At the E3 Expo 2011, Nintendo made waves with their announcements. Along with their next-gen home console, the Wii U, Nintendo announced a new 3DS system update which contains some long-awaited components and new offerings:
- Nintendo eShop
- Internet Browser
- 3D Classics: Excitebike
- Pokedex 3D
While some out there have successfully updated their systems and are happily playing the freely-available Excitebike 3D, there's a large crowd of 3DS gamers who have been unable to update their systems since Nintendo first made the announcement. See the comments here for just one minor example of how many are affected.
As a 3DS owner myself, I find myself in the camp of the latter. My roommate, another 3DS owner, has been able to update his system but is unable to access the eShop or download the Excitebike 3D game. When I try to update, this is what I -- and those who currently share my same fate -- see:
An error has occurred. Unable to update. The system will now be restarted.
Naturally, the text isn't as big and bold as I wrote it above, but that's what it feels like when seeing it over and over and over and over and over and over for days in a row.
Since we live in a social world these days where even large companies are getting on board to provide some real-time communication when things go wrong, I can't help but wonder why Nintendo is so far behind. Sure, Nintendo has their social media channels, but they utilize them primarily for major news announcements. While that's fine, something that is affecting so many of users of their products should be announced.
I'm sure Nintendo is working furiously behind-the-scenes to alleviate the 3DS update woes, but being kept in the dark as the days go by make the whole experience that much more unbearable. For that matter, Twitter searches for 3DS update have yielded some interesting tweets from people. The most telling one I ran across was by a young 3DS owner who thought they had a faulty unit because it wouldn't update. They noted that they had plans of trying to return it or just sell it to GameStop and put the money towards the purchase of a PlayStation Vita when they hit the market!
So, in a time where it's a GREAT thing for a company to utilize social media avenues for everything from news announcements to putting out fires, Nintendo gets a big old fat 'F' for "FAIL" because of how far behind they seem to be with this concept. And it's not as if Nintendo is some obscure company with a demographic who doesn't use computers! Their primary user base consists of people who, at the very least, know to visit Nintendo's Web site, Twitter page, or official E3 Nintendo 3DS update announcement page to see if the problems they are experience are unique or have a much broader reach. A visit to any/all of those three currently yields nothing.
Instead, 3DS owners have been left to chatter amongst themselves and find comfort in the fact that there are others experiencing similar issues... but that's the 3DS owners who are old enough or inclined enough to seek out avenues where they find that many others are having this experience as well. If Nintendo isn't careful, they may be inadvertently creating future PS Vita owners...
So, Nintendo... speak up! It's not that hard. 140 characters can soothe many a gamers' soul in their time of need right now. Social media fails in 2011 are becoming increasingly intolerable -- especially in situations like this.
-Stephen Chapman SEO Whistleblower