Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Nintendo 3DS: Bad For Kids, Officially

Beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick... or does it?
This has got to make things a little bit more difficult for Nintendo marketers: The Nintendo 3DS is bad for kid's vision, and should not be used in 3D mode by children under the age of 6. Nintendo has issued this warning because the way 3D works on the 3DS can harm children's vision as it develops. Nintendo will put a parental lock capability on the 3DS to help keep nasty 3D away from kids.

Sony has said the same thing about playing 3D games on the PS3, but Nintendo has traditionally sold very well to younger kids, so this is more of a problem for them. Plus, the whole point of the 3DS is, you know, 3D. It's certainly wise for Nintendo to be up front about problems before lawsuits start getting filed, but this is still not the optimal way to begin your marketing campaign for new hardware. Not that there were going to be droves of 6-year-old kids throwing down $300 for new game hardware, but still.... "This game device can ruin your vision" doesn't have a great ring to it.

I think the larger problem Nintendo has is the smartphone/iPod Touch. For about the same price or less than a 3DS (we still don't know the official price, though $300 is how the Japanese price translates right now) you can get a device that plays thousands of games, as well as video and music, accesses the internet, takes pictures and videos, has hundreds of thousands of apps, and can be used to send and receive messages by email, text, voice or video. And when you want a new capability, you just download it. That will be the difficult hill for Nintendo to climb. And first they have to admit that it's in their way...

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