Nintendo: 3DS Will Succeed in 2013 Due to Strong Game Lineup

An impressive list of games will help the 3DS hit it big in 2013.

Handhelds just don’t sell like they used to. Due to the pervasion of Smartphones and cheap, bite-sized games that can be accessed in seconds, the concept of lugging around a dedicated gaming device just isn’t as appealing as it once was. However, the audience, while diminished, still exists, and Nintendo believes that a large percentage of the group that hasn’t yet latched on to the 3DS will make the investment in 2013.

Speaking with GameSpot after today’s Nintendo Direct conference, Nintendo director of product marketing Bill Trinen explained that in the U.S., portable systems tend to have a slow start. After a few years of establishing a solid library, the systems tend to gain some steam and attract a wider audience.

"We have noticed that in the US in particular, people tend to, at least when it comes to handheld gaming, they tend to shift generations a lot more slowly than they do particularly in Japan," Trinen said. "In Japan, once a new handheld system comes out it's like everybody just goes right to it."

There’s been little in terms of software to elevate the 3DS to “must-have” status, but with a fresh Yoshi’s Island game and a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, 2013 may just push the sleek handheld over the edge.

"GameBoy Advance was the same way; DS was the same way; 3DS now. It does take a couple of years," Trinen continued. "But then once it does, it really builds steam and so with the lineup that we're seeing this year, to me it really feels like this is the year that 3DS is really going to take off."

All the positive buzz around the 3DS is good to see, especially with Nintendo lowering its initial sales estimates for the console from 17.5 million to 15 million at the start of the year. We’ll just have to wait and see if the excitement translates to dollars and cents.