One of the biggest trends to come out of this generation of consoles is the idea of achievements which are scored and kept track of across numerous titles. Nintendo has bucked this trend, however, and the 3DS will have no such integrated system.
“We’re not opposed to Achievements,” noted Bill Trinen, head of product marketing for Nintendo of America, who added, “When they create their games, [Nintendo’s designers] don’t tell you how to play their game in order to achieve some kind of mythical reward.
Nintendo has included achievement-like features in a handful of games, like Super Smash Bros. Melee and Wii Sports Resort. As it stands, however, there’s no interest in making a concerted effort for similar rewards in Legend of Zelda or Super Mario games.
“Basically, the way the games are designed is they’re designed for you to explore the game yourself and have this sense of discovery,” noted Trinen. “To that end, I think that when you look specifically at games from EAD [the group long led by Mario and Donkey Kong creator Shigeru Miyamoto] and a lot of other games that Nintendo has developed a well, there are things you can do in the game that will result in some sort of reward or unexpected surprise. In my mind, that really encourages the sense of exploration rather than the sense of ‘If I do that, I’m going to get some sort of artificial point or score that’s going to make me feel better that I got this.’ And that, to me, is I think more compelling.”