Dedicated gaming devices can succeed - Nintendo

Company president Satoru Iwata calls initial sales of 3DS "unsatisfactory," but believes "opinions are incorrect" that portable cannot flourish alongside smartphones.

Nintendo believes sales of its 3DS prove that there is still a market for dedicated gaming devices. In an investor presentation today, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata made clear that amid stiff competition from smartphones, there is still a place for the 3DS.

The 3DS and iPhone can both succeed, says Nintendo.

"Last summer, when the sales pace of the Nintendo 3DS was slow, there were extreme remarks saying, 'With the penetration of smartphones, will there still be a market for handheld hardware?' which was almost equal to 'handheld hardware is not necessary anymore,'" he said. "I believe we proved that such opinions are incorrect."

The 3DS launched in North America last March for $250. After initial sales that Iwata described as "unsatisfactory," the company cut the system's price point to $170 in August. Nintendo said this price cut, and the arrival of software like Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land, helped the system gain momentum.

The 3DS has reached global sales of 15 million, but Iwata said forecasts for the system were not reached. Further, Nintendo said it was not able to cover the lack of sales prior to the system's price cut. This, Iwata said, was a contributing factor in the lessened financial forecast the company issued yesterday.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

74 comments
ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

I agree. The majority of smart phone games are still crap compared to stuff on even old handhelds like the Gameboy Advance or PSP. Smart phones don't have physical controls, or the quality of handheld games.

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

I think there is definitely still a market for them since the quality of games on the 3DS and PS Vita far far surpass anything available on a smart phone etc. Dedicated gamers are going to want the best quality games for a long time to come!

coreymon77
coreymon77

Yes, I agree, there is still plenty demand for dedicated gaming devices and they can succeed. The reason the 3DS has struggled is because the system is bad. No second analog stick, absolutely beyond atrocious battery life and the fact that the 3D gimmick gives many people headaches makes for very little reason to get a 3DS. I, historically, have gotten pretty much all of Nintendo's handheld consoles and my DS lite continues to be one of my most used gaming devices. The reason I have not gotten a 3DS is solely because of the issues I mentioned above.

Kos1c
Kos1c

Slow sales for Nintendo systems. No wonder why that was. Who wants to buy a new console, without a single good game out for it's release. Nor have the web access from Day 1, and the forever over hyped Eshop. It took Nintendo's 3DS a while to make good sales, and this was achieved after their top title games took to the shelves. Legend of Zelda, Mario 3D lands, Mario Kart, and I bet the newly released Resident Evil helped too. My 3DS started collecting dust after it's release date back in 2011. Due to no entertaining games designed for the 3DS, I had to result in buying games like Pokemon, Dragon Sword, to have any use of my 3DS. Now if Nintendo had held off to a Christmas release for the 3DS, and had released those 3 top titles (excluding Resident Evil Rev) with the console. I bet they would of made those sale figures without the reduced cost either.

Double_Wide
Double_Wide

It doesn't take a gaming executive to figure that out...

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

Thank you Iwata. One grows weary of hearing analysts tell us consumers that we don't want dedicated gaming devices,and that we want phones to do our gaming.It's clear from the majority of comments and opinions given that we,the consumers,do in fact want dedicated game devices,separate from our phones. I'm sick of hearing,"Oh there are billions of gaming apps out there for 99 cents!" Most of them are total garbage or an Angry Birds rip off. I have yet to play one quality phone app that provides the level of gaming goodness I've gotten from dedicated consoles,portable or not.

Zelseisdabest
Zelseisdabest

@Fiury_ltu since u were probably quick to read my comment how bout u put what u wrote into mind and read my comment again...since vita IS out and NOT OUT IN AMERICA YET and PSgo is trash........now continue reading wut i put before

Zelseisdabest
Zelseisdabest

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

megakick
megakick

PSPVita is out already, Fool... You think it will fair better outside of Asia? I doubt it.

hasancakir
hasancakir

Well then, you should work hard to overcome the smartphones. I can give you an advice as well. Could you make the games a little bit cheaper? There's not much people around to pay 50 bucks for a handheld game. There are tons of similar games out there on smartphones for just a few bucks. Please consider that if you want to keep portable consoles alive.

