Do any of you really have kids? Maybe you live in Bizarro world? I live in CA and at my child's elementary school most of the kids have 3DS and many have Wii U. I did a presentation for the 2nd grade and used some slides of Nintendo games and all the kids started talking about their favorite games? Were they Leapfog games? Xbox or Sony? Nope....it was either iPad/iPhone or Nintendo. The 3DS has a large foothold in the elementary schools and Nintendo is still very popular.
And who buys these games for the kids? You're right, it's the parents. I bought my kid all the Leapfrog systems (they're great!) but also a DS since about 2-3. I would have stuck with the Leapfrog but when all the other kids are getting Nintendo it's hard not to cave in and buy what your kid really wants. The % of parents who never give in to their child's wants is very small. And most of those kids wind up in foster care.
Would having some educational value help Nintendo sell more units? Sure....there is that small % of parents who wouldn't buy a 3DS without the educational value. For the rest of us, a crying kid is all that it takes. The problem is that Nintendo is not going after that 1%, they're going after the 99% of crying kids. And it's working for them.
BTW...there were plenty of DS educational games, many really good games. And you can still play them on your new 3DS. But besides Brain Age, were any of them the reason that the DS was such a big hit?
The comment that kids must be able to read to really play these games is silly. Anyone who has a kid knows that they'll figure it out to have fun or if they get stuck then they've got parents to ask. "What's this? What's this say? Tell me that. What's that?" x100 Even American adults play Japanese games that they can neither read nor understand, but they have a choice so not a lot of adults do this. A first grader doesn't have a choice to play a game they can read or one they can't read; they can't read them all. So if the choice is to play a game they can't read or play no game at all, what do you think your child's choice will be?
You've all been put on parental probation.