Pokémon Black and White 2 release on October 7th in the U.S. Unfortunately, it’s only available for the Nintendo DS, and not for the 3DS. This is truly a puzzling move by Nintendo, especially since the company is trying to sell 3DS’s and not DS’s.
System Seller – Pokémon Black and White 2 would join a handful of games as to why you must own a Nintendo 3DS system. Even though the 3DS can play DS games, the resolution is different and leads to subpar graphics. There would have been a drastic increase in 3DS sales if these games were only on the new system.
Nintendo 3DS Features – The 3DS has a lot of excellent features, such as street pass, which could have added a lot of additional content to the game. Street pass, for example, would have let you swap information from your game to another person’s game as you walked passed them. An excellent use of street pass could have been a Pokémon battle system, where you set up your six best Pokémon and have them battle to see who the better trainer is. This would be done without ever opening the 3DS, and could have resulted in bragging rights around your town.
Better Graphics – Pokémon is a franchise that has a stagnant look to it, yet remains a classic. The game has looked similar since its first U.S. release in 1998, besides a few graphical touch ups here and there. The use of 3D could enhance the town the characters walk on and the actual battles and attacks themselves. If a Charmander uses flamethrower at another Pokémon, the flames could “shoot off the screen” with 3D effects. Pokémon fans deserve a real graphical update, one that the 3DS can certainly provide.
So why did they keep it on the DS? – There are only two reasons that come to mind; it’s easier to port the engine and money. The DS has an install base of around 151 million while the 3DS’s install base is around 15 million. While 15 million is a lot for a new system, leaving out those DS users could mean a lot of money left on the table. If the game were 3DS only, a lot of people from the DS user base would buy a 3DS to play it.
Being able to use the same system from Pokémon Black and White had a lot to do with the sequel being on the DS. Being able to effectively copy/paste the same engine makes the process a lot faster and easier. Knowing the game will sell millions upon millions of copies and being able to churn the game out quickly was certainly a factor.
Final Thoughts – The 3DS system sales won’t see a huge increase, but the games themselves will sell millions of copies. In a perfect world, Pokémon Black and White 2 would be releasing this year for Nintendo’s new system, instead of their old one. It feels like a step in the wrong direction to release these games on an old system, rather than promote the new one.
What do you think? Should Pokémon Black and White 2 have been released on the 3DS or the DS? Why do you think Nintendo chose the DS instead? Let me know in the comments below.