Randal__Graves
Randal__Graves

You say that dedicated gaming devices can succeed, Nintendo? , . If I remember correctly. The Gamecube was a dedicated console and was stomped by Sony & Microsoft in sales last gen. Do to the fact that PS2 had DVD playback and standalone DVD players were too expensive at the time so it was a smart idea to invest in a PS2 because it could play DVDs & play games and Xbox had online & enhanced graphics at the time.

Spacerac
Spacerac

I'd play Donkey Kong before playing Angry Birds.

boags24
boags24

With the absolute saturation of apps out there for smartphones, and most of them terrible, there will always be a market for the portable gaming device.

Fiury_ltu
Fiury_ltu

@megakick vita is not even out you baboon. There are stoopid people here.

Zelseisdabest
Zelseisdabest

seeing that Nintendo is the only one actually making a good handheld device these days i would have to say the day that Nintendo decides to put Mario or any other Nintendo icon on a mobile device is when the handheld world might die out....since that will never happen there is nothing to worry about!!!

megakick
megakick

3DS is definately succeeding can't say the same about PSPVita. Companies keep making bad products and consoles will fail..

DeathwachMarine
DeathwachMarine

Smartphones overcoming dedicated handhelds? Lol that just aint gonna happen.

MEDzZ3RO
MEDzZ3RO

Analysts forget mobile "gamers" aren't gamers. Of course there's still a market for it because the majority of actual gamers aren't impressed with the mobile gaming market offerings. GTA 3 for example plays well on mobile devices but it doesn't compare the the PSP or home console renditions of the game.

garrysempire
garrysempire

i agree with Ni6htsorrow and RageSet. the handhelds can still hold on their own since they have some title exclusivity for their hardwares to sell and imo gaming handheld can give you more richness and satisfaction than games on the smartphones since it is still a phone even with the tag "smart" and the handhelds are still the best way to experience gaming though i support both platforms

monson21502
monson21502

any news of a better version of the 3ds yet? i wanna buy 1 but kinds scared a 3ds sp is comming soon

whitetiger3521
whitetiger3521

Nintendo if I was you I would already be working on a smartphone gaming handheld.

RageSet
RageSet

Smartphones (and soon to be released "Super Smartphones) are the third "platform" of gaming. You have PC/Consoles, Handhelds and finally Portable Media Players (PMP)/Smartphones. Through PC/Consoles, you get the richest gaming experience that our industry offers. With Handhelds you get a slightly less involved experience than PC/Consoles, but you can take it on long journeys when you know you're going to be away from your PC/Console for awhile. Finally you have the PMP/Smartphone experience that gives you bite size gaming experiences when you're waiting in line, taking a break, or anytime you have 15 or less minutes to waste. As you can see, it is an expansion of gaming. There will be some cannibalism of one or two platforms, but they will be able to coexist.

Ni6htSorrow
Ni6htSorrow

I believe also that portable gaming hardware will still succeed despite the presence of smart phones and tablets. The reason; there's no Mario, Legend of Zelda, or Uncharted to be played in those smartphones and tablets.

dxdevilex0
dxdevilex0

I have tons of games in my phone and I used to play them,but now even when I'm bored or waiting I don't play them because they are just god-aweful compared to REAL games.I hope people in the country dominated by iphones and ipads I live in realise that.Heck,kids nowadays grow up playing iphones and ipads and that is sad.

Superzone
Superzone

As long as Nintendo keeps making the good games they do with the franchises that we love, they and their systems will always be around.

moviequest14
moviequest14

Ios will take away the extremely casual gamers that only bought ds for tetris and bejeweled but the more gamer-focused audience hasn't been phased by ios and is still steadily purchasing truly game-oriented devices.There might be fewer ''My Puppy Farm 3d!'' games but I can see that as only a good thing.I don't know of anyone that was actually interested in the types of depth-games 3ds provides that has gone (exclusively) to ios.

