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January 2015 Retro Gaming Article

January 30, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Nintendo's New 3DS reverses the “Ford Pinto Memo” with A/C charger savings

I was a huge fan of AMC's Pacer and Gremlin (still am!) from the early 1970's. Certainly not part of the "muscle car" genre, but they've got such classic styling. Compared to today's homogenized vehicle design, the 70's certainly had a flair for unique design. I truly miss the inspired designs and desire to make automobiles stand out. Today's auto designs are shamefully boring!

AMC Pacer AMC Pacer - a two-door compact automobile that was produced in the United States by the American Motors Corporation between 1975 and 1980.
AMC Gremlin AMC Gremlin - a subcompact formally introduced on 1 April 1970 and manufactured and marketed in a single, two-door body style in North America (1970-1978) by AMC.

From that same glorious era came the Ford Pinto - another classic design. I'm still partial to AMC, but Ford was a hard company to ignore. The Pinto's legacy from the late-70's is rife with allegations of a rear-end defect that left the fuel tank vulnerable during rear-end collisions. Without mincing words, Pintos had a high rate of explosive fireballs when involved in rear-end collisions.

Ford being like most corporate entities, did a cost/benefit analysis (called the Ford Pinto Memo) to see how to best approach the problem. Again, like most corporate entities, they determined it was cheaper to fend off legal action than change the dangerous design of the Pinto.

It was determined that resolving the gas-tank issue would cost $11 per vehicle. I'm sure Pinto owners would gladly have paid an additional $11 to lessen the chances of a fiery highway death, but Ford was about offering deals, not raising prices. Thus, scandal rose as more and more legal cases were filed.

Savings with Nintendo -vs- Ford

Similar to Ford, Nintendo is seeking to save their customers money too. Where Ford's savings plan potentially involved being killed by their product, Nintendo's savings comes from an optional A/C charger. Don't you wonder if one of your many chargers would work with ALL your devices? Sometimes they are interchangeable, but other times they deliver a damaging power load. It's always best to charge each device with the charger designed for that purpose.
3DS Charger
With this in mind, Nintendo says that the New 3DS uses the same charger as the original 3DS. Therefore, they are not including a charger in the box when selling the New 3DS. Many customers already own a 3DS, so why make them pay for an additional charger? Outrage filled the internet. Fury was unleashed.

Sure, there will be some folks who buy a New 3DS and don't realize they may need to also buy a charger, but in tough economic times, why are so many people angry (or even puzzled) over Nintendo's decision. Chargers from the DSi, DSi XL, andy 3DS and 2DS will work fine withe the New 3DS.

There is also a benefit in the form of choice. For example you can buy a Nintendo branded charger or one from GameStop that allows charging via USB if you happen to need juice while away from a traditional electrical outlet.

My advice is to let Nintendo save you a few bucks. Perhaps the savings don't amount to Ford's $11 savings, but Nintendo products typically don't erupt in a ball of flames.

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