The president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, made an announcement recently that will strike any fans of 3D gaming to the core: after the release of the upcoming 3DS XL, a successor to the current 3DS console, the company are not making plans to focus any more of their consoles around the concept of 3D.
According to Iwata, the 3D gaming boom that spurred on the release of the 3DS has fallen away, leaving the company with no choice but to abandon the format in order to focus on producing consoles that will see better sales rates and capture the attention of fans more. He may be right about the waning interest in 3D, but it is unlikely that that is the only reason behind poor 3DS sales: after all, players are still waiting for the release of certain titles that were promised more than a year ago at the console’s March 2011 launch.
There have been very few unique releases for the format, as Nintendo focus on rereleases and restyles of existing games, and this has left gamers frustrated with the company. Those who payed full price at launch were also piqued to see the cost fall dramatically as a result of low sales figures early on, and interest in the console has not improved since then.
Iwata did praise the idea of 3D, saying that “it makes graphics more impactful, it proves a sense of immersion that 2D doesn’t have, so I would say generally that 3D is better than 2D”. He also added that “in terms of videogames, 3D has been a topic for a long time”, implying that there would be some form of 3D element involved within later releases, though there were no hints as to what this would actually translate to in terms of a real console.