The new handheld console Nintendo incorporated as the main novelty the possibility to reproduce 3D stereoscopic images without needing special glasses. It went on sale in Japan (26 February 2011), in Europe (25 March), and United States (27 March). Nintendo saw sales forecasts of 16 million units.
The Fiasco has been both technological and economical. On the one hand, users have appreciated an increase in fatigue when using 3D technology (the company has received strong complaints from users who were sick and even felt nausea), and a substantial decrease in the autonomy of the machine (3DS battery autonomy is just 3-4 hours, compared to 10 hours for the previous version). As for the 3D technology, it actually requires the user to hold the console in a particular position, angle and distance that is quite annoying.
In this regard, it is noteworthy that Nintendo itself, probably to avoid any parallelism with Pokémon and its problematic flash, took a step forward and published a guide to advise the user to rest every 30 minutes or even stop playing if the physical conditions went worse. It also advised children under 6 against using it.
Sales of the 3DS only enjoyed a happy period during the first weeks: to regain sales, the Japanese company was forced to cut the price on a 35%. Sales increased a bit thanks to this decision, but it was not enough. Nintendo reported a loss of 747,4 million Euros over the April-December, 2011 period, related to Nintendo 3DS.
What did we learn?
Market, market, market. We need to listen to the market.
The new console presented 3D images as its main novelty, while large part of the population still is not comfortable with this new dimension, as it has been the case for home cinema and TV. Also, it shows once again that the catalog of videogames available at the time of launching is strategic. Was it really the time to incorporate 3D in consoles?.
Also, battery life in consoles is key: Gameboy had 14 hours of battery and EDs only 4. It all leads us to think that Nintendo has chosen technology over users. If they had listened to them, they would not have created a console where the battery lasts so little and with regional lockouts.