While Nintendo’s 3DS launched with a great deal of fanfare and excitement, recently announced sales figures reflect a fading enthusiasm for 3D gaming. While 3.61 million units is nothing to laugh at, the number falls a good deal short of Nintendo and Iwata’s four million sales goal. Although gamers are not inundating retailers to snag the 3D gadget, the future of 3D entertainment is assured. Nintendo’s slow sales announcement is a clarion call, not a death knell, for publishers and developers to better persuade the industry and consumers of the opportunities that 3D gaming has to offer.
As early a few years ago, 3D held no secure place in the film industry. Some live action major motion pictures featured portions of their films upconverted to 3D, but most of its use remained within niche animated films. The first time I that actually enjoyed 3D effects was during Coraline in 2009. For some time, many considered the revival of 3D a temporary fad, a gimmicky last-ditch effort from the movie industry to boost theatre revenue by charging a few dollars more per film. Now few can deny the permanence of 3D film making. Whether you find Transformers: Dark of the Moon palatable in 3D or not, the technology is here to stay.