Are you standing at the edge of the cliff, undecided? Let me pull you back to safety by telling you why you should wait for the second-generation 3DS.
Too Frakkin' Expensive
Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said that most people expected the 3DS to be $300 to $400 — Nintendo is selling it for $250, apparently a steal for you. So I hopped in my time machine to check out what other portable handhelds went for $250 from the gate. It turns out Sony's PSP from 2005 and its PSPgo from 2009 both sold for $250. Nintendo's own handheld consoles have never launched that high. The DSi XL was $190, DSi was $170 and the original DS sold for $150.
As a person who bought an original PSP for $250 in '05, I can vouch that it was a pricey purchase. Gamers roared when Sony tried to pull the same schtick with the UMD-less PSPgo. As a result, the PSPgo priced itself out of the market. As it stands, the 3DS price is just too steep at $250, and that's without any games, which brings me to my next point.
Did you think that new games would get cheaper? What world are you living in? It's hard to go back to paying $40 for a Super Mario game, when we can get as much fun or more from the $1 Angry Birds. Nintendo didn't announce official game prices, but that hasn't stopped Gamestop and Amazon from pricing them at $40 to $50. Yeah, I'm comparing watermelons to grapes, but the mobile world is different now — it's populated by quick-burst casual games — the same ones that Nintendo made popular with its original DS.
With the added 3D dimension and more detailed graphics, developers and publishers will look to charge more for pocket versions of what are essentially console games (Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D, Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D, etc.).
Terrible Battery Life
The DS Lite had an incredible battery. I often got over 10 hours of gaming in on the old thing. The battery on the 3DS? To put it bluntly: it sucks. Nintendo's official stance is that the 3DS can get three to five hours on a full charge; that's if you lower the brightness and dial the 3D depth down. The 3DS wouldn't even last halfway through a 16 hour flight to Japan. Second-gen hardware revisions always have longer lasting batteries. It's like companies purposely gimp the first-gen one just so they can tout more battery life later.
Ugly As Sin Design
You don't have to hold the Nintendo 3DS in your hands to be able to see how ugly this handheld is. Everything from its polygonal hinges to the flat brick-layered profile to the exposed metal ports in the back make the 3DS look like an unfinished prototype.
Owners of the original Nintendo DS "Phat" will remember that it too was an abominable piece of gadgetry to look at. Nintendo gave the DS a complete makeover with the DS Lite, turning harsh angles into sleek curves; replaced the Lite's glossy case with a very slick matte rubber on the DSi and then brought the gloss back on the DSi XL.
Nintendo's going to redesign the 3DS, just like it did to the DS and the GameBoys before it. You can bet good money that the second-gen 3DS is going to look a helluva lot better than it does right now. What the hell was platform producer, Hideo Konno smoking?
Headaches and Eyeball Frying Tune-up
The goddamned 3D machine hasn't even shipped yet and Nintendo's already taking preventive measures by spamming every media outlet with warnings that the 3DS's 3D could potentially mess up a little kid's developing eyes.
It's not only little kids who should be concerned, but also adults too. Japanese magazine Friday, ran a story claiming Japanese gamers suffered from headaches and eye fatigue after trying out the system at a recent Nintendo World event. Whether all of this is reason for concern is uncertain, but if it is, I'm sure Nintendo is monitoring it like a hawk and will tune it up in the next 3DS model.