my "friends" (if they could even be called that) would be like "wth?" because like 95% of my fb friends are not gamers. Miiverse is perfect for gamers to interact with gamers. As for unifying accounts, I think Nintendo is already looking into that by consolidating their console and handheld hardware divisions. However, I'm not holding my breath on being able to transfer my games due to issues aforementioned two paragraphs ago. Also, you're not taking into account that, the main reason for iOS/Android account transfers is because those devices are marketed to be yearly purchases! Dedicated gaming devices have a seven year cycle. BTW, you CAN transfer your purchases and accounts from 3DS to 3DS, you just need both machines physically present.

As for "the price needs to be right". You are telling me you rather pay $600 for an iPad than $200 for a 3DS? The reality is that prices go up! One can't expect to pay less for an item today than what we did 7 years ago. Is just not a realistic expectation.

As for "don't go changing". If ain't broken, why fix it? Right? ;-)

NbaJunkie

#57

NbaJunkie said:

Next portable will progress graphically no doubt. I just want another analog stick. I bought a circle pad pro xl. Although it's more comfortable and I get no more handcramps. It increases the 3dsxl to game gear sized proportions..

c1pher_c0mplet

#58

c1pher_c0mplet said:

SECOND ANALOG STICK, for crying out loud. Beside that, the only other thing the next handheld needs to have is unified accounts (although we need that NOW). And I don't know about you guys but the buttons on the 3DS are atrocious for playing old school eShop games (especially platformers like SMB3 that just came out: I can barely play it on my XL). Resistive touchscreens are more accurate w/stylus and cheaper so they should keep those. I can see Nintendo pushing digital w/the eShop even more on the next one but I can't see them ditching carts completely. Lastly, I really don't think HD matters or is necessary. It'd make things look better but... I don't really care about that.

MeddlingIdiotStaff

#59

MeddlingIdiot said:

Personally, I'd like to stick with physical media for as long as possible, especially with the current lack of a backup system if your 3DS dies or gets lost. Regarding the cross-buy side of things, that really is something they need to sort out pronto, but as long as people buy multiple copies of the same game, why would they stop doing it. Maybe unified accounts would solve both issues?

Varoennauraa

#60

Varoennauraa said:

I love 3DS's 3D, and only want it to go away if it needs to be removed to be able to make a portable Wii U(which is rather unrealistic wish of course).

My daughters eye doctors also seriously doubted, that 3D would be harmfull for kids, and couple of them actually thought, that it might be usefull for my kids.

Changeable controller modules for keeping buttons in comfortable place, but make them removable for those special cases, that really needs second analog controller.(I still prefer CCP though. Perhaps a new CCP, that has a battery inside of it would make me even happier)

River3636

#61

River3636 said:

These are just speculation those of you who don't like ideas wake up and let your imagination go a little while. Don't be so snotty about everything.

MAN1AC

#62

MAN1AC said:

-Get rid of the dual screen
-Better battery life
-NO BC (It holds back the hardware and I dont care for games in 3D)
-And PLEASE be better hardware...my 3DS feels like a piece of plastic.

XyVoX

#63

XyVoX said:

SIMPLE:
Bigger screens or screen in a higher resolution
2nd Analogue Stick
No region Lock
OBVIOUSLY still needs to be physical media

and for RIGHT NOW 1 account system for all devices, as their current method is nothing short of daylight robbery.

Hy8ogen

#64

Hy8ogen said:

Damien, I agreed on everything you said in this article except for 1 thing, how dare, I mean HOW DARE YOU suggest Nintendo to get rid of the cartridges? Blasphemy!

The cartridges are the sole reason why 3DS feels Nintendo. Without it, it is just another soulless machine.

@MAN1AC I don't know about you but my Midnight Purple 3DS is pretty solid. Wife is loving her pearl pink 3DS too. My only complain for the 3DS is the D-pad. It feels extremely cheap and flimsy. The DS D-pad is miles better.

beingvasey

#65

beingvasey said:

I still dream of and am convinced the best way to go for the next handheld is to make basically a more powerful and capacitive screen DS that is sleek and has a small screen on the outside so you can see your incoming calls. It needs to be an unlocked phone, so I can ditch the extra device in my pocket. If I could just make calls and text with my 3DS I wouldn't have my phone.

ejamer

#66

ejamer said:

Oddly, the biggest thing that Nintendo needs to get in line (my opinion, of course) before their next handheld/home console release are consumer-friendly digital profile systems. The actual hardware improvements are far less exciting to me than what account/service changes might be made.

Maybe people are tired of carrying cartridges... but until the "all downloads are tied to a single piece of hardware" model goes away, I'm not keen on jumping in to the digital world.

(Sony's model for PSN is fantastic, for example, so obviously this can be done.)

kereke12

#67

kereke12 said:

What I want is actual HD display, full backwards compatible 3Ds game, add a second analog-stick. Get rid of the stupid friend-codes, make the VC games compatible for Wii U or Wii (Next-gen). Make the buttons a little more durable especially the "L & R" button. Make the battery a 3,500 MaH, or a 4,000 MaH. Make sure they use the camera for games. Take off the shutter sound on it, even though in Japan you have to have on. Have a better interface where you can change the background just like PS VITA. Have a better memory unit.

Warruz

#68

Warruz said:

Obviously improved visuals and resolutions.
Release the smaller and bigger version at launch
two sticks, none of this gamepad pro bs
More comfortable design (more rounded, shoulder buttons can be a pain due to the thing square nature).
Have a physical media slot(that can be covered) that comes with a converter(or just do a better job with VC).
No more friend codes

Bolt_Strike

#69

Bolt_Strike said:

My thoughts on each of your points:

1. It's time to ditch the gimmicks- All right, let's be honest, gimmicks are killing Nintendo. But not simply because they exist, because they rely on them as a selling point. The Wii U is a good example of how this can go wrong, the console has a neat new controller, but everything else about it is inferior to the competition, and so when the Gamepad proved itself to be nearly useless, the console failed to sell. That being said, it has also proven to be quite successful in the past with the DS and Wii, where their gimmicks were fairly intuitive to use and had much more of an effect on the gameplay. So if they want to continue with gimmicks, that's fine, but only if what they come up with is actually useful.
2. Physical Media = RIP. The big issue here is used games and sharing, digital media is not very friendly to these issues. What if you find you don't like the game and want to get at least some of your money back? What if you want to lend it to a friend? If Nintendo is to effectively replace physical with digital, they need to tackle these issues. Otherwise, what they're doing now works, they have a good mix of physical and digital options.
3. Playing the graphical arms race. Agreed, considering the rest of the industry has an obsession with graphics, they need to start to compete on this front if they want more sales.
4. Touch and go. Sure, why not?
5. Connection is key. Everything you said about the online half of this aspect needs to happen. The problem is that Nintendo tailors their system far too much towards the Japanese market, and they can't really think about it this way if they're trying to sell consoles outside of Japan, who favors local, face to face connection over online. The problem is, it's pretty much the exact opposite in Western markets, online is king in that sector. They need to put local and online on equal footing and give gamers the option to choose which one they want instead of making that decision for them. Streetpass is a neat idea for the Japanese market, but Western markets do not benefit as much from it because they don't have the density for it to be effective. Relay points were a good start, but they should really tie online into this feature somehow.
6. The price needs to be right. You basically skimmed over a really important point: smartphones and tablets can sell because they're basically "do everything" devices, so you can not only play games, but message, browse the internet, play movies, music, use apps, etc. Nintendo is starting to move in that direction, but I think at some point they may have to start doing this if they want to be successful. Unless they want to market themselves as a niche tablet like the Nook or Kindle. Just how well are these devices doing exactly?
Anyway, yes, Nintendo needs to start making their consoles more of a competitive buy.
7. Don't go changing. I agree about the design not needing to change, it's basically perfect the way it is (although I will say I don't like how fragile the hinges between the two screens seem to be, I've had two of my DS' hinges break within a year or two and I think they need to be made a bit sturdier). Eveything else though? Well, we'll see where the market takes us.

I also agree in the comments about needing a second Circle Pad, this is something Pokemon XY really needed in some spots (anyone else hate how the camera in Azure Bay is so zoomed in and stuck to a point where you can't see anything? That definitely needs to be fixed), but other than that, I can't really think of where the handhelds can go from here. There's the Fusion idea, certainly, but the way Nintendo is talking, it's not feasible at this point, either because it's too expensive or the technology just isn't there yet.

ultimate321

#70

ultimate321 said:

RIP physical? No way, I sure as hell don't want to go into such nasty territories. Digital is great and all but as a choice. I'm not tired of having gaming cartridges at all. What else gives you that feeling of buying it at the store and excitedly opening the package? A download sure won't.
Also, you can't improve graphical power and have the different touchscreen AND a good price. Havinga a multitouch touchscreen on a portable or the wii u is ridiculous. Imagine using that :/. Its better to leave it as is ditch the touch gimmick as well. Otherwise,I agree.

User1988

#71

User1988 said:

All I want is for Nintendo to get rid of region-lock completely, offer Japanese games on the NA and NOE eShops, and more powerful graphics capabilities all at a reasonable price. I don't really care about HD screens since the screens we have are so small, as long as they're like 720p I'd be happy.

rylo151

#72

rylo151 said:

correct me if im wrong but dont capacitive screens need to be glass to work, leading to them being more fragile and prone to braking more than a plastic resistive screen? ive dropped my gamepad many times, i couldnt imagine how easily it would have broken with a glass screen.

FullbringIchigo

#73

FullbringIchigo said:

all of that seams ok APART from getting rid of physicl media, who wants to pay the stupid prices most digital games are and if it didn't have a media slot what about BC with 3DS & DS games?

BinaryFragger

#74

BinaryFragger said:

I know this will probably be an unpopular opinion here, but the PS Vita is everything that I want in a handheld. It has great visuals, two excellent analogue sticks, is comfortable to hold and has tons of great games. Aside from mediocre battery life and overpriced memory cards, it's a nearly-perfect handheld.

With that said, I'm very satisfied with my 3DS XL, and I would be perfectly happy with an XL with better graphics, a second circle pad and no region locking. Nintendo has a history of making excellent handhelds and I doubt that they'll disappoint with their next one.

Geonjaha

#75

Geonjaha said:

I have so many disagreements with this article. First of all - how was the 2DS an admission of failure? 3D is a very specific feature - and the 2DS was catered towards kids who shouldn't use it a lot, and people who couldn't use it. I play my 3DS with the 3D on all the time. 'Ditching the gimmick' would make me lose considerable interest in their next console.

As for the physical releases; yes, we're moving away from physical media - but there are very good reasons why people still buy physical for consoles. Since Nintendo has no account system none of my digital purchases are safe, and having dozens of pounds worth of games on one SD card is more risky than separate game cards. Not to mention trading, lending, and reselling of most games for at least half their value. The reason I only buy digital for PC is that I can regularly get amazing deals on prices (50-90% off most titles). Nintendo haven't given us any discounts as significant as that so far with the 3DS, so why force us to go digital? If the move is so inevitable and most people want it then simply stop buying physical - the option being there doesn't affect you.

DamoAdmin

#76

Damo said:

Totally stunned that people are actually saying they prefer resistive touchscreens over capacitive. Using a capacitive stylus gives exactly the same accuracy, and there's no need to apply any pressure at all. It's simply better tech, which is why hardly anyone uses resistive screens anyone.

Regarding digital taking over from physical, I'm sorry, but it's already happening. Downloads on PC overtook physical sales a few years ago, and last year in the UK more games were downloaded than purchased over the counter. This is the future of the industry, and it makes perfect sense with on a portable console, where you don't want to be carrying around loads of easily-lost carts. I love the fact that my 32GB SD card is packed with all of my games - it means my entire library is with me at all times.

