I want to be shown something new when I play a fresh gaming system, something that wouldn't be possible on the hardware I already have in my home. The first time I was able to go hands-on with the 3DS and experience a working 3D technology that didn't require glasses, I knew that Nintendo was onto something big.
During that initial presentation, Nintendo mocked 3D televisions and movies that required bulky, uncomfortable glasses, and they were right to do so: a good, mass-market technology for delivering 3D in the home just doesn't seem to exist yet... at least outside of portable gaming devices. At $250, the 3DS isn't cheap, but Nintendo has to be tired of seeing its systems sell out and the gray market take advantage of the mark-ups. This time the company seems comfortable going for a higher price out of the gate.
We've had a long time to play with the 3DS and with a number of the system's launch games. It has problems, some of which are pretty large, but I never lost the feeling of magic from that first demo, flying around in Pilotwings Resort in full 3D, taking in the scenery. That's what Nintendo is delivering, and that's why this system is going to be a hit. Eventually.