Starting in June, Nintendo will join forces with Best Buy in a collaborative effort to better public understanding of the Nintendo 3DS. The partnership will offer 3DS users free wireless, in which they’ll connect to the Best Buy network via the portable’s SpotPass feature. Once connected, users will find movie trailers, “gaming extras,” and “exclusive offers,” the companies revealed. Currently the deal will be available inside 1,000 Best Buy stores.
As Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata said during his fiscal 2011 finacial results briefing, the company is finding it difficult to convey the appeal of playing games in 3D without the need for special glasses.
“Many people feel that they ‘want’ and ‘want to buy’ Nintendo 3DS.” However, Iwata told investors last month, “not that many people believe ‘now is the time to buy it.'” Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime stated that Best Buy will provide potential buyers with a “firsthand look at the platform with experts to help people to understand everything it offers.”
The Nintendo 3DS retails for $249.99.
Analysis: This kind of move really shouldn’t be all that surprising, given the 3DS’ current circumstances. As a 3DS owner, I actually admire (and look forward to) this sort of thing. Nintendo believes in its system, and wants the world to follow suit, and I think the partnership with Best Buy is a solid indication of how dedicated they are to swaying public perception – through safe, honest tactics, that is.
Also, I believe Nintendo is trying to justify the systems $249.99 price tag (actually more like $270.78 if we’re really gonna be honest). If the 3DS had no firmware capabilities, and must have apps like the eShop and Internet Browser were just not possible, then I’d definitely say that a $249.99 price tag (um, $270.78) is a bit over the top. However, that is simply not the case, and the 3DS, in my opinion, has the potential to become a handheld powerhouse.
I view the Nintendo 3DS as an investment of sorts – something that will indeed pay off over time. In addition to what’s obvious, such as being able to play awesome 3DS exclusives from Nintendo and various third parties, the ability to watch movies, trailers, and game previews – all in 3D, is enough to justify a purchase for me. Toss in a back catalog of Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and “classic” games in 3D, and it’s an obvious no-brainer. According to Official Nintendo Magazine, the 3DS Internet browser uses NetFront, which has the capacity to play YouTube videos, unlike the DSi.
And speaking of videos, the ability to record 3D video footage is on the way.
To sum things up, I think the partnership with Best Buy is integral to Nintendo’s plans for the 3DS. Had the launch line up been a bit more solid than what we got, we probably wouldn’t even be talking about a partnership with Best Buy. However, it’s possible that Nintendo always had plans to bring in the retail giant, but that is anyone’s guess. If and when the 3DS picks up steam, here’s hoping Nintendo continues to back the system the way they do now.