The 3DS arrives in North America later this month, and while I'm excited to get my hands on it a voice in the back of my mind tells me to wait. The past two handheld hardware generations for Nintendo experienced a very small window between the initial unit release and a vastly improved redesign, and while this first 3DS certainly isn't an eyesore, one can't help but wonder how long Nintendo will wait to fix any initial concerns.
The original Gameboy Advance was a significant upgrade to what Nintendo previously had out on the market with Gameboy Pocket Color, but in just over a year they revealed the Gameboy Advance SP, a smaller, sleeker looking GBA with a rechargeable battery and backlit screen. As addicted to Advance Wars as I was, I didn't wait to upgrade from my old glacier to the newer model. Looking back on the two of them, the SP is immensely preferable. Maybe it was because the GBA was such an improvement over the GBC, but I don't know how I tolerated the screen on the original model for as long as I did...It could be a result of owning a Game Gear when I was in grade school... I had been conditioned to accept less than stellar handhelds.
Happy as I was with the SP, when the Nintendo DS rolled out I decided to hold off for a bit. I don't remember taking too much interest in the launch games, or maybe I was broke... I don't remember. Either way, I'm happy I chose to wait because once again in little over a year Nintendo announced the DS Lite, a sleeker design. After the Lite was released I picked up an Onyx Black that I still have to this day. While I was very tempted to upgrade to a DSi XL the 3DS rumors held that move off to see how things shake out.
Don't get me wrong, I'm very excited for the 3DS... the idea of having a decent portable Street Fighter IV is a very enticing option, as I don't have an iPhone. But I just can't help but think that early adopters will once again have regrets when a little over a year from now Nintendo announces their new and improved redesign for this handheld champion... history plays on repeat.