Fair point on the second slider pad - I was going to include that, but thought it was a little obvious. ;)

RedYoshi999

#77

RedYoshi999 said:

I agree with everything brought up. Lower priced digital only games (at least in Australia. $60 is not cool for a handheld game) with a proper account system, cross buy and all would be perfect. It's time for a HD handheld too, 240p doesn't cut it anymore. I would also add a second analog stick and much more power! N64 and possibly GameCube games should be downloadable from the eShop. Regarding the 3D, I don't mind if they keep it, but I'd like it to work better. And if they insist on a camera it needs a lot more than 0.3MP or it's a waste of money. Social media integration is overrated (isn't that what Miiverse is for?) Only Youtube sharing would be useful like in Mario Kart 8. The Web browser should be as good as the Wii U browser too. I'd like to keep the dual screen and clamshell design too.

I still think the earliest Nintendo would reveal it is next years E3 (if 3DS tanks this year) with a release in 2016.

unrandomsam

#78

unrandomsam said:

I would like a handheld where the insides could be replaced once a year for £50. (If you look at the bill of materials for tablets and stuff it costs basically nothing for the SoC part). Not happy with the stagnation that is caused by the current system.

DamoAdmin

#79

Damo said:

@Geonjaha The option bring there DOES effect you, as physical games are keeping prices high. You just said it yourself - PC downloads are usually cheaper because that market is now driven largely by downloads rather than physical sales.

ricklongo

#80

ricklongo said:

All I want is a single machine that is an integrated home console / handheld. It would be the best of two worlds, since you could play the same games both on a huge flatscreen HDTV or on the go. Perhaps most importantly, it would focus Nintendo's development efforts. If the Wii U and the 3DS were a single platform, for example, just take a moment to imagine how utterly unbeatable its game library would be right now - and that's with less than stellar third-party support.

The Wii U gamepad points to that direction already. The only problem (the necessity of a media slot on the portable gamepad itself) could be extremely less troublesome thanks to digital media. It's a win-win situation.

DamoAdmin

#81

Damo said:

@rylo151 I've used capacitive screens in the past which appeared to be made from plastic, so I'm guessing not.

MuchoMochi

#82

MuchoMochi said:

Two Words. Dual Joysticks.

Nintendo isn't at the point where physical media will be ditched. The whole gaming industry isn't at that point yet. Maybe in another generation we will see that, which means I will no longer be buying consoles or handhelds. I'll be a Retro/PC Gamer and I'll wish that I could travel to an alternate dimension where physical media is just improved upon and not totally forsaken.

Also, I think the DS family line should end with the 3DS. Dual-screen is great but I'd like to see Nintendo do something new, bring something to the table that is a must have buy for all gamers.

Geonjaha

#83

Geonjaha said:

@Damo - Maybe so, but I don't have faith in Nintendo to actually provide those sales. Nintendo have their own platform with exclusive games, whereas on PC that's usually very different - thus big sales. I would also take major issue if it turned out Nintendo still refused to add a dedicated account system to their next system.

If Nintendo went solely digital without an account system, and kept all of their games at £30 (No reason why they couldn't really) then I'd probably stop buying consoles from them altogether and stick to PC gaming. Going solely digital is indeed the future, but any console out there is going to be compared with a PC, and if it doesn't handle it well, it's going to lose a lot of customers.

If however they did surprise me and go solely digital with really good game prices and a real account system, then I'd be happy to give up physical media.

Shadowkiller97

#84

Shadowkiller97 said:

I love the 3D and the two screens!!!! If they ditch those, I will be most upset. That said, I would not mind tiered hardware choices. Models with no 3D a la 2DS... Models with one screen a la Wii U (how most games can utilize the gamepad when played on the TV but still have off-TV modes that can be played with just one screen)... and any variation in between. As long as they have one with 3D and two screens, I will pay the premium to get the top tier model.

As far as ditching physical media, that cannot happen. There are plenty of people who do not have internet at home, let alone wifi. But more importantly, physical media is needed to get retail stores to stock the system. Retailers generally dont make nearly as much money selling the system as they do selling the games and peripherals. I think the best compromise however, would be physical game-installs. What I mean is buying the physical media that then installs the game to your system (and locks the physical media to your system until you use it to uninstall). That way its only necessary for collectors and those without internet to buy the physical media, stores have merchandise to shelve, and you do not have to carry around mutiple cards.

Peach64

#85

Peach64 said:

I'm a bit surprised at the amount of people against digital too. It's almost like people prefer looking at a game's case on their shelf than playing the games themselves. Digital is the future, physical media is going to be dropped sooner rather than later. It's happened to music, books and movies, and actually gaming would benefit far more than any of these mediums, because we're at the stage where a physical media drive is actual limiting what our consoles can do. The tech inside them is capable of so much, but they are limited by how fast you can load data off a disc.

Yes, Nintendo need to improve their online infrastructure, but that can easily be fixed on the current hardware.

Bolt_Strike

#87

Bolt_Strike said:

@Damo That's a good point, cheaper downloads would definitely make up for the lack of used games, but the console makers aren't doing that. They keep selling their games at the same price as physical media in spite of not having to pay to build the discs and cartridges. So if they are going to switch to an all digital console, that needs to change.

TheAdrock

#88

TheAdrock said:

Tablets are the best portable gaming devices. Period. I spend 100x more of my time playing Clash of Clans than I do playing the 3DS or the U combined. And I am in no way unique. This fact is all that Nintendo needs to know. Look how much money Supercell is making and recognize that you've missed that train.

Doma

#89

Doma said:

@Peach64 Easily fixed, but you know will never happen under current management. That and their prices are the entirety of the problem. I happily buy digitally elsewhere.

unrandomsam

#90

unrandomsam said:

@Peach64 @Damo An internal SSD and fast cartridges could solve those issues with speed. Problem with Nintendo is they always go for cheap and nasty. (But still expensive). The price should have gone down when they stopped using expensive cartridge and started using dirt cheap junk optical media.

DamoAdmin

#91

Damo said:

@Bolt_Strike That's because physical media still exists! Picture the scene - Nintendo releases Mario Kart 8 digitally at half the price of the physical version. Imagine how retailers would react? The reason PC downloads are so cheap is because Steam has become the shop front, whereas console makers are still duty bound to keep bricks and mortar stores in business.

Arcamenel

#92

Arcamenel said:

I stopped reading after you implied getting rid of the 3D. No thanks, I enjoy my 3DS XL and that means playing games in full 3D.

Zyph

#93

Zyph said:

@Peach64 Silicon game cards can be read and written faster like it was soldered onto the system and of course depending on how it was manufactured. Disks on the other hand...

Shadowkiller97

#94

Shadowkiller97 said:

@Peach64 Music, books, and movies are a different beast. Books generally max out at 2MB, mostly because of the cover art. Music generally sits around the 5-10MB range for one song. Movies have definitely not gone anywhere near completely digital like books/music... and that's largely because of the data. A video file ripped from a DVD is around 300-500MB, 720p from Blu-ray ranges from 700MB to 1.5GB, and 1080p ranges from 1GB to 4GB. Now consider that as most games for the 3DS even at the smallest sizes are already in the GBs. You would expect that the next system should have even larger game sizes. There are many people who don't pay for the fastest speeds for internet (and many who don't have internet at home at all) which could mean it could take days to download a game. Furthermore, there are many countries that offer tiered bandwith plans for internet... a single game download could eat up a large chunk of that month's bandwith.

NorthLightSuplx

#95

NorthLightSuplx said:

What if the device incorporated one screen (like an ipad) that can display one full picture or players have the option of pushing a button to place a black dividing line across the middle of the screen for a quasi- dual screen experience?

I hope what I am trying to convey makes sense.

Shadowkiller97

#96

Shadowkiller97 said:

@NorthLightSuplx In that scenario, I would rather they make two models. A one-screen model and a two-screen model. The one-screen would be able to play all the same games similar to how the Wii U has off-TV mode for many of its games even though they have some sort of dual screen feature.

JCnator

#97

JCnator said:

When it comes on abandoning physical retail games to fully undergo digital, it truly depends on how Nintendo will plan to handle online purchases. You never know when Nintendo is finally going to let us switch hardware seamlessly without losing anything in the process. If the company does that, then I wouldn't mind opting for eliminating physical option, especially because they won't have any excuse for still pricing the games expensively.
Even better, setting a download kiosk on every retailer (or anywhere else) will allow us to download whatever game available on the eShop server without having to use Internet. Every content available on that server will be automatically downloaded on a download kiosk, so you will be able to purchase and install games without waiting for far too long.

Geonjaha

#98

Geonjaha said:

@Peach64 - Let me put it this way. When I buy a retail game at £30 today I can easily resell it for at least £20 on eBay if I wanted to. I also have the option of lending it to someone else (which I end up doing) or even trading it with someone for another game. As I've said in my previous post though - if they handle it badly I simply wont buy the next Nintendo console. The only reason I don't expect this to go well is because it's Nintendo we're talking about here - always slow to catch up with ideas such as this.

Shadowkiller97

#99

Shadowkiller97 said:

@JCnator Yes! Download kiosk is the best idea to aid the people without internet/fast internet/bandwith. It definitely solves the problem of carrying multiple cards everywhere... but probably will not help too much with the price point that people think abandoning physical media would achieve.

Varoennauraa

#100

Varoennauraa said:

@Damo

I want resistive screen because it costs very little, is super accurate, can use "free" stylus, uses less battery and is easier on processor.

I think, that the screen in Wii U GamePad is almost free.

Of course a capacitive screen with an active digitizer and stylus would be better, if there was no price to worry about. I'd put that money in better processor and battery instead though. I want versatile functionality from my Nintendo consoles, and keep them affordable as well.

cfgk24

#101

cfgk24 said:

I want resistive screens! They are far better to play with than Capacitive screens - Have you ever tried to sensibly use a Galaxy Note Stylus? - Pretty bad really - The resistive screen gives a physical feedback to the player that would be badly missed if these screens changed. . . Keep Resistive screens!

DamoAdmin

#102

Damo said:

@Varoennauraa There are capacitive screens in smartphones which cost even less than the 3DS SIM-free, so there's no reason why including one should make the price of the next Nintendo handheld skyrocket.

cfgk24

#103

cfgk24 said:

@Geonjaha This is a problem - the 2nd hand games market reduces profit for Game Devs ( although useful for pocket money gamers). For example - If a popular game comes out only on Eshop - you do not have the option to buy 2nd hand - therefore EVERY person who plays the game has paid and contributed to the Development of that game AND future games - higher profits mean more debs will produce better games. The rarest system is that games become lower in price on the shop as they become dated and less popular. . .

TruenoGT

#104

TruenoGT said:

Another vote for resistive screens here. Great for drawing and writing on the DS, 3DS and Wii U.

Splatom

#105

Splatom said:

Releasing a new handheld that's cheaper this year would be suicide. My guess is that Nintendo will keep the Dual Screen layout and alongside that introduce a new One Screen handheld.

Anyway, I want a messaging function! :D

BertoFlyingFox

#106

BertoFlyingFox said:

While digital is a huge pro for a handheld gamer, I think it would ultimately hurt the consumer if there's no physical master copy that can transfer the game to the system without the need for internet. It would cut out a large chunk of the consumer base.

Nintendo is in no shape to handle that, maybe by 2018. And even then, who's to say they'd discount digital games when they arent doing it much now. I sure dont remember the last VC sale that was on the eShop. Nintendo does not = Steam and indie games do not = Nintendo games.

