Nintendo Leaning On Star Fox 64 3D, Flame Red 3DS To Relaunch The Struggling Handheld

Meet the red 3DS. It’s a lot like the standard blue and black model, but, you know, red. The Flame Red color flavor debuted in Japan a while ago, but Nintendo is finally bringing it here as part of the system’s relaunch this Friday. (As if the color red will help the 3DS)

The 3DS hasn’t exactly been a hit so far. The company took a big loss last quarter after sales came in well below expectations. This clearly caused the company to reevaluate the 3DS’s $249 price-point and so, the system was cut to $169. That price cut goes into effect this Friday as Nintendo desperately tries to stop the hemorrhaging.

The 3DS was seemingly set up to fail from the start. Built around a marketplace gimmick, the 3d-ified 3DS launched earlier this year without a blockbuster title. Nintendo kept telling gamers to wait. The good games are on their way, they said. So gamers did just that. They waited. And waited. And the good games still aren’t here. The only notable games so far are simply remakes of older games.

The $249 price didn’t help either. The 3DS launched as Nintendo’s most expensive portable ever. Even its predecessor, the Virtual Boy, launched at a sub-$200 price point back in 1995. At $249 the 3DS was more expensive than the Sony PSP, Nintendo Wii, and more importantly, the iPhone, which has taught a whole generation that games should cost $1.99 or less.

The 3DS was just too expensive and wasn’t supported by a blockbuster Mario or Zelda title at launch. But this coming Friday, August 12, the system gets a new chance at life. The Flame Red model hits the states to help celebrate the new $169 price and team of pilots led by an experienced fox is ready to help save the portable 3D gaming system from an early death. Do a barrel roll! (It’s actually an airleron roll but that’s not much of a battle cry.)