Word on the street is that the Nintendo 3DS web browser won’t support Flash, putting all those fun, free online games just out of reach.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: a huge, super-successful technology company with a control fetish decides against supporting one of the most ubiquitous online technologies in its products in order to ensure a high degree of quality for its customers. No, we’re not talking about Apple, we’re talking about Nintendo, which according to Develop has elected to “ban” Flash from the soon-to-be-released Nintendo 3DS web browser. That means that all those free Flash games kicking around on the internet, some of which are actually pretty good, won’t be playable on the device.
Why cripple it this way? Nintendo hasn’t commented on the situation directly but in March, president Satoru Iwata said the game industry is “drowning” in cheap, crappy games churned out and playable on multiple platforms, including handhelds. “These platforms have no motivation to maintain the value of the game,” he told his audience at the 2011 Game Developers Conference. “Quantity is how they profit. The value of software does not matter to them.”
It’s a valid point as far as it goes, but the big question is whether or not consumers will appreciate Nintendo looking out for their best interests this way, or at the very least be indifferent enough about it that they won’t be put off buying the thing. The marginally-tech-savvy nerd in me is appalled at the idea of going online without Flash but I’m inclined to think that it won’t matter to most 3DS buyers, who [I’m guessing] purchase the unit for the Nintendo-specific games it offers and not for its online capabilities. What say you, 3DS owners? Are you outraged by this inexcusable omission, or would you never have noticed it if someone hadn’t brought it to your attention?