Vinyl records and hardcover books still sell by the way. Sometimes they come bundled with codes for digital copies too. Best of both worlds, instead of needlessly sacrificing one format for another. You know one that has the crutch of needing system memory space along with internet bandwidth, and hopefully an actually functioning system. Error Code 00P5-Y3R-f0K3D.

DestinyMan

#107

DestinyMan said:

I'm sorry, but I stopped reading at the section about ditching physical media. Not everyone has good internet, and while I have nothing against getting games digital as long as my internet connection allows it, I don't see why it would be such a problem to have the option to get physical. I actually prefer physical and have no problem carrying game cards around, thank you very much.

Also, getting rid of dual screens and 3D would be terrible ideas. Getting rid of the one feature that made DS such a smash-hit? That's a huge no-no. Some of us like the 3D "gimmick" and while I admit it doesn't add much to some games, when it is used well it makes the game incredibly immersive. I couldn't imagine playing games like Super Mario 3D Land without the 3D. Nintendo is always about innovation. Taking out these two features would put them backward, not forward.

yuwarite

#108

yuwarite said:

Resistive is better than capacitive touch screens. Trust me, I own the capacitive touch screen devices in question.

Frapp

#109

Frapp said:

Good article, Damo with soundly reasoned points.
3DS is probably my all-time favourite gaming machine. I definitely hope they retain the clamshell and keep a similar form factor, but with twin 16 x 9 screens and twin analogue controllers. I adore 3D, but it probably won't make to the next gen. Massive shame, if so.
All digital is probably a given these days, for so many reasons. As long as we get more games from Japan, I don't mind that much.

unrandomsam

#110

unrandomsam said:

@cfgk24 They could just have stuff at different price points for that situation. (The reason I think we don't get more Nintendo Selects is all it means is they still won't stock it other than used at slightly less than RRP). It is an issue though because the only way to play Nintendo is to have all your games bought for you or have a job. (Too short).

unrandomsam

#111

unrandomsam said:

@yuwarite Nintendo's resistive screens are garbage. (Even the ones on a high end palm were better a decade ago). Panasonic can make good ones but they cost more than the best capacitive ones (Which with NIntendo's obsession with cheap and nasty would be even worse).

8bitforever

#112

8bitforever said:

@Cyb3Rnite My Vita would like to have a word with you. HD makes a huge difference in the clarity of environments and any video clips within a game as well. The Lego games are a great example. I have a 3DS and Vita so I have owned the very same game on both. Although the versions are the same, the capability of HD in the Vita makes the games much clearer and the video cut scenes look much better.

AJ_Lethal

#115

AJ_Lethal said:

@Damo Although I disagree with the gimmicks and the power race, you definitively lost me on ditching physical media. Not everyone has a fast enough internet connection to make digital distribution the norm let alone when ISPs put money over a good service (especially in America and the rest of Americas)

neohopeSTF

#116

neohopeSTF said:

I wouldn't mind Digital only, feels better to have a digital game than a physical one that is a drag to carry around, Ruins the idea of portable gaming.

8bitforever

#117

8bitforever said:

They first need to get an account system going. I have yet to purchase more than $10 of digital from the eshop because of this. Although I have spent $100 or more on Sony's store because of their great account system. The issue is that I love the VC games but I cannot invest without that security. Next they need a good HD screen at least XL size. No more tiny screens! I always have to wait for an XL version. Why not have the XL at launch? It also needs to be as powerful as the WiiU at the least. I don't want 3D. They may even have to go down to one screen to keep costs down. Nintendo did great with their storage, unlike Somy which is way too high so keep the same strategy.

rjejr

#118

rjejr said:

@Damo - "This is the future of the industry, and it makes perfect sense with on a portable console, "

Good read Damo, agree w/ you on almost everything, except the digital only. And here's why, which after 107 comments I haven't seen anybody mention it yet - gifts. My kids like getting games for gifts. They like opening the box and putting the game into their 3DS (DSi before that) and playing the game. Yes they sell codes in Gamestop, but it's not the same. It's not the same for Christmas under the tree or in an Easter basket or for a birthday gift. Nobody wants just a code in a card. I think I've seen videos of you w/ your kid, do yo really get him all his games digitally? No boxes? Sure a kid may lose a cartridge, but he can also share it w/ his friend, or brother, or mum. And we are talking about a Nintendo handheld, kids are involved. It's not a phone thats used mostly by teens and adults, or a tablet, it's a kids device, no matter how many adults have one. Think of the children. If the next system is digital only I'll get my kids 7" tablets instead.

Last thing - 2DS got rid of 3D so you say 3D is a goner (I completely agree), but you never mentioned 2DS in your discussion of keeping the clamshell design that the 2DS also dropped for a tablet format. I completely agree also that the clamshell design should stay, but a little consistency.

All I want is a 3DU that plays 3DS games on my tv via the Wii U. And the 3DS isn't in need of being replaced, but DSi are still around. DS need to all go away, 3DS needs to drop in price as the default starter system, 3DU XL can be the new $200 high end handheld. And Advance Wars looks fine on my 52" tv so I'm not buying the "3DS games will sux on a tv" argument.

JuanitoShet

#121

JuanitoShet said:

I agree with all of this except for the fact that the Nintendo Life staff desire a digital-only handheld device - sure, it may seem like the future, but who's to say that the future is concrete? Who's to say that physical media on a handheld device won't stick with us for at least another generation?

With that said though, I get that that's their personal preference. I on the other hand, like many people here, love having physical media, since I'm a passionate gamer & collector.

Also, I would also love it if they kept the dual-screen design. I love it, and though I have no problem playing on devices with a single screen - owning all Game Boys, my phones & my PSP - I do feel that it has a purpose relevant enough to garner passing the torch to it's successor.

Other than that though, make the next system as great as the the DS family is, and I'm all Nintendo's again in the next generation of handhelds. :D

EvisceratorX

#122

EvisceratorX said:

I agree with most of the stuff except the no physical idea. I know that Nintendo says they intend to apply an account based system, but until they actually do it, the chances of a digital only console succeeding at all are about those of a snowball's chance in hell.

Shadowkiller97

#123

Shadowkiller97 said:

@rjejr That is an excellent point that did not even cross my mind! I agree, getting a card with a code is simply not the same as opening a box. And to this day, I still like sharing games with friends and family. Since Nintendo has been trying to push getting more than one 3DS systems in the same house, digital only would suck for families with multiple systems when the games cannot be shared.

yoko19191

#125

yoko19191 said:

@Goginho A unified account system is actually a great idea that totally crossed my mind when thinking about this topic! I think the OS design of both of Nintendo's systems in the future should have a similar look and feel. The Wii U and 3DS's OS's are very different in design, and it would be cool to see one unified look on all nintendo products.

rjejr

#126

rjejr said:

@Shadowkiller97 - "Since Nintendo has been trying to push getting more than one 3DS systems in the same house,"

We have three 3DS in our house - and I'm leaning towards an XL for my birthday in July b/c my eyes suck so bad, just spent $410 on trifocals, which would make 4 - so it's something I often find myself dealing w/. My 1 son bought Kirby Triple Deluxe today and if it has more than 1 save point - he's still at school - his older brother will chip in half and not buy a 2nd copy. And it does have free download multiplay. which is nice. I think my eyes can handle a brawl, just can't read the type. :-)

Edit: Kirby TD has 3 save slots, which will be easier to use passing around the cart than a 3DS.

Kirk

#127

Kirk said:

I think Nintendo needs to make it's next handheld it's next home console too...

Basically, it would be a fully fledged handheld but at the same time can be connected to your TV for full TV play at home and you can link multiple up at once with the game still being displayed on the main TV screen too. Like a smaller version of the GamePad, with both traditional multi-player options and that whole asymmetrical gaming that the Wii U offers, that you can still use as an actual full portable console when you are out the house.

I think it could even just look mostly like the current 3DS XL, although maybe half way between the original 3DS and the XL in size would be about right, but with an additional analog stick too. As well as much of the stuff mentioned in the article, like just going full digital for example (as long as it's done RIGHT).

Nintendo CLEARLY doesn't want to compete on the whole "all-in-one" entertainment box front that both Sony and Microsoft are obviously going for, so imo this is the best approach for Nintendo; make it clear your device isn't meant be to that dedicated entertainment box you put under your TV, so people won't complain if it can't play Blu-Ray or DVDs or if it isn't at the absolute cutting edge of tech etc, but at the same time make it basically the best portable console the world has ever seen along with being a great dedicated home console in and of itself (in it's own way).

Something along those lines would be the best route for Nintendo at this point imo because it's just going to utterly flop again if it makes another physical console box that's once again behind the competition in basically every way.

There's sooo much I could/would do with a new Nintendo console like this, that would blow a lot of people's minds imo, if I were given a chance...

kobashi100

#129

kobashi100 said:

@Cyb3Rnite

how come you can find HD resolution screens on android phones for £100? Nintendo could include a 720p screen with ease and the costs would be low.

The next handheld needs to have a 720p screen minimum.

DarkKirby

#131

DarkKirby said:

If Nintendo had actual new hardware they wouldn't skip the stage presentation. That said...

2 Circle Pad's so navigation for 3D environments with a free moving camera is reasonable.

Not intentionally trying to make the hardware as low end as they think they can get away with.

Keep the stereoscopic 3D despite losing the lawsuit for creation of it (of which I disagree with the ruling for).

Good battery (goes without saying).

No region lock.

Open communication without Friend Codes with option of parental controls.

Digital purchases tied to an account rather than the console.

dumedum

#132

dumedum said:

Strongly disagree. If the next console doesn't have 3D I won't buy it. The 3DS' 3D is what makes the device so spectacular and stands out among all the other techs. Once you lose that, then the phone's always better screens will win. Sure you still got the controls going for you, but the 3D is my main attraction to the 3DS. I will not support going backwards on that and there's no gimmick in 3D, it's just more beautiful.

dumedum

#133

dumedum said:

also completely wrong on the resistive-capacitive issue as mentioned by others. Capacitive has its advantages but overall resistive is better for gaming, and Nintendo made the right choice there. The main draw is that in Capacitive you're never actually touching the point - it's just an estimate maing resistive superior for pinpoint accuracy. Smartphones use a lot of approximation and pinching, but the resistive stylus is much superior to the capacitive stylus and simply better. Pretty bad article.

Noelemahc

#135

Noelemahc said:

1. Bring back Nintendo Mail. I understand they shut it down (as well as MiiVerse 3DS friending and PMing functionality) because it was used by child molesters, but that was the functional equivalent of shutting down Facebook over the same thing. It was a wonderful piece of emergent societal magic, AND the only form of communication the KGB cannot listen in on. Come on!
2. Remove region locks. Right now, it is crippling the availability of games in Europe something fierce, and I fear it is going to only get worse as time goes by. If it's a financial consideration, for sure, I'm willing to pay a FLAT, say, 50 Euro fee to unlock my 3DS, but I am most certainly NOT buying a Japanese 3DS to play Ace Attorney 1-2-3 or Super Robot Taisen UX, or an American 3DS to play Shin Megami Tensei IV and Rune Factory 4, because it's hella expensive and hella dumb to buy multiple copies of the same console. SRSLY.
3. Keep the 3D. In lieu of Nintendo's unwillingness (not a bad thing) to partake in the great Texture Resolution Race, it's its main weapon against the Vita in the marketing wars. Especially since Vita is region-free.
4. SECOND ANALOG STICK. I'm amazed the 3DS XL didn't add the Circle Pad Pro functionality a-la WiiMote Plus. It was a primitive solution, but for whatever reason, Nintendo once again took an "we're allergic to money" business decision.
5. More variety in first-party titles. I'm not sure how much we needed a 3DS Super Smash Bros, but we definitely need a 3DS F-Zero and a 3DS Advance Wars, owing to the lack of good turn-based strategies on the platform.
6. GBA Virtual Console. Pleeeez.

