A couple of days ago, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords was released on the 3DS eShop and DSiWare store. It’s completely free to download at the moment, so you may as well get it. There are not many new features – there are a few stages and a couple of neat touches, such as the 25th Zelda Anniversary logo appearing on the start up screen. You can’t play it online, but obviously you can play it with any 3DS/DSi owner wirelessly, unlike back in the day when you needed four copies of the game and a link cable to play. But Nintendo has stated that this game will not be available in 2012, so be sure to download it this year.
Nintendo of Japan have confirmed that the side pad add-on for the 3DS does exist, and it will go on sale in December for 1500 Yen (about $20). It looks a little bulky, but hopefully it will still be comfortable to hold anyway. A list of games has already been confirmed for compatibility with the device:
Monster Hunter Tri G
Resident Evil: Revelations
Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D
Ace Combat 3D: Cross Rumble
Dynasty Warriors VS
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Games that are compatible with the device will display this icon on their box art:
Nintendo Charged managed to get hold of some neat footage of the upcoming Four Swords game for the Nintendo DSi and 3DS. It will be released on September 28th, 2011 and you will be able to download it for free from the eShop until February next year. Looks like it will be a port of the original, perhaps with a few modifications.
Nintendo confirmed earlier that you will be able to download the GBA version of Four Swords for the 3DS, via the eShop. You will also be able to download it for free! This is good news, since rounding up four GBA owners to get the full Four Swords experience was pretty annoying (I only knew one other person with AlttP/FS, so I got to play two-player at least). It’s a fun, if short, game. And now that the game is free every 3DS owner can have it!
The latest issue of Famitsu has established a rumour that Nintendo are planning a new peripheral for the 3DS. It will connect around the bottom of the 3DS, allowing the use of a trigger button (on the left) and a right analog stick. Looks like Nintendo might be relying on a peripheral like this rather than re-releasing the 3DS (which would have been a stupid idea). Hopefully it will feel fine to hold in your hands (your fingers will still be able to cover all the controls easily, etc).
Another thing is that this is a pretty major add-on – after all, it gives the player two new controls. What I’m most interested to see is the extent Nintendo will make use of this. It would be pretty embarrassing for Nintendo to make this device essential for most 3DS games, plus 3DS owners might be pretty reluctant to fork out for more hardware. If this devices does end up being released, Nintendo will have to keep a good balance between games needing it and games not.
The Nintendo 3DS sold 384,000 units during August, the month the huge price drop went live. This amount is 2.6 times the amount sold in July. However, the console has yet to exceed the one-month sales figure of 430,000, achieved during March when the 3DS was released. Nintendo are selling each 3DS console at a loss due to the drastic price drop, and they will be hoping that new software will make up for the lost revenue and eventually make the console very profitable.
Here is an article linked from Zelda Dungeon a few days ago, written for Examiner.com. “Remakes have been plaguing the video game market” it claims, and it offers a criticism of Ocarina of Time 3D: “when you look at the differences, or, lack thereof, with the 3DS version and the N64 there really isn’t much new.” I somewhat agree. I imagine many people missed out on the Master Quest, and perhaps it’s worth getting Ocarina of Time 3D to play that. And the novelty of having Ocarina of Time 3D on a handheld console is a pretty good one, let alone being able to experience the game with polished graphics.
I just wish they added more new content. The upgraded inventory system and improved aiming is hardly exciting, and although the Boss Challenge mode is a neat touch, it’s fundamentally nothing new. Some new items or a brand new dungeon would not have gone amiss, and such additions would not have had to affect the Ocarina of Time lore in any way. Even a few new mini games to Hyrule castle town would have been nice. Or imagine a wi-fi multiplayer mode? Ocarina of Time 3D could have been so much more than a basic port of the original, which is why I would recommend it only for the most hardcore of Zelda fans.
The Nintendo 3DS Conference that was rumored about earlier has now been confirmed. A website (in Japanese) has been set up, and the event is described as a “Nintendo 3DS new product announcement conference.” Maybe the event won’t be closed to consumers after all then. It seems a realistic possibility that Nintendo will announce they are to relaunch the 3DS under a new name.
Two days before the Tokyo gameshow starts, on the 13th September Nintendo will hold a private meeting with investors and analysts regarding the 3DS (consumers are not allowed in). The purpose of the meeting is not clear, though the experts present are almost certainly going to be discussing the future of the 3DS and what can be done to improve it’s so-so reception. The Wii U may be up for discussion too.
Nintendo always has an event like this each year, so expect some new games to be announced too.
Rumour has it that Nintendo are going to redesign the 3DS in 2012. They may install an additional analog stick for the console, as well as changing its name to de-emphasis the “3D” aspect. A spokesperson for the company said:
“Nintendo is currently preparing a new 3DS for a 2012 release. This new version would radically tone down the whole `3D` angle, with a new design and even probably a different name.”
It seems the mistakes Nintendo made with the 3DS are really starting to haunt them. It looks like they are extremely keen to do something about the 3DS’s current situation after some mediocre sales forced a large price cut. Perhaps people just aren’t all that bothered about the “3D” aspect and just want to play some handheld games. The lack of enthusiasm for 3D gaming explains the possibility of a name change, at least.