Jumping The Gun

I never used to be an early adopter of stuff.  I would wait until prices had come down low enough to justify a purchase, plus I really wanted to have whatever I was after. It’s only recently then, that I have been buying things on launch days, well maybe not that recently!  I was lucky enough to get an Xbox 360 on launch day all those years ago and of course many games since then. Since then, though, there have been bigger fish to fry, better things that I had to have as soon as I could. Luckily I have a hoard of stuff that I can trade in towards these glorious things; just as well since the last two things would have come to around £400 in total.  Am I glad I got these things on launch day?  No!  Could I have waited to get them?  Yes!  Was it worth the money to get these things?  Um, no!  I’m quite sure I don’t need to go into great depth about what these things are, but if you haven’t guessed I shall tell… Kinect and 3DS.

It's beyond Mr Sheen's help.

I don’t even need to separate the two items and describe each one, because they have both befallen exactly the same fate: I don’t play them!  Yes, they were both released to much acclaim and praise, they both offered a new take on playing games, sadly, neither has the games available to back them up or make them an essential purchase.  From what I’ve read, Kinect is the largest selling electrical good, ever, which is very impressive, but, what are the people who have it playing?  After the minimalist launch line up there have been a few games trickling through, mostly of the fitness type and that’s been it.  No shooters, no fighting and no driving, this technology which I’ve been told can do marvellous things is turning into a one trick pony and as such has sat unplayed on my custom, erected shelf for a few months now.

Could I turn Kinect into a door stop?

Moving on to the 3DS and we see a bit of hardware that should be something rather special  beyond the initial launch festivities, but has once again, stuttered to a halt.  My daughter recently got a DSi and it is far better featured than the current 3DS on sale just now.  The DSi has access to online features, the Nintendo store, an online browser, better picture taking options and pictochat, right now the 3DS offers none of this.  Yet the 3DS is retailing for almost double the price, well it was until the shops started slashing its price.  Now, just over a month after release, 3DSs are being returned to shops to trade in for better things, the cost is now almost £180 across the board, this indicates to me that sales haven’t been that strong.  I have to admit that I had one game for my 3DS that I liked, but I traded in because I wasn’t playing it.  There are some great games promised for the future but the future can be a far away place and I’m not sure I’ll be able to hold on to my 3DS until then.

The 3DS bungee formation team, take their consoles back to the shop.

So, here I am with a few hundred pounds worth of non-played stuff lying about, I could of course, trade it all in and maybe have about £300 to play about with, but I have a fear!  I’m scared that if I was to trade them in the AAA titles would come along and re-define games and I wouldn’t be able to play them.  So I’d need to go out and buy them all back again at a greater cost; it’s a rock and a hard place situation.  Kinect needs some non-fitness related game, more like Halo or Gears of War to appease the masses.  The 3DS also needs some top notch games but it also needs to be fully functioning and not a poor, but dearer cousin to the DSi.  Looks like the lack of games may be the death knell for both these companies and their overpriced products.  Do you think Kinect and the 3DS have been worth it?  I’m finding it harder to say yes.






9 responses to “Jumping The Gun”

  1. Mark P avatar

    Was commenting on this the other day actually, Kinect just doesn’t seem to be getting *any* more games, other than The Gunstringer.

    I really wanted a 3DS too, but I seem to be reading nothing other than how gimmicky people are starting to find the 3D effect, or even who they’re just not playing it like yourself. I’m beginning to wonder if getting one is really a good idea…

  2. Scott avatar

    Good points Martin, but I think it’s far too early to judge the 3DS in any meaningful capacity; it’s only been out a month or so and it’s a completely new piece of hardware, not just a different model. Do you remember the first year of the original DS? It was pretty much dead until the “batch two” of Nintendogs, Mario Kart DS, Advance Wars DS, Phoenix Wright, etc. hit. And look how that turned out!

    That said, I’m looking forward to more games getting released! I’ve got a US unit, so I’ll be grabbing Ocarina of Time, Devil Survivor and Cave Story 3DS in June/July. 😉

  3. Neil avatar

    I completely agree with you about Kinect, I knew the fact that a total of three of us turned up to the midnight launch was an omen. Kinect needs games fast, were no lessons learnt from the Atari Jaguar?

    It does help with fitness though as I have to get up and dust the thing every other day, it gathers that much.

  4. Zoey avatar

    I refuse to have people bad mouthing Kinect. I’ve completed Kinectimals, love Dance Central and YourShape and will be buying Child of Eden and the Gunstringer on launch date. I can understand not liking fitness games but if you also don’t like action adventures, shooters or party games then mabe you should consider widening your gaming tastes in general. This is a world outside CoD, thankfully, and some people need to find it. Kinect is a fantastic piece of kit with many good games both out and coming soon.

  5. Martin avatar

    Scott, the 3DS isn’t an entirely new console, it’s an update of an already existing formula. Taking time to make games more 3D to fit the console is the wrong approach, there should have been a glut of games ready for launch.
    Zoey, I agree, kinect is a great piece of kit but is not being utilised to it’s fullest potential, I’ve heard about all the great things it really can do, but isn’t. Can’t help but feel it was released a year too soon, that extra year could have had it launch with AAA titles.
    Yup Neil, got it in one. You too Mark.

  6. Scott avatar

    Ah, maybe I should have worded that better. What I meant was that, regardless of it being an update in formula (isn’t every console iteration?), the 3DS is new hardware and devs won’t all have gotten the new kits yet, become comfortable with them, etc. A month (or a couple of months in Japan) is far too early to evaluate any console in the longterm. Being an early adopter is always a risk. And frankly, the PAL-region system prices are way too high (one of the reasons I imported).

    You’re right, though; they should have had more games out at launch, given the success of the original DS and what people expect from it. We could have done with a few more “killer-aps” and system-sellers at launch, certainly. Things are looking brighter for June onwards, however, at least in the States!

  7. Tony avatar

    Kinect does look like awesome tech, but I avoided it because this kind of article is exactly what I expected to be reading a few months down the line.

    Of course, if I was wrong, then I could always just get one and play through the games at a reduced price. Win win!

  8. Martin avatar

    Have to admit, it was my daughters 10th birthday party today and I shoved on Kinect Sports, they all loved it. Damn, there may be a use for it after all!!

  9. Neil avatar

    And in a few years it’ll have paid for itself with all the money you’ve saved on clowns and magicians.

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