Sceptic

#136

Sceptic said:

Good article, but I don't think Nintendo have the talent or the vision to pull anything close to that off at this point. They simply have nothing to offer over the competition but their rapidly fading IP and they're too conservative/ignorant/greedy/stingy to really pull all the stops to try an 'Apple' on the market.

But meanwhile, cheap and dirty doesn't cut it anymore in a world of unified accounts, gorilla-glass, mini-hdmi and brushed aluminum. And yeah, shiny, super-responsive capacitive touchscreens. You guys can't be serious.

My bet is they're going to milk this generation of consumers under the 'classic' label for what they can (plenty of takers here) and then sell/rent off the game division under some 'partnership' in six or seven years or so. "Non-wearable QOL" all the way.

zool

#137

zool said:

Well I like games in 3d. And I expect to see the next handheld with 3d. To suggest it is not needed and games are as good in 2d is saying that 3d was a flop or only a minor success.

It needs to be improved, even better 3d and have a bigger screen to rival the smaller tablet.

Portability is not an issue because there is always a smaller version for those who carry it with them.

To suggest that the next machine will not be in 3d, is suggesting that Nintendo got it wrong again. If we had a 7 inch screen with 3d glasses for those who want 3d and the 2d slider for those that dont', that is the future.

Loads of movies are released in 3d in cinemas and when the DVD price comes down more 3d TV will be sold.

The next Wii should be able to display 3d games.

Wouwter

#138

Wouwter said:

I want to be able to buy physical games and still put all of them on the SD card and take them everywhere without swapping out cartridges. I don't know how, but it would be amazing to me if Nintendo managed to do that. :P

katsup

#139

katsup said:

I think Nintendo would lose a lot of customers (not to mention upsetting retailers) if they removed physical media. I doubt it is going away anytime soon and I am happy for that. I don't have the same feeling of ownership when I buy digital.

unrandomsam

#140

unrandomsam said:

@zool The only two types of 3D that work well for me are the imax 3D (70mm) type and the occulus rift type. Terrible compromise this time (Swaps a smooth framerate and anti aliasing for a cheap gimmick).

@katsup The retailers are basically all ripping Nintendo off anyway due to used that is why they have the issues they do.

Luna-Harmony

#141

Luna-Harmony said:

A bigger screen, Hd graphics , still has a form of game card, plugs into the next nintendo home console so can play the games on your Tv screen, The eshop download a game on handheld to console and t works for both like psn.
Half the 3DS games should have come out on wii u.

katsup

#143

katsup said:

@unrandomsam Used games have always been around. It does affect the sales of games, but if Nintendo ditched phyical media, the retailers could retaliate by refusing to carry Nintendo products.

daveh30

#144

daveh30 said:

I'm not totally sold on the idea of digital only, but the only part i really feel the need to clarify is "keeping the SD card slot would also be a fine idea"... its not a fine idea, its an absolute requirement. non upgradable memory is an total deal breaker. I won't buy a phone without upgradeable memory, i sure as heck wouldn't but a game system without it.

Giygas_95

#145

Giygas_95 said:

"...there's no real justification in having to buy physical games on a handheld anymore, especially when it goes against the principles of such a device: mobility and ease of use."

How about the fact that cartridges are a lot more permanent than data? Especially seeing as your games are currently tied to your hardware and not an account. Plus I love having boxes and manuals although I do download some games. I would absolutely HATE a handheld game console with no physical games. I hope they won't ever go completely digital, but who knows...I'd also hate to lose 3D.

@daveh30 Agreed all the way.

JellySplat

#146

JellySplat said:

I like physical game cards personally. I mean, I carry my 3DS in a case anyway, It's not like it's any extra trouble to carry around. Besides, I like the Re-sale value of it.

Blue-Thunder

#147

Blue-Thunder said:

It'll be very interesting to see what Nintendo come up with. If its not broken don't fix it.

Digital only? No thanks.

Edit: Ok I have it.
1 Both screens will be touch screen
2 Two circle pads
3 More power
4 GPS system on board (Nintendo won't be able to help themselves with some gimmick)
5 It'll be waterproof :-)

FattyWhale_42

#150

FattyWhale_42 said:

@Damo I would first like to say that I enjoy your articles, and I think you do a great job at Nintendo Life.

That being said, I strongly disagree with most of your ideas. However, the one that most others seem to disagree with, the idea of going digital only, is the one I'd like to address.

If I may, I'd like to offer a possible solution that could make everyone happy:

Physical cartridges that can download the game data onto the 3DS/2DS.

This would allow people to still buy physical cartridges, while it would also allow the ability to have it stored on the game system. But to prevent people from downloading the game and then selling the cartridge, the data is actually transferred, rather than copied. If you wanted to sell the game, all you would have to do is transfer it back to the cartridge. It would basically act as a specialized SD card.

Let me know what you think. :)

Moshugan

#151

Moshugan said:

People talking about the resolution and graphics,
the 3DS resolution is ABYSMAL! It's barely OK for some games, but it's truly staggering to have 240p on a gaming device in this day and age! You'd think it would be at least 480 like the Wii, but it's ONLY A HALF OF THAT! Good grief.

Wouwter

#152

Wouwter said:

@FattyWhale_42, The problem with that is, what happens when your system breaks or when you lose it, or it's stolen? It would probably have to be tied to an online account or something.

BinaryFragger

#153

BinaryFragger said:

Sony tried "digital only" with the PSP Go and looked what happened. Granted, that was five years ago but still, a lot of people clearly still enjoy physical copies.
I personally prefer physical games since I can lend/trade with friends, and I also like some of the cool bonus stuff that often come with cartridges/discs, especially XSeed and Atlus games.

Others mentioned problems with Internet connections, which is definitely an issue here in Canada (most Canadian ISPs have data caps). Here are the Internet packages from Bell, one of the biggest ISPs in my area:
$47.95/month - 40GB cap
$57.95/month - 80GB cap
$65.95/month - 125GB cap
$90.95/month - 175GB cap
$157.95/month - 300GB cap

Zombie_Barioth

#155

Zombie_Barioth said:

People need to quite with the 'used games are killing the industry' shtick, its all a scapegoat. Its all based on a baseless assumption and its been proven to be nowhere as large as its been made out to be. Why is it this industry is so special its acceptable for it to abolish an entire section of the market?

As for digital being the future, yes, more likely than not it is. That future isn't here yet and can't be realized with the current state of our infrastructure. That doesn't mean that physical must cease to be an option. There is still physical media for every form of media out there, they haven't halted the progress of services like itunes or Steam.

I like the idea of game installs, or something like steam keys. Physical games could be linked to your account just like digital copies, in a similar manner to consoles. Basically what the Xbox DRM policy was minus the 24hr check-in.

audiobrainiac

#157

audiobrainiac said:

I definitely would love to see HD graphics, AND a second circle pad. Keep the SD slot, and down with physical media. I hate having to carry extra crap around with it and my kids lose theirs. I for one love the touch screen's sensitivity but a serious upgrade on that needs to happen.

unrandomsam

#158

unrandomsam said:

@Zombie_Barioth If Nintendo is not lying about the fact that most people get 2/3 titles a year then it is a problem. The difference is the main places to buy CD's / DVD's / Blu-Rays don't sell used. Massive problem at least in the UK if you want to buy retail they only stock used at the same price as Amazon is selling new.

Cinaclov

#159

Cinaclov said:

You're recommending that the console goes download only? I think you've forgotten the PSP Go (as has everyone else, which is the point), and perhaps more notably, the Xbox One lash back. It's not quite the same situation as that, but enough of the same arguments carry over to mean it'd be foolish to go digital only.

That said, I can't see the emphasis upon digital downloads disappearing either, that'll only continue to grow, just not at the expense of the physical cart slot.

stanleecroup

#160

stanleecroup said:

@Takerkaneanite6 I agree with you about carts. There is more flexibility with them and sharing games with others. Also prices can't be fixed at a high rate by nintendo. All nintendo eshop titles are around the forty mark. Buying physical carts is much cheaper.

Geonjaha

#162

Geonjaha said:

@cfgk24 - I realise that second hand sales hurt the developers to an extent, but that doesn't change my stance. If I see a £30 game on a new system with no option to buy digital, I'll be passing much more than I would with the option of buying physical. If Nintendo want to go all digital to save themselves from this trouble then reduce the overall prices - otherwise people will just stop buying their games.

SilverArrow

#163

SilverArrow said:

@Noelemahc
4. SECOND ANALOG STICK *AND ZL AND ZR TRIGGERS.

I fixed it for you. Your welcome.

I always get annoyed when people think the Circle Pad Pro/Circle Pad Pro XL only added a second Circle Pad like the Z Triggers didn't exist.

Haywired

#165

Haywired said:

@DestinyMan
I'm really not sure that the dual-screens was the "one" feature that made DS such a smash-hit. If it were anything to do with the innovation aspect it would have been the touch-screen surely, not really the two screens (I would say most of the touch-heavy games I played could have easily been achieved with one touch-screen). Plus also the fact that some of the biggest-selling games on the console that pushed the DS into the stratosphere (New Super Mario Bros, Mario Kart DS, Pokémon D/P/B/W, etc.) made no meaningful use of the feature.

People tend to forget that the DS's first year on the market (when it was being sold almost entirely on the back of being "the dual screen console!") wasn't massively successful. It did well, but it was pretty much level with the PSP in their first year. Having two screens was never its biggest selling point. I suppose kind of similar to the 3DS's first year when it was being sold explicitly on the 3D and it nearly killed it. Nintendo then rescued the console by removing all focus from the 3D and onto (shock!) the games themselves!

stanleecroup

#166

stanleecroup said:

@zool I agree. I love the 3d on the 3ds and get pissed off when developers, especially nintendo don't use it in games. What is all rhis 2.5 nonsense. I want 3d on the 3ds I paid nearly 200 pounds for and 30 to 40 pounds per game.

3d in games makes way for interesting dynamics and game play, such as in mario 3ds land. Problem lies with lazy game manufacturers who can't be bothered or have no imagination when designing games.

I love the 3ds maybe nintendo should start loving it too. Seems that the hand held always plays second fiddle to the home console too.

ProudasaPeacock

#167

ProudasaPeacock said:

I agree with everything except the digital-only thing. I'll only buy a game digital if it's not available physical. It feels more like it's mine when I have a physical copy of something.

andjahiam

#168

andjahiam said:

This article has proven to me that this reviewer doesnt have a clue. I am left questioning many things. especiallyly this. The need of two screens with compactive screens. Seems redundent. Using a ds emulator on my low end android device proves this. Be nice if they released designer collector edition cases to cover them with since u want to give up the collectabity of physical copies. The collector community would collapse but not if they released special toy lines for each game... nfc.
Also u mentioned price and u want it cheep but want it do everything ipad does but for a hundred dollars or something unrealistic like that. Ok... how is it going to be top of the line and cheap.
U obviously think there will be home consoles in the future. No there will not be. However a mobile console with wifi connectivity and core controller device accessories work with ur smart tv and no lag will be.
Mobile home systems will be the new deal.
If u want to make prediction think outside the box. I have so much more to say but time is precious.

BulbasaurusRex

#169

BulbasaurusRex said:

Well, if it's going to have backwards compatability with the 3DS, it's going to need some kind of cartridge slot, plus there's the whole argument about the used games market. Although, I do agree that the market is shifting more towards digital downloads every year. Do electronics companies even release new models of CD players anymore?

