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3DS is not 'DS with higher specs' says Miyamoto

Mario creator believes word of mouth, pre-installed apps key to success

Mario and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto has discussed the difficulties of marketing the new 3DS console through traditional media, while insisting that the 3D display is not the console's only selling point.

Taking part in another Iwata Asks interview, Miyamoto complain that: "The Nintendo 3DS system is sometimes said to just be a 'Nintendo DS system with higher specs'. But it's really much more than that."

"It's a gaming system with an entirely different charm. That's why, for the customers who purchase it, I want them to fully enjoy the features of this new machine," he insisted.

Although the glasses-free stereoscopic 3D is the system's most important feature it is impossible to illustrate directly in print or video. Nintendo has resisted trying to illustrate the 3D effect alone using 3D glasses.

"The greatest charm of the Nintendo 3DS system, including the 3D images, is very difficult to convey just through the TV or the internet," said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.

"Of course, we have tried very hard to do so, and we did our very best in the demonstrations. But I think it would be most ideal for the people who purchase it to try to tell others what they like about it."

The 3DS comes with a large amount of pre-installed software, including two augmented reality games and a 3D camera - features which Nintendo hopes will sell the console's features through word of mouth.

"It's like the hardware itself is an eloquent orator," said Miyamoto "You're right. It's an eloquent hardware," agreed Iwata.

Miyamoto also hopes that the StreetPass feature, which can automatically send Miis and other data to nearby 3DS owners, will help to illustrate the other features of the console.

"People will understand what we mean once they experience it," he said. "I really want everyone to see for themselves. I'm sure that if they get to use StreetPass in a huge country like America, it'll be even more fun."

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Latest comments (6)

Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game8 years ago
I can't help thinking that if you want the general public, the guys and gals who don't buy games mags or read tech blogs etc, to not just assume that a 3DS is a DS with 3D capabilities, you may have picked a better name. I have spoke to people who assume a 3DS is a 3D-DS, becuase "that's what it says on the tin".
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gi biz ;,pgc.eu 8 years ago
Agreed, I had the same in mind while reading this article.
Besides, what's this lack of fantsy in picking names... play station 3, nintendo 64, super nintendo, final fantasy 13, PSP2...
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
NES - SNES
PS - PS2 - PS3
Xbox - Xbox 360
Gameboy - Gameboy Advance
Nintendo DS - Nintendo 3DS

It's a common commercial practice to carry over a similar naming scheme to ensure market recognition. A percentage of the market will always perceive the new console as just being the old console with more specs.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game8 years ago
@Jimmy
Yes, but super implies a great increase in ability (man or superman?).
Playstation 2 sounds like a sequel.
Advance indicates progression.
With 3DS all it implies is 3D.
Also, in the case of Playstation or Xbox, the people who the products are aimed at at launch are core gamers and tech savvy early adopters. That is no longer Nintendo's bread and butter, they need to get the message across to the technologically dissinterested middle aged who bought it after their friend showed them brain training and sudoku, who aren't going to spend hours looking up the specs.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Andrew, are you telling me at $250 the 3DS is not aimed at the tech savvy and early adopters?
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game8 years ago
Not entirely, not with 3 Nintendogs SKUs. There are still plenty of casual fans who have plenty of money, but don't read all the info. The people who go round their friends house, having barely played games in there life, have a go on rockband, and by a console and all the instrumunts the next day. The same people who wouldn't have known about 60 inch wide screen 1080p plasmas until they saw their brother in laws, but are at currys that same afternoon. Nintendo has this market's attention.
That's not to say they aren't also aiming for readers of T3 and whatever, but that part of the market know the 3DS isn't just a 3D DS. A guy at work was thinking about buying one for his kid, but read the warning that young kids should not have the 3D on, and said "surely that's a DS then?". The guy in question has a Wii and a DSi but would never buy a PS3 for himself.
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