Darkflare_EX
Darkflare_EX

Well, to be fair, the 3DS' launch selection of games wasn't exactly stellar. There's a bigger library now, so there's more of a reason to get a 3DS now.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

I have to agree Smartphone gaming will co-exist with Handheld/portable videogame devices. I really don't think people who are planing to buy the upcoming iPhone 5 this summer are buying it as a gaming device. It is a phone first, Movie/TV player, internet/computer, Music and camera and plays games. While 3DS is for playing videogames only. The 2 can exist together. Nintendo is just not going to sell 100+ as with Gameboy and DS series. Since some of the casual handheld gamers will be happy with Angry bird on iOS along with a few other games.

warrner11
warrner11

handhelds will always be the true definition of mobile gaming. Both the Vita and 3DS can produce what a mere tablet/phone can with the apps and all that crap, but those mobiles have yet to come anywhere close the the gaming capabilities of a true handheld. Ive got my Droid Razar and Tobisha Thrive for random stuff, but every moment of mobile gaming is goin towards the VITA in a few weeks. And a 3DS is on my radar for a future purchase aswell.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

iPhone/iPad games are for casual audiences who probably don't play console games that often or who just aren't into video games in the first place. Heck, I get a more in-depth experience playing SMB3 on my NES than playing Angry Birds.

MajinSquall
MajinSquall

of course dedicated handheld gaming devices can succeed because they give you a quality of gaming that smartphone's can't

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

The Nintendo Wii sold about fifteen million its first year and is close to selling one hundred million. The 3DS is less then a year old and has sold over fifteen million. (so much for failure).

davros878
davros878

Better hardware, better games, and better networking are things that dedicated devices could do cheaper then smartphones.It's all a matter of actually doing them.

clockworkengine
clockworkengine

Smartphones are fun for gaming to a degree, but the only reason I bother with them is for all the other things they can do. I still have my handhelds.

Nzilla
Nzilla

Nintendo is the king of portable gaming.

Utahraptor_
Utahraptor_

Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Nintendo & Sony could offer smartphone capabilities for their portable gaming devices.

Flint247
Flint247

Nintendo is my number 1 choice for portable gaming.

sirkibble2
sirkibble2

It's the general public that will always gravitate towards the app games and not a dedicated gaming handheld. The problem with the smartphones are that they cannot deliver the experience or quality that the 3DS or Vita can do. Those smartphone games can't get as big or as detailed.

toddx77
toddx77

Apps will never replace games. Even games that have been turned into apps suck compared to the actual games. I traded in my psp final fantasy to get final fantasy 1 and 2 for my iphone. Worst gaming decision I have ever made.

Death_Blade_182
Death_Blade_182

Smartphones and other mobiles will never, ever have the same quality of games as a dedicated handheld. Here's hoping both Nintendo and Sony succeed with the 3DS and Vita.

ed6565
ed6565

there will always be a place for dedicated gaming consoles, whats angry birds compared to ocarina of time? prove them wrong nintendo!

Giter_God
Giter_God

I'm not a 3ds fan, but go Nintendo im so glad the 3ds proved the nay sayers wrong. i got a smartphone because of the people saying the games are great. They weren't worth paying $100 a month for plus the initial 100 to 200 for the phone.

Sniper-Gamer
Sniper-Gamer

Right now it's handheld gaming devices vs smartphones. All hail handhelds! They actually release GAMES not APPS.

soulless4now
soulless4now

I'd take an handheld over a smartphone any day.

blackace
blackace

Same thing is going to happen to the PSVita as well. I still think they will sell more copies in the US and UK, then they did in Japan, but I'll be surprised if they sell out in both regions. There's nothing on the PSVita I want to play that I can't already play on my PS3. I agree with Nintendo that they will still be able to sell millions of 3DS and pe profitable in the future. They just need to release some decent games and more JRPG's.

Takeno456
Takeno456

Gaming will always be gaming and I hope there will always be a place for traditional dedicated gaming devices. Smart phones and tablets only really offer what I would consider mini games. They are in their own category.

leeko_link
leeko_link

I would never consider smartphones to be a part of gaming in the first place. Dedicated gaming handhelds would always had the best gaming experience. Something extra could never replace what's already standard. If I bought a smartphone I bought it to multitask, if I bought a Vita or 3DS then I bought it for gaming, plain and simple.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

I agree with Nintendo, and hopefully this signals a paradigm shift for them While casual non-gamers might favor iOS style apps over dedicated game platforms, there will always be a market of more traditional gamers. Nintendo just needs to do a better job of releasing titles that appeal to them, rather than tailoring their library to include these casual players. There's nothing wrong with making titles that have mass appeal, it's just that you can't count on them coming back for water consistently unless there's a special reason to (aka novelty).