Oniinside

#170

Oniinside said:

@Guitardude7
same for me... Also, I suppose there should be a need for a high capacity memory in the next console (in particular if it goes hd), and I don't want another thing like a WiiU with 32gb of internal storage (which is like "Ok" if you buy only mini-games or so)

HylianJowiStaff

#171

HylianJowi said:

@andjahiam Did you even read the article? You're making statements that display a stunning lack of comprehension of Damien's material.

Meaty-cheeky

#172

Meaty-cheeky said:

I agree with @Damo that the Resistive touch screen needs to go. The Resistive touch screen is ancient and outdated technology in our new age of smart mobile tech, Capacitive tech is the future and the excuse of it not being as accurate as Resistive is simply B.S. just take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Note it has amazing touch screen accuracy, also capacitive is not expensive tech anymore.

Mk_II

#173

Mk_II said:

They won't ditch physical media because they need the retail channel to sell their hardware and retailers won't touch a download-only console

Excep7ional

#174

Excep7ional said:

It's hard to imagine what their next handheld might be. I don't see them ditching the double screens though, so maybe they'll just add dual analog sticks. If they do that along with a better screen I'll be satisfied.

Zemus-DJ

#175

Zemus-DJ said:

@Kirk Nintendo Fusion rumor :) thou I agree and it would free up there resources which will let them spit out more games faster.

Sam_Loser2

#176

Sam_Loser2 said:

Who is tired of carrying around a bunch of 3DS cards now there's the option to buy most any of them? I for one prefer to always go physical when I can.

And I'm SICK of people writing off the 3D as a gimmick. The real crime is that is is become more and more underused, making it appear as a gimmick. I don't understand how the gaming community with praise amazing HD graphics yet write 3D off as a gimmick. Both are to intended to create beautiful visuals for games in different ways. I for one love the 3D effect, and if you don't that's fine, but why is the beauty in OoT 3D labeled a gimmick whereas other games are praised for making them look more like real life, which we see everyday?

unrandomsam

#178

unrandomsam said:

@Sam_Loser2 Have you played Dead or Alive Dimensions turn the 3D off and it runs properly. Anti-aliased 60fps like everything should be. After that is sorted maybe 3D is worth it if it can be done without degrading the experience.

AshFoxX

#179

AshFoxX said:

Ideal portable: Same design as 3DSXL, better screens, dual analogue sticks, 1tb of on-board storage with expandable memory via SD, customizable shells (think game boy micro), and finally, a way to link to your Nintendo Network account and re-download games you bought for previous systems so you can move them to your new one, including retail games from DS/3DS since the new system should be digital only. Graphics don't effect me but they will likely be an improvement on 3DS capabilities.

Planned compatibility for Nintendo's next home console is a must too. I find it tragic that they had more interest in linking the GBA with the GCN in the mid 00's, but never really expanded on the possibilities after the systems went full wireless.

On a kinda related note, how about we find a way to put GBA games on 3DS VC, introduce crossbuy, then wirelessly link the two systems together to solve the multiplayer issues. This encourages more gamers to buy the game and to invest in Nintendo hardware.

This is technology. All that I have mentioned is not only possible, but will be cheap by the time the 3DS is retired. There is no excuse why the system has to be so broken.

OnionOverlord

#180

OnionOverlord said:

Like most others, I found myself a little disgusted by the digital-only idea. As a collector, I loathe the idea of a digital only system...

However... It's true that digital is the future. It is inevitable that at some point, this will happen. But it's far too soon to make that call. Japan would likely be the first to embrace a digital-only future and that hasn't happened yet to my knowledge. Digital-only is not viable until all major countries have access to high-speed internet, which just isn't possible right now. Internet technology needs to advance and become more accessible before we can even begin to talk about digital only. For now, it should be an option.

That isn't to say that I do not support digital downloads. In fact, I support them very much. They're a fun, accessible, and (usually) cheaper alternative. But now is simply not the time to start making such predictions or requests.

Sam_Loser2

#182

Sam_Loser2 said:

@unrandomsam That still speaks to my point; it doesn't make it a gimmick. That is still an issue I'll admit and one (among many of course) reason I'm very excited to see how Smash Bros. will look at a 3D 60fps. What really bugs me is when 3D is included but doesn't look very deep at all. All Pokemon does for is push the background back a tiny bit, away from the HP bars. Adds nothing to the game, yet any 3D results in the full drop in framerate. If you're going to add 3D, it at least should be worth it.

Dark-Link73

#184

Dark-Link73 said:

@Haywired oh yeah. I forgot in Europe you guys have an age rating for just about any gaming device. In the US the only Nintendo consoles I've seen with a warning age rating are the Virtual Boy and the 3DS family of devices (because of the 3D), and whenever there's an ESRB rating is because there's a game bundled in with the console/handheld.

TenEighty

#185

TenEighty said:

We enjoy the 2DS here. Would like a larger screen but still prefer it over the 3DS. It's just fits in your hands better. Other then that, don't change a thing.

JaxonH

#186

JaxonH said:

2DS an admission of failure? Who wrote this article?!!

2DS was an admission of "Low price sells more units. Cut features> lower price> sell more units".

Of course 3D isn't REQUIRED to enjoy games, but it sure helps! Shoulder buttons aren't REQUIRED to enjoy games. Two screens aren't REQUIRED to enjoy games. All you really NEED is a D-pad and two buttons. But just because something isn't REQUIRED to enjoy games, doesn't mean it shouldn't be there.

The 3DS' use of 3D is more than just a "gimmick" (your words, not mine). Nintendo proved that with Super Mario 3D Land and Zelda Link Between Worlds, both of which utilized the improved depth perception of glasses-free 3D technology to create experiences that otherwise wouldn't have worked as well. Heck, even Kirby Triple Deluxe uses the 3D for depth perception of enemy placement (anyone who's played the first world knows what I'm referring to).

No. 3D was a great addition, and I hope it's here to stay- at the very least for 3DS backwards compatibility.

Dark-Link73

#187

Dark-Link73 said:

@Haywired btw, i forgot to comment further. The 2DS is clearly designed for younger kids in mind. I have two kids and they've had DS's since the original. When they were younger, the first thing that would break are the hinges because younger children as not as careful as most adults. By removing the clam shell design on the 2DS, Nintendo made the portable much more sturdy and durable for younger kids.

Zombie_Barioth

#189

Zombie_Barioth said:

@unrandomsam
That doesn't mean much at all though. WHY are they only buying 2-3 games? Is it due to game prices? Are they buying much older games that are $20 or under used? Do they have multiple platforms and mainly buy 1st-party exclusives? There are far too many explanations as to why people buy so few games brand-new. No proof those sales would translate to new sales either.

The main point of the latter is those formats still exist, and so do those cheaper digital alternatives. They co-exist, the physical retail didn't drop dead, we still have bookstores and libraries.

Even then its been proven Gamestop's used sales make up a very low percentage of overall sales, something like 3-5% if I recall, and they're one of the biggest retailers that deal in second-hand games. If second-hand sales are so detrimental then why are companies like Gamestop or GAME still receiving so much support?

Ferkner

#190

Ferkner said:

Digital download only means I won't be getting the next handheld. There is no way I am going to pay $40 or whatever the price for a game I wouldn't actually own. For that price I want the game on a card that I can lend out or resell. There is no way I am buying more than one copy of a game so other family members can play the same game on their handheld.

FilmerNgameR

#191

FilmerNgameR said:

WOAH WOAH WOAH!!! Why does everyone all of a sudden want a new Nintendo handheld! WTF! It's still early and the 3DS(hardware and software)is giving Nintendo a pretty penny each month maybe even less than that. Nintendo should reveal their next handheld untill like 2017. It's really successful I don't see any new handheld anytime soon. Maybe that new hardware is that life stuff Nintendo announced some time ago but seriously don't replace the 3DS anytime soon it's an amazing system and there are still many games I want to buy for it including from the E shop.

2Sang

#192

2Sang said:

I want them to keep physical media as an option. Not every game needs to have a physical option, but games like Zelda, Smash, Mario, and Pokemon should have the option of either digital or physical. I'd really like to see multiple game slots like the ds and ds lite.

Also, as someone said earlier in the comments, the 2ds wasn't an admission of failure, it was a way to make the 3ds cheaper for the pokemon crowd. Of course 3d won't be the highlight of future systems, but I expect them to keep 3d in succeeding consoles.

Paperluigi

#193

Paperluigi said:

I cant see them going digital only for a very very long time. I like the 3DS design so it just needs a high res screen and some extra power from the CPU and GPU.

warvad

#194

warvad said:

>Therefore, Nintendo really has no good reason to avoid using capacitive tech in its next system, aside from keeping the price down.

Capacitive screens are supremely laggy. Disgusting to even suggest it for gaming.

MAB

#196

MAB said:

It would be in Nintendo's best interest to ditch physical media and focus more on a DIGITAL 4 LYFE model that has cheap eShop prices and account based... Without the useless cartridge slot they can use that extra space for a more powerful CPU and longer lasting battery ;)

2Sang

#197

2Sang said:

@zool I would say originally it was, but they've made it work very well in enough games so it's no longer a gimmick.

Mus1cLov3r

#198

Mus1cLov3r said:

And also, going "digital only" be be a terrible idea for another reason.. Not everyone has internet connection!

MagicEmperor

#200

MagicEmperor said:

I was nodding my head in acceptance up until "physical media = RIP." Then I was shaking my head. But that's cool! Good ideas and bad ideas all mixed up in one package. Kinda like the kind of lunches I'd take with me to school.

OnionOverlord

#202

OnionOverlord said:

@MAB

Yes, because that approach has clearly worked so well for the VITA... Right? Removing the "useless" slot would alienate the Nintendo fanbase and as myself and others have pointed out, not everyone wants a system that REQUIRES online functionality to work... As we've learned from Xbox One.

MAB

#203

MAB said:

But the Nintendo fanbase is all about Nintendo games... I can bet that if their next handheld was a 3D4L you lot will all buy one for that reason anyway ;)

jj87

#205

jj87 said:

They had better not get rid of game cartridges. I'm a collector. That's part of the fun, collecting games.

OnionOverlord

#206

OnionOverlord said:

@MAB

Why am I not surprised? A troll giving a troll response. You ignored the primary point I was making and used it as an excuse to play the same old "fanboy" card that has become so common that it's lost whatever small amount of effectiveness it's ever had.

The VITA is selling horribly for a good reason. Sony made terrible choices with the design (a point you ignored entirely and instead chose to go off on something completely irrelevant to the discussion) and your suggestion is to follow the same choices that are sinking the VITA? Brilliant thinking.

You're a waste of my time if this is the best you are going to offer. Typical troll. I am disappoint.

Play_It_Loud

#207

Play_It_Loud said:

I want a new GameBoy...One Screen that is huge close to the game pad size, and as powerful as a ps3...Also I want all the buttons of a gamepad controller...that would be perfect.

MAB

#208

MAB said:

It's true though... If the next Mario & Zelda were 'digital only' you will no doubt get yourselves a internet connection along with a shiny new 3D4L like yer lives depended on it ;)

arkady77

#209

arkady77 said:

@Corleonis88

totally agree. my smartphone and tablet capacitive display is useless for gaming. i'd like a second integrated analogue controller, integration with wii u. 3d can go in my opinion. i dont want a thirsty cpu at the expense of battery life either

HAL9000

#210

HAL9000 said:

The next Nintendo hardware will be a unified home/portable system. This will allow them to put ALL their games on one platform to avoid game droughts and put all their imagination into one device.

Webby-sama

#211

Webby-sama said:

Doesn't matter to me what they do. It'll be good. The handheld side of Nintendo always works out as nothing short of fantastic. I'm looking forward to a few more years of enjoying the 3DS and then when it's time to move on it'll be a move worth making.

arkady77

#212

arkady77 said:

when the 3d is done right it makes the screen more beautiful than all the HD phones and vita.

