Nintendo to 'step up' 3DS marketing following disappointing sales

Following second-week declines, president Satoru Iwata acknowledges more must be done to sell handheld to public.

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Last September, Nintendo predicted that the 3DS would sell 4 million units by April 2011, the end of its fiscal year. However, when the company offered its annual report earlier this week, it revealed that just 3.61 million units of the three-dimensional handheld have been sold, well below expectations.

3DS sales weren't as strong as Nintendo had hoped for.

In a presentation following its report, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata put some of the blame on the 3DS shortfall on the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which disrupted the country's economy in March.

However, he also said that, "There are other challenges that have shown up; therefore, we have revised our scenario for diffusion and are making efforts to get the popularity of Nintendo 3DS back on track for the upcoming summer season."

As for the US market, Iwata said that the "Nintendo 3DS started very well but, on the other hand, did not perform as expected after the second week." He said the situation was similar in Europe, where "sales were high in the initial week, but sales fell below our expectations after the second week."

Iwata went on to explain why Nintendo thinks the 3DS is selling below expectations. "It is clear from our market research that many people feel that they 'want' and 'want to buy' Nintendo 3DS, and the latest demand for this device is the largest in comparison with our previous new platforms at the time of their launches, but on the other hand, there is a big proposition that not that many people believe 'Now is the time to buy it!' The penetration will not gain speed without overcoming this challenge."

Iwata also said that, "We recognize that we are in a situation where we need to step up our efforts to further promote the spread of Nintendo 3DS. The way to solve this problem lies in how to communicate 'what kind of games can be played,' as long as Nintendo 3DS is a gaming device. There might be consumers who are interested in Nintendo 3DS, but they are unable to find software, which they want to play, and they are in the 'wait-and-see mode.'"

Besides increased marketing, Iwata thinks the way to push gamers over the tipping point from wanting to buy the 3DS to actually purchasing it is to make them aware of the upcoming software lineup for the handheld. That lineup includes Dead or Alive Dimensions (May 24), The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (June 19), Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D (June 28), and Kid Icarus: Uprising (post-summer), amongst others.

Discussion

200 comments
howlingmage
howlingmage

GIVE US MORE GAMES, WE GIVE YOU MORE MONEY

beny_pimpster
beny_pimpster

its just occured to me they promise mario, star fox and etc but did it occured to their minds that advance war 3ds could be the edge they need heck it went well with game boy advace and DS so why wont they do the same on 3ds???? just wondering :)

ChaosDynasty
ChaosDynasty

No Nintendo, you dont need more advertising. What you need is to put out more quality 3-party titles and 1st party titles. People were expecting Zelda, especially when you HAVE the data for an n64 game and all you had to do was add 3ds and a bit more programming to port it to the 3DS.

texballla424
texballla424

@Nibbles37 3DS has streetfighter 4....so its got its one title but i had 360 n gun was the only game and mario on 64 and mario on 8-bit n sonic on genisis...sooo 3ds has its one...to be fair...people just want 3ds to b good now n it will b...one thing about nintendo thier handhelds r always good...just give it a little time...

valcrist09
valcrist09

Just keep marketing it nintendo, I expect the 3ds to boom in sales once Zelda comes out , and of course with Starfox, mario kart, Mario 3ds and kid icurus all planned to release this year, That is a power house of exclusive and solid 1st party games by the end of the 2011..

snake63
snake63

Nintendo' lineup of games was a total joke. Give me a break Pilotwings Resort, Nintendogs and Steel Diver when they promised Zelda and Kid Icarus. Gamers want to play games not sims. There hasn't been an original Mario game since Super Mario Land for a handheld.

fer-
fer-

absolute lack of games problem...it is as simple as that

Nibbles37
Nibbles37

@texballla424 Not necessarily true. 360 had Call of Duty 2, Kameo, Quake 4, and Gun, which were excellent games. N64 had Super Mario 64. Of course regular Xbox had Halo. I'm not old enough to remember any others, but I do know every system should always launch with at least one killer title.

Nibbles37
Nibbles37

It's not the marketing, everyone knows it exist, the problem is they shoved it out the door with a handful of games and a 250$ price tag. No one wants to buy when they know by the time the games they want to play are out they will have created a lite version of the 3DS for 2/3 the price.

larryed112
larryed112

Its not a marketing problem - its a lack of games problem. I also heard 3ds is region locked which I reckon may be a big issue for strategy and rpg fans in Europe. Ive had to import a lot of my DS and PSP titles - they just dont get released over here. So Im waiting to see what else gets released before I get a 3DS...

jedinortd_basic
jedinortd_basic

street fighter and ghost recon shadow wars have been enough so far to keep me occupied until zelda lol

mattcake
mattcake

Probably because its overpriced, the games are waaay overpriced and a LOT of people feel they got "burned" buying a wii only to never really see any real decent use of the motion sensing or any decent first party titles. Fool me once with a gimmick, shame on you, fool me twice...

mtait01
mtait01

maybe if some decent games were out would sell more... just a thought Nintendo

subtenko
subtenko

Im just waiting for the NGP

RatchetV1
RatchetV1

Being a proud owner of a 3DS, I will admit the launch titles are pretty lame for the most part. But this system has so much potential that I don't even mind the slow start. So many titles I can't wait to get my hands on.

