04 September 2013


Gruber, Marco, and Siracusa have all been talking about Nintendo.

I don’t know much, but I do know this: Being a 3DS owner has felt like you were dealing a company that was living in the past and only barely keeping up. I can only store settings for three WiFi networks? Buying an app/game and getting in to download in the background takes a large number of seemingly pointless taps? Games are still sold on cartridges? If I buy the cartridge version of a game, we can play it on any of our 3DS systems—one at a time. If we buy the digital version, we can only play it on one specific device? Etc.

Are these just software problems or are some of them hardware problems being reflected by the software? I don’t know, but it seems clear that Nintendo is not great at making a great overall product despite being in control of the hardware and the software.

I’m not convinced that getting out of the hardware business will help. I’m not convinced that writing software for other platforms will help. I am convinced that making great products will help.

There’s also a point made that the 3DS library—which includes all DS games as well as the 3DS games—makes up for this. Personally, though, I’ve found more games I want to play on iOS than for my 3DS. In any case, having a deep library is good, but it doesn’t invalidate criticisms of the system.

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