AtelierFan

#213

AtelierFan said:

"As we all know, the Game Boy overcame its limitations to destroy the competition, but there's only so many times that Nintendo can play this particular card."

I don't know if I agree with this.

"Of course, Nintendo using smartphone-style chips won't allow it to avoid being outdated after a year or two"

I don't care if my handheld is on par with the latest home console. I also don't want a handheld that is 'out of date' in two years.
Concentrate on great games - no matter the platform or graphical trends of the day - and I'm there. Though... a second analogue stick sounds realistic.

OnionOverlord

#215

OnionOverlord said:

@MAB

I'm not interested in making myself troll bait tonight nor am I interested in listening to the exact same argument being repeated. This troll tactic stopped being funny about 8 years ago. Spamming the same smiley and logic over and over does not impress me. You continue to ignore any points made and prattle off over and over on the same track like a broken record.

Waste of time as I said.

Bolt_Strike

#218

Bolt_Strike said:

@HAL9000 Nintendo has basically implied that they're not working on a Fusion style console, they're not quite ready to completely merge handheld and console gaming.

Purple

#219

Purple said:

1. Better quality Speakers!
2. High resolution screen 720p OLED.
3. Two analog sticks.
4. 8mp camera
5. more customizations i.e. wallpaper options apps E-Mail, bring back swap note

AVahne

#221

AVahne said:

@unrandomsam
I wouldn't call a capacitive stylus "accurate". Now if Nintendo were to shell out for pen digitizer technology from Wacom or their competitors, then that's a different story.

dumedum

#223

dumedum said:

@Moshugan it is 800 240 and looks sweet on the regular 3ds. I have the best smartphone and tablet and I think 3ds graphics in 3d are stunning.

MAB

#224

MAB said:

Well, if they do release a 3D4L then ya'll would really have no choice but to giveup handheld gaming and do something else with your time instead ;)

Suicune

#225

Suicune said:

I opt for physical movies, albums, and games whenever possible. I like actually owning things, call me crazy.

PolishipPikachu

#226

PolishipPikachu said:

"Physical media = RIP"?
Oh Arceus forbid no.
If they ever stop with the cartridges, I'm out. Just done. Cartridges can be given to friends and family. Downloads cannot. Cartridges can be freely played from system to system no matter who's It is and still have all your data on it. Downloads cannot. Cartridges can be found cheep online. Downloads cannot.
I don't care what they release, if it is a 'download-only' handheld so to speak, I'm not buying it.
I'll stick with my GBA cartridges thank you very much.

dacangri12

#228

dacangri12 said:

As much as I enjoy playing my Wii U and my 3DS equally, I think Nintendo is prepping the terrain for a unify system. I honestly believe Nintendo's next console is going to be a fusion between a dedicated gaming handheld and home console. The prove is pretty clear, not to long ago Nintendo fuse both of the departments in charge for developing handheld and home consoles into one. This never happen before, what I found most interesting about this decision was that Iwata-son responded about this decision by explaining that this decision was made to facilitate the porting process between handheld and home console. (It was somewhere between those lines, I don't recall the exact words.) To me that's clear prove that Nintendo is working on something big and in my opinion I think they're working on a new handheld/home console. So this is the Dawn of a new Era, that's is going to change the game all over again.

ecco6t9

#229

ecco6t9 said:

I have to also agree with the next Nintendo handheld being the successor to both the 3DS and Wii U.

Plus it would silence to split Nintendo user base that feels "Nintendo is pushing the 3DS too much, or GBA should be on the 3DS."

SNESuperior

#230

SNESuperior said:

It drives me crazy that people still insist on calling 3D a gimmick. I prefer movies in 3D and I always leave my 3D on when playing my 3DS. I find it makes my experiences far more immersive and interesting. I think SM3DL and A Link Between Worlds proved that 3D can be an asset. And I hosetly believe Pokėmon X&Y would have benefited greatly from a full integration of 3D. Of course 3D can be used in gimmicky ways, but so can touch controls and dual screens.

As a child I dreamt of this kind of technology and it's finally here. Don't take that away from me.

oats-81

#231

oats-81 said:

=Nintablet===.....with button that press.....and real social media.....not too much to ask for~

mullen

#233

mullen said:

I like what you said at the beginning: to prove that smartphones and tablets are not implicitly designed for gaming. However, I don't like your other ideas, because almost all of them just say Nintendo should follow smartphone and tablet's way: no 3D, no game card, mobile chipset, multi touch, cheaper games, social network. None of these ideas are something new and exciting, and all of them are just from smartphones and tablets. If Nintendo just follow these way, they just make another PSV, and then doomed. I don't mean Nintendo should do none of them, but 1), what Nintendo needs to think about for next hardware should be far beyond than those. Those should be just some ignorable details compared to the real big ideas. 2), should not simply copy ideas from smartphones and tablets: 3D is still amazing, instead of dropping that, why don't make it even amazing, e.g., from all viewpoints, or even holography; physical card means too much for real gamers, and also means that it's still possible to play your old ds/3ds games on new generation, it can be less important, but don't remove them (at least during the first half of next generation); multi touch is good, but if the price is that you can no longer use an accurate pen, it harms: I have several games that accurate pen input is required and that's the reason these games are interesting compared to smartphone ones; mobile chipset seems to be powerful, but nNidia and AMD may abondon Nintendo for a larger profits at any time and Nintendo will be in huge trouble (it's very unlikely that Nintendo can get a strong partnership with an U.S. company).
I hope that there can be some unexpected huge breakthrough for the next generation. However, if everything is just follow the smartphone's rule, there's no doubt that next generation will be a big failure simply because you throw away all the unique points and can't catch up with smartphone's yearly based pace.

Jmaster

#235

Jmaster said:

@MrMario02 Please get your facts right. That'a not a new handheld, it's just a patent. It confirms nor denies anything about the next handheld.

DamoAdmin

#236

Damo said:

@Giygas_95 Game cards aren't actually as robust as you seem to think. Flash media can only be written to do many times before it becomes useless. With a digital, cloud-based future, you'd never lose your data again.

Noelemahc

#238

Noelemahc said:

@DimetriWarrior Apologies. It's just that Monster Hunter 3 summarily ignores them as unique buttons, and that's the one I spent most of the time using the CPP with (since it's highly uncomfortable without the second analog stick).

That said, incorporating the ZL and ZR into the XL would've been just as easy, so my core argument still stands: it was stupid not to make the CPP built into the XL.

citizenerased

#239

citizenerased said:

"ditch the gimmicks"

Agreed.

"Physical media = RIP"

Only when Nintendo learns that eShop games should be cheaper than their physical counterparts. Not saying they should be $1, but they should be at least $10 cheaper than the physical counterpart. And more sales, please. I'm also hesitant to buy anything digital on a Nintendo platform until they prove to be competent by linking purchases to an account, rather than a device.

"Playing the graphical arms race"

No. We're nearing the point in handheld when it matters very little if you double the polygons or not. You're saying handhelds should be more like mobiles, look at what games are popular on mobile: Cut The Rope, Angry Birds, Flappy Bird, indie titles, retro graphics. Graphics only sell to the kind of audience that is now buying a PS4. Look at Vita how well fantastic graphics are selling on handhelds. Price point is much, much more important. Plus, next generation handhelds will likely have PS360-type graphics, similar to what Vita is producing now. Does it really need to be better than that? Plus, rising development costs. Just no all around.

"Capacitive tech"

Name one game that works better with 2 fingers blocking the screen rather than 1 stylus. There's a reason why dozens of button-shells are being released for iOS and Android. I'm not saying do away with touch screens altogether, but for gaming, stylus works. Fingers on screens do not. UNLESS Nintendo's new handheld is a tablet-like device with a big screen, which I don't really see happening nor Nintendo having success with.

I'm not a fan of social gaming, but the last point is whatever. It seems unavoidable.

Here's one to add: App Store-like environment for publishers. There should be almost no costs to publishing a game on Nintendo's eShop, and it should be incredibly easy. Even more challenging than that, Nintendo needs to come up with a way to highlight fantastic games on it.

Rei7

#240

Rei7 said:

Physicals are here to stay. I like collecting them and where is the fun with collection digital games? lol

Kifa

#241

Kifa said:

One thing in this article I'll never agree with (and from what I can see in the comments section I'm not alone) is ditching the physical distribution. I love every single of my GBA, DS and 3DS cartridges, I love the indepenedence from hardware faults and online authentication they give me. If my 3DS breaks down, I simply plug my game into new one (assuming the console is unrepairable).

Even with proper accounts system (like, say, Steam on PC) it's not the same as having a nicely lined boxes on the shelf. And the cartridges are small enough that I really see no problem in carrying them around. Additionally - I never take more than three games with me when going somewhere because I don't find it necessary. You don't switch games every 15 minutes. Or maybe it's just me.

Bottom line - while I agree that next Nintendo handheld should be more powerful and should have better screens (and also turn to capacitive technology with proper stylus support), I will never buy a console that does not allow me to buy physical copies of the games.

DualWielding

#242

DualWielding said:

Going all digital in a console with no account system would be crazy, yet I wouldn't put it pass Nintendo to try it

AJWolfTill

#243

AJWolfTill said:

I have yet to experience a capacitive touch screen which I prefer to the ones Nintendo currently uses. Gesture commands in particular would be a nightmare and would be 100 times worse than the wii's "waggle gaming" that so many people slated. Unified accounts and greater home console integration are a must and a more robust video player would be fantastic!

kenzo

#244

kenzo said:

The 3DS needs to be improved in the following ways.

1. Being able to store physical cartridges as copies on the gaming system without having to change cards.

2. Wider aspect ratio for the top screen keeping the lower clamshell the same to make touch controls and sticks/buttons easily accessible during gameplay. This may mean an asymetrical clamshell design with overbite.

3. Retain and improve the 3D effect with improved depth when seen up close and viewing angles when seen from afar. No 3D = no buy. Improve the resolution accordingly.

4. Be able to mount the device 'Oculus Rift' style to the head so both 3D and 2D screens are visible, and use a separate classic controller touch pad combo as a 3DS gamepad extension. I play Resident Evil Mercenaries up close like this and its really immersive.

5. Its needs AC or N WiFI streaming capability for live 3D or 2D streaming for either video or gaming and useful as a PC or WiiU controller as well.

6. The speakers need to be louder and there should be better rumble or resonance through the chassis and buttons for touch immersion.

7. The 3DS should use eye tracking and stereo view compensation so the screen and gameplay always retain the focus.

8. The 3DS needs two internal stereo cameras for real time voice chat and VR Miis. Also the girls will love virtual makeup and hairstyling and anything that toys with their looks.

9. The external stereo cameras need to be upgraded and shown to be useful for something. Its a good idea to have but nothing really compelling has become of it.

Anyway. I think I have said enough ....

Dodger

#245

Dodger said:

In the end, does it matter who is "right" or "wrong" about digital only? In this case, numbers matter. I would guess that at least 95% of the people who expressed opinions about it on this thread were very against it.

We people who like Nintendo enough to make accounts and talk about it on the Internet are not the main source of Nintendo sales. Sometimes we are even wrong. Neither Fzero or Metroid will be huge system sellers. Oftentimes we do have a good sense of the pulse of the industry. Look at how well Xenoblade sold once they put it out there. They didn't make many copies but the ones that are there sell for $90 to $200. Either way, one way for Nintendo to get feedback says no very strongly.

It wouldn't be appreciated by retailers. At all. It makes a big difference when kids, and especially parents are exposed to not just advertising, but the fact that the game exists. The average parent will never browse the eshop to find a gift for their kid. They go to Walmart. This made up a lot of sales. I would know. My dad often would take me to Walmart at night when he was tired after work. I spent a lot of that time in the games section. The prices there made Gamestop look cheap. Ever wonder why all of that shovel ware for the Wii kept existing? Parents would rather buya $20 game then a $40 game. If Walmart doesn't carry games, it will be very bad for Nintendo.

That is three strikes. The devoted fan base doesn't want it, the ignorant masses won't use it and they will lose a lot of support from retailers. Don't get me wrong, I can see ways to solve those problems. Download kiosks with the info already on them are a great idea, for example. But with such a small group of people wanting it, I really doubt that Nintendo will see it as a good thing, yet.

Also, my experience with the averages smartphone is that the screens are so frustrating that I don't even llike using them. They always do something other than what I want them to do. Proof reading is next to impossible and the games aren't even fun to play because of the screen. Feels like in between technology to me. They will get better and we will all find it funny that we ever used the old tech. Like dialup internet.

Captain-Falcon

#247

Captain-Falcon said:

I think the main thing i disagree with is the pricing for games section. F2P can work, but it is a rare occasion and so many F2P games pass under our noses. I think the pricing is right at the moment. If Nintendo wanted to go F2P with tloz the game would be of a worse quality, as it is more of a risk. Also, through all my time playing F2P games on steam, i only enjoyed the price system of DOTA2, TF2 and Loadout, a good F2P model is hard to come by.

A better pricing alternative would just be to increase the sales on the eshop, and that would also help a transition to digital.

MAB

#248

MAB said:

When you walk into your local game or department store nowadays they don't carry much Nintendo stock at all... There's only a couple of shelves devoted to Wii, 3DS & Wii U (mostly shovelware) ;)

BLPs

#249

BLPs said:

I must be the only person on the planet who doesn't think graphics are everything. I want to play (Gameplay factors) a video game, not watch a video game. If it was all about graphics, I'll watch a movie thanks.

Janfeae

#250

Janfeae said:

Doing away with physical copies? Nintendo would lose way too much money doing something potentially foolish like that; at least for a while. It will take many more years for gaming to be 100% virtual downloads. I must be misunderstanding something as well.

Initially, you're paying the same amount of money for both forms of a game. One comes with it's own separate memory card/saves, while the other takes up a chunk of hardware space because well, it's a full digital game lol In the end, this will potentially cost you much more money; If you buy 2 games a year, maybe not, but if you average 5+, you're going to have to pay for more space, while the people who buy physical cartridges have their own save space independent of system memory. The option to download a game is great, but physical copies have a much bigger time span than a lot of you are thinking. It's easier for a lot of people (Especially parents/Grandparents) to buy a physical copy of something, as opposed to trying to understand the digital scene when they do their Christmas shopping, which is a vital time of the year for any gaming company.

Just my opinion though. I prefer to have physical copies(In the video game world). I don't really like digital too much, because digital can be lost and corrupted much easier than someone who takes basic care of their physical games.

pr0t0man

#251

pr0t0man said:

I stopped reading when you said no more physical media I love carts or anything in a box when I'm done I can let a friend use them or sell them if I wanted to if Nintendo does this it will only hurt them look at the PSP go

Tennistetris

#254

Tennistetris said:

I personally think that they should ditch the 2-screen model..This would help for various reasons -
1. Help reduce the price-Everyone knows 2-screens cost more than 1.
2. 1 screen would also mean higher graphical and processing capabilities since the cpu and gpu wouldn't have to be divided between 2 screens.

and ya they should also make a more powerful console with better architecture.I mean look at vita-personally i think it is much better than the 3ds(apart from the lack of good games on it).

MAB

#255

MAB said:

Another one of the many drawbacks for physical media is the set amount of memory developers have to work with... This is why the 3DS gets empty devoid of anything side scrollers like Batman and Spiderman, also RPGs that can be finished in a few hours with minimal replay value ;)

andjahiam

#256

andjahiam said:

@FilmerNgameR thank apple and google for this... every 3 months it seems they have something new and gimmicky. And people buy it up. Now people need something new more often thsn not.e

Jmaster

#257

Jmaster said:

Maybe you should do your research before you troll: The biggest 3DS game in data is Bravely Default (an RPG with metric gigatons of hours in it, I might add) with 3,23 GB. 3DS game cards currently come in 1, 2 and 4GB, however an 8GB card is also possible. Doesn't seem limiting to me.
Sources: http://www.reddit.com/r/3DS/wiki/size_of_games http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_3DS#Game_card
http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/news/24569/3ds-cartridges-could-store-up-to-8gb

Also, if all games you see on the 3DS are Batman and Spiderman, you have some serious eyesight problems.

GN004Nadleeh

#258

GN004Nadleeh said:

i would like one large touch screen, 2 analog sticks, and graphics equal at least to a late wii game. also offer a xl model right out the gate for us who like to keep the bigger one at home. and an account system i have my games from psp on my vita along with all my psones classics. i don't want to buy mario world again with an higher price simply for the fact it is on a new system

MAB

#259

MAB said:

Some AAA games and variety would be better for their next handheld ;)

Platypus101

#260

Platypus101 said:

@Damo thank you for clearly stating what needed to be said (I lost faith for this site with the posting of the "new hardware at E3" article, but your post is helping to restore that...).

Moshugan

#261

Moshugan said:

@dumedum It's only 400×240 per eye! The 800 is divided in to two for the 3D effect.
The games would look even sweeter (and less eye-straining) if they were truly 800x480, but of course that means more power and a higher cost.

HandheldGuru97

#262

HandheldGuru97 said:

Hrmmmmmmmmm....I agree with you guys on some of these parts, but not all of them. My two cents is physical media shouldn't be left out of the Next Nintendo Handheld. I own 30+ carts for my 3DS spread over two Club Nintendo cases and yes its a pain in the ass to swap games, I still prefer it to digital. It is still too soon for physical media to die, we saw what happened when early rumours swirled about the PS4 and XBone ditching disc drives, if we make to more handheld cycles after the 3DS then we'll talk (that would be about the middle of 2020's!!!!!) Also I'm not to worried about the graphics arms race. Never has matter to me, don't know why gamers are always like "OMGZ Graphicz are da bomba!!!!!!!" All I care about is Gameplay, Music, Story, Controls (not exactly in that order mind you). Hell I still think the 3DS graphics looks pretty damn good (showing its age a little but but not much). Lastly gimmicks, and I hate to say this but in the post App Store explosion in popularity world we live in, Nintendo may have to get gimmicky to survive. There needs to be something, "unique and fresh" about the Next Nintendo Handheld and including something new that may or may not be a gimmick may just give them the upper hand on Apple, Google, Amazon and Samsung. Anyway thats just my two cents

CoreyCannabis

#263

CoreyCannabis said:

Just take a Vita and make it clamshell with Nintendo's awesome franchises, and you got yourself a winner, boys and girls.

xerneas

#264

xerneas said:

I don't know really, but they neeeed to keep 2 screens! 3DS XL size is just fine, I don't think they should go bigger. ALso better graphics obv. Ditch 3D and make a more functional eshop etc. Digital games are ok, just as long as you can transfer them easily and they're backuped, as in if you break your SD and the console they won't be gone.

Giygas_95

#265

Giygas_95 said:

@Damo See, I do like some digital downloads, but for a lot of games, I just like having a tangible product (usually for the bigger releases. Less important games I sometimes download). And until Nintendo does use a cloud system, (which doesn't look like it'll be for a long time) I'm going to want some physical media with some of my games. Frankly, though, I don't think the cloud is as immortal as everybody thinks. It's still vulnerable to hackers, and I imagine data in any form can be accidentally lost. Sure, Nintendo would probably use some serious security measures, but you never know what might happen. None of this is to say that I'm against the idea of internet based accounts or digital downloads, but like most people I'll always want to have physical evidence of some of my games, be it a disc, a cartridge, or a box, because with a download you don't exactly own the product. You're just given a license to use it (though it could be argued that the same is true with physical media). You get more of a sense of ownership with a hard format in my opinion, and while I'm sure you've already heard all of what I just said, it bears repeating.

I am glad that there are downloads, because if there were only physical formats, it would be extremely cumbersome with all the great games the 3DS has, but every now and then, I still want a solid product.

I hope there will always be physical media, but I can easily see it becoming a relic.

@Dodger Bravo. I agree with your entire comment. Especially the last paragraph because I find iPhone screens to be frustrating (glad I don't have an iPhone). That's one reason I like the resistive touch screen. The stylus is far more precise in my opinion.

Excep7ional

#267

Excep7ional said:

@OnionOverlord The Vita is selling poorly because it barely has any games that interests the masses (at least, in the West anyway) and memory card prices. The PSP Go, however, is a different story. That went all digital and crashed because of it. I think that's the system you meant when @MAB mentioned digital only.

@Topic Honestly, I think Nintendo could benefit from adding some stuff the Vita has. Like I said in my earlier comment, dual analog sticks with a better screen would be nice. Also, an account system, but that's a Nintendo problem in general.

DinoFett

#268

DinoFett said:

Being old enough to have lived with all the generations of console's let alone handhelds everything we have been posting about would have been seen as science fiction back when the first NES was released. Is this the future? Do we not have enough? Maybe there should be just one everlasting Nintendo console for the next 30 years that plays everything Nintendo ever made. Only the handhelds will be the exception.

DinoFett

#269

DinoFett said:

I want a digital assistant simular to Siri but will be any Nintendo character or famous Nintendo employee.

Krzysztof

#270

Krzysztof said:

All they need to do is pretty much Wii U portable, with two screens and backwards compatibility with 3DS/DS. The specs for the Wii U were known and established at least two years before the lunch. So technically we're talking about putting quite average, with low power consumption, 5-6 years old hardware into a handheld. Nothing impossible IMO. What's most important, it wouldn't take forever to develop new games for that platform as by that time the specs would be well known. Also the cost it self as virtually no changes into the infrastructure would be required (new servers, services, OS etc).

LAA

#271

LAA said:

Hmm... 3D did interest me a little at the beginning, now in hindsight, it was pretty stupid of Nintendo to rely on that as their unique...twist.
Definitely don't want physical media going anytime soon, just offer both, its not physical media restricting online games availability, its Nintendo's fault for not being up to date for online standards.

For their next platform... I don't know, its really up to them. I think the DS is cool, but will they really carry the DS name on again? Dual analogues I want from them for sure. HD screen should definitely happen. Account system, achievements, way better/more online features, capacitive touch screen. I think it will probably get the usual Nintendo twist, what that can be though... I have no idea, Nintendo want to think of themselves as geniuses in this area, it could really be a matter of make or break though.

For their next home console, they should definitely ditch the Wii brand once and for all, did nothing to help the Wii U keeping it, and the Wii just has an association with casual gamers, which I think that too will need to fade to get the hardcore games (And thus, more 3rd party developers), back on board, but maybe its spread to the Nintendo name as a whole now and maybe its too late... (Don't think so just yet, but for others may not be the case). They simply just need to try and be top of everything and keep a resonable price, which may be very hard to do, but I think people are getting increasingly fed up of Nintendo being a gen behind for each console, losing out on most 3rd party games as a result and the lack of games, and its not enough to just catch up to last gen, they need to be looking into next gen.

Dreamcaster-X

#272

Dreamcaster-X said:

The digital argument is ridiculous...you want digital? Then go digital, leave is who want physical with an option. I could also deal without the dual screens, it's just too gimmicky. Throw in a better screen & second analogue stick, plus a better processor & you're golden. Their portable library of games is unmatched.

JimLad

#273

JimLad said:

What I'd love to see is a handheld you can simply plug into your TV and play.

Think the Wii U controller with no console, that you can take anywhere.
They could amalgamate their console and portable divisions into one machine and no longer have to split game development between the two.

RoomB31

#275

RoomB31 said:

Hmm, some of your concepts make sense, others less.
You only need to look at PSP GO to know that gamers who buy portable consoles are not ready for an "only digital" console. Sure that was years ago, and we can now download many retail games digitally, but until Nintendo fixes their network (as per your suggestions) an only digital console would be a terrible idea. Also, this would make backwards compatibility impossible, and choice to choose physical/digital is still quite strong. ...
My few requests would be a better resolution screen(which happens every gen anyways) and capacitive touch (on both screens), keeping the clamshell, but seriously modernizing the look of the system, sleek and sharp.

Zombie_Barioth

#276

Zombie_Barioth said:

On the "arms race" part, I'm willing to bet not many people would be as willing to upgrade their handheld like they do their phone or tablet. A lot of people upgrade their phones through their carriers, we've all seen those free/$.99 phone deals.

Upgrading a $150+ device that plays $40 games every 2-3 years isn't gonna fly, especially when you consider getting people to 'upgrade' to a new console every 5 or so years is enough of a challenge as it stands.

SneakyStyle

#277

SneakyStyle said:

I want a hand held device from them that can be plugged into a PC at any time to play the same hand held games on my PC monitor and speakers, It also needs a 2nd anologe stick and full backwards capabilities.

Then i'd be super happy~ xD Goooo Nintendo!!!! Do it!!!

Shall call it the Nintendo PC Fusion Device~ haha

MAB

#278

MAB said:

Going 'digital only' means they will abolish the crappy region lock... I know how much everyone here hates the region locking ;)

Chouzetsu

#279

Chouzetsu said:

Digital only? I have to disagree.
1. Nintendo consoles tend to have little to no storage space for downloaded games, forcing you to buy SD card(s) for this purpose.
2. There's just a satisfaction of having a physical copy of whatever game it is, and putting your game case on your shelf... Accessing it through digital means just isn't the same, at least not for me.
3. There's nothing wrong with physical media. I've never "fumbled" with cartridges and I genuinely have no idea what you're talking about.

The only problem with cartridges I've ever had is that the DS family ones are too small. GBA "Game Paks" seemed to have the right idea in terms of size-- small enough to be portable, not small enough to get lost all the time. If Nintendo is going to change their game distribution at all, in my opinion, they should increase the size of the cartridges.

bobbypaycheque

#280

bobbypaycheque said:

@Chouzetsu I completely agree with you. Not needing to include a ton of storage on the console keeps the price down. And not only is it satisfying to own a physical copy of the game, but that is truly the only way to own it. Many digital outlets only sell you a license to use the content but it never belongs to you (like music on iTunes.) The carts are super tiny, I have no idea why they fumble with them :S

Windy

#282

Windy said:

I think the next system should be a Tablet the size of the Nexus 7 but.'.....with a built in control pad. Also make so that it connects to your TV wirelessly like apple TV. Take the tablet to your friends house and it can work as the system or an extra controller. Use Bluetooth to hook up extra controller when you wanna play Multiplayer when its connected to the TV. These are just a few Ideas for a Nintendo Tablet but the way things are going with the Eshop they are becoming a serious player in the digital download market. in fact their games pretty much surpass the Android Market and apple store. I'm beginning to think its time for Nintendo to make a tablet but will feel like and act like a main console. somehow a controller would need to be built in. that's what I would like to see.

Usagi-san

#283

Usagi-san said:

Capacitive screens are rubbish. I don't know how anybody could think they're superior to a resistive screen. I wish my phone had a resistive screen then I'd be able to use a stylus on it. I hope Nintendo never make their handhelds use a capacitive screen.

dumedum

#285

dumedum said:

@Moshugan not true. I know that's what they say - per eye - but the combined effect in 3D brings a lot of extra detail. It's also because of the 3DS' excellent shading and lighting, but I never felt the resolution was too low. The 3D especially looks fantastic.

TwoSmoove

#288

TwoSmoove said:

@Peach64 The only game I know that required 2 screens was The World Ends With You. It's pretty hard to replicate the battle system without one.

As long as the next console can connect to other sources via a receiver of some sort (along the lines of the Vita TV), that'd be awesome. Playing GBA games on the Wii U has me wanting a GBA Player type device.

KnightRider666

#289

KnightRider666 said:

I'd like to be able to register as many games to streetpass as I want to, and to have a proper account based sytem tied to a network ID, not the hardware itself. I'd hate to see physical media go, but if the price of games were at least halved(no more than $20 for 1st party mario releases), I guess i could get used to it. I like to buy my games used to save some cash. If they do away with physical media, that option would be gone.

IceClimbers

#290

IceClimbers said:

1. The 3D effect will be dropped in the next handheld for sure because they lost the patent case. I like the 3D effect, but I know it will be dropped.
2. Keep the dual screens and the clamshell design. Dropping either of those would be a huge step back.
3. Dual analog sticks. That's a given.
4. Unified account system. Also a given, and we know will be included.
5. Better resolution screens please. 240p is unacceptable in 2014.
6. Don't focus on gimmicks, focus on the games. That's why the 3DS has been so successful - the games. Shocker, I know.
7. Physical media needs to stay. The market is not ready for digital-only game systems. See: Xbox One backlash.

Overall, I do think Nintendo's next gen will see a new handheld and a new home console that are "like brothers", with a unified OS, eShop, NNIDs, etc. Then in the next-next gen (10th gen), we will see Nintendo Fusion, with the handheld as the main device, and a box that acts as an accessory to play the bigger games like X.

IceClimbers

#291

IceClimbers said:

With all this discussion about next-gen, what do you want to see on the 3DS over the rest of its lifespan? Keep it to games-only, please.

I surely hope the next 4 years of the 3DS are absolutely fantastic.

KevTastic84

#292

KevTastic84 said:

@Jazzer94 Yep a lot of Nintendo lovers are old school in our approach to buying games. I too like to look over at my shelf and see game cases.However i don't think we have a choice that it will go down the download route only soon.

JimLad

#293

JimLad said:

@IceClimbers More 3D games from Nintendo. By that I mean 3D platformers/adventure, not 3D effect.
I'm getting pretty bored with the same barage of 2D platformers. We know it can play games of N64 quality (and more), so where are they?

ponyfansunited

#294

ponyfansunited said:

resistive screens have a lot less input delay than capacitive; better for games like rhythm/drawing/action. i'm glad they still use it; really shows how much they care about game design despite how niche the tech is.

IceClimbers

#295

IceClimbers said:

@JimLad Would definitely like to see stuff that isn't a platformer in general, unless it's a 3D Donkey Kong game, or a 2D Metroid (Metroid Dread?).

I'd like to see a new Advance Wars and a new Golden Sun. Both of those seem pretty likely to happen at some point.

Luffymcduck

#296

Luffymcduck said:

"The clamshell design of the DS and 3DS is arguably one of the reasons why such machines have been so incredible popular; there's a physiological advantage to having a console which protects its delicate screens when not in use."
Well, my 3DS scratched it's screen all by itself.

xevious

#297

xevious said:

Well, I can't say I would agree with many of these. First of all, I don't want my portable games to compete in visuals/processing power/resolution with home consoles. I want portable games to be portable games. In fact, I wouldn't mind going back to 2D pixel graphic focused hardware with cartridge medium. One of the reasons I love the DS/3DS is because at times it's games still remind me of the Golden Era of video gaming (the nineties) and that's partly due to focus being somewhere else than raw processing power. I couldn't care less for increased processing power, HD graphics or such. I want awesome portable games like Advance Wars, Pokemon etc.

Also, dropping physical media out would make me reconsider investing in the platform. I ALWAYS buy a physical copy if available and DL only Indie/VC games or such.

hephiroth

#298

hephiroth said:

I agree with a lot of this, but I don't think Nintendo will completely disregard physical media. I, personally, would be fine with it, but a few things will, in my opinion, prevent it:

1. They are unlikely to include, let alone force, a cellular data plan into the device, meaning it will be WiFi only. This means that there will be a percentage of users who never connect it to the internet.
2. Lots of parents still don't want to give their kids access to a credit card or understand how to password protect eShop purchases.
3. Lots of holiday giftgivers want a physical "thing" to wrap up.
4. Nintendo (and all the console manufacturers) want to keep retailers happy, and shelves with boxes are part of how they do that.

I think console manufacturers will always be hesitant to release a machine with NO option for physical media, no matter how popular digital purchases get, especially when it's a machine intended to sell to a lot of kids.

Please don't spam links here — TBD

hephiroth

#300

hephiroth said:

Haha, yes; I was thinking more about "on the go" purchasing. Right now, someone can decide to pick up a game cart while they're out at the mall. I suppose Nintendo Zone hotspots work, but I was just trying to make the point that it's not the same as an iPhone, which can get online virtually anywhere for someone to buy a new game.

pyrodoggie

#301

pyrodoggie said:

The cartridge shouldn't go away :( I normally play one game for an entire month until I complete it, before moving to another game. So carrying a lot of cartridges is not exactly an issue to me. But I have this urge to display all my games in a shelf, which I can't do without the boxes and cartridges :(

Gingadreadman

#302

Gingadreadman said:

To be honest I hope they don't include the whole 3D thing in their next handheld. I didn't enjoy it too much and after a short while it gave me a bit of a headache.

evoo989

#303

evoo989 said:

I will always love this company, but theres some stuff i'd love to see improved on handheld and the console for example:

Wii U
Folders
Improved notification system
On the eshop: gamecube games, Nintendo 64 games, dreamcast games
A more organised shop front would be good, sometimes trying to find anything can be a really cumbersome process.

3DS
Again improved notification system
On the shop: gameboy advanced games, nintendo ds games

Its kind of crazy that they are launching this on the Wii U when the 3DS can already play DS games and it is more than capable of playing Gameboy Advance games (not talking about the ambassador ones) I mean really being able to save them.

Both of them:
I wish there was some sort of screen sharing feature for example share the 3DS screen to the Wii U so you can play games on your home tv and likewise the 3DS as a Wii U tablet.

I also wish if you bought something on the 3DS or Wii U that you didn't need to buy it again that would be great. Also it would be better if they thought about their next consoles so that games purchased on the 3DS or Wii U will work on the next console.

I'm no expert but the architecture of the Wii U really doesn't look like it will play well if for example Nintendo in the future decide to go the same route as Sony and Microsoft in regards to switching to a more PC like architecture.

I love this company and I really hope that they decide to start making some really positive changes soon.

crzysortagamer

#304

crzysortagamer said:

Must haves:
More pixels per inch.
Easy data storage (regular sd card, unlike sony vita)
continuation and more integration of something like streetpass
cheaper eshop games (at least cut us the cost of what it takes to make physical copy.
lastly, internet play, download play, internet play.

I buy almost any game with internet play, even if I am pretty sure I'll hate it, just knowing there is another human versing you is awesome

FalconPunch

#305

FalconPunch said:

Here's what I want:
-Keep the 3DS XL's size, and throw another analogue stick in
-Make it cheaper
-Keep cartridges. I like being able to trade the game in, buy used one, or let my siblings play them.

OnionOverlord

#306

OnionOverlord said:

@Excep7ional

I actually meant the Vita and was saying that in reference to the the fact they ditched the UMD in favor of digital. PSP Go fits my argument more than Vita though, now that you mention it.

timonmeerkat

#307

timonmeerkat said:

@Gen0neD
Yes what you said!!!

  • I only have a handheld console (or any console for that matter) because the 3D makes gaming a worthwhile activity for me - I doubt I'd even have a gaming unit, were it not for the 3D. I don't play games on any of my other various 2D tech because it's boring. Keep the 3D!!!

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