ABakedAlien
ABakedAlien

Im getting my 3DS in June in Ocarina of Time is out :D

texballla424
texballla424

people...i dont get it...there has never been a system wit great launch titles...never... so why is everyone bashing the lack of games....it usually takes about a year for a system to get on its toes so why would this system be any different...at least it can play all the great ds games out there instead of having to wait for them to make game after game till the library builds. soooo get over yourself and let me give u some cheese with ur wine cause it wont help....there are tons of great ds games and there cheap..=)

cbeck002
cbeck002

So the blame rests with the earthquake and not the complete lack of any worthwhile games? Sound reasoning.

Futumsh
Futumsh

I have 3ds with Pilot Wings and SF4 and it is remarkable especially playing online. Problem is the games lineup is weak, need Mario, Zelda, Golf etc nearer to launch to capitalise on launch marketing. I'll stick with it until June when some new games come out then I'll evaluate. I'll probably get a NGP as well, PS3 in a handheld is too good to miss. I won't connect to PSN though.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@ franzito The 3D is really neat,and when turned off,it does seem the game is lacking something.That said,the 3D alone cannot sell adevice.Any device.In the end,it's just a nifty diversion.The system is great because of all those as of now untapped capabilities.The graphics,the motion control,the Circle Pad,streetpass,spotpass,improved internet,improved e-store,improved friend system,AR games,movies from the internet,NETFLIX!The list is quite pleasing.Once all of these features are up and running,and being put to good use,there will be very good motivation to try it out. Some may decide to wait for a price drop,and that's the financially wise choice.....but I couldn't help myself.I got one.

TheGame50401
TheGame50401

Well, for 1 thing, it cost way to much, and for 2, it comes with side effects, peoples been sayin it makes you dizzy and gives you headaches playin it.... wonder if thats the connection...

rynmls
rynmls

no mario limited sales...

slippship
slippship

From what I've seen it's too pricey, the graphics should be better than PSP but not, my iPhone looks better, albeit in 2D. And the games coming just don't interest a lot of the folks I've chatted to. My brother got one and wishes he'd stuck to his DSi XL. Not a great incentive really, that and all the returns coz it gives you headaches and dizzyness, but I think that's more to do with continuous play more than anything.

drgribb
drgribb

haven't they realized that we're in the middle of a recession? having more "must-have" games just makes it that much more painful and torturous for those of us who are waiting until our pockets are a little fatter before we can finally buy one. They certainly don't need to do any more convincing to get me on board, just help out the pocket book.

Coolyfett
Coolyfett

Hopefully can get their issues together on the 3DS and their HD system in 2012.

franzito
franzito

@dawnofhero I agree but there's a "3D trendy" in the market anyway

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

@franzito The 3DS isn't just a DS with '3D' slapped on. It's a successor to the old DS lineage, with better graphics, wider screens, analog stick, AR games, Mii Maker, etc. There's a lot of new content on the 3DS besides the 3D, which is really impressive by the way.

Quezakolt
Quezakolt

3.61 millions units seems like pretty good if you ask me. No one can predict the future, i still don't get the role of analysts and being so disapointed at slightly lesser sales. Here is why I did not get and will not get a 3DS anytime soon: 1) price is very high 2) the DS is still fine 3) no need for new hardware 4)worried about motion-sickness 5)you will come up with an update of the system eitherway 6) no announced or yet-available games that interest me so much as in i need this new system to play it

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

If they had stuck to traditional Nintendo pricing from the get go, maybe they would see the figures they wanted and more....

Tokufan22
Tokufan22

I can understand why they are saying sales are down. It's not surprising really. I have a 3DS myself but I am still enjoying it. I'm still playing my DS games on it and enjoying the new features. The way I see it, just getting the 3DS was half the battle. It's just a matter of patients. Once the new updates become available in May, That's when things will start to get interesting (the hardest part is waiting on Megaman Legends 3 and Kid Icarus Uprising). Oh and beny_pimpster......thanks for mentioning Castlevania 3DS. you said it may be a rumor but I am crossing my fingers that it's all true.

beny_pimpster
beny_pimpster

im amazed alot stated super street fighter 4 3d editions is a good buy but heck its gonna be old in june after the arcade addition comes out except for those who dont have a a ps3 or 360

beny_pimpster
beny_pimpster

or a price drop after all it only cost like USD$100 something dollars to produce it haha but its gonna make the early buyers mad

beny_pimpster
beny_pimpster

Konami needs to save the 3ds with their upcoming contra game and the rumored castlevania 3ds..

shimya
shimya

You dont need marketing to help drive the sales. You need more games, the launch titles are weak. Half the features dont work. Battery life is low compared to the ds. People are sick and tired of buying the same handheld 5 times just to get marginal increments in what the original device should have been. I own a 3DS and so far ive only been playing DS games on it.

franzito
franzito

Thumb me down but is 3DS really that something? 3D is damn overrated these days and by itself gets boring fast. Besides, the launch lineup was kinda weak and it will be a lot of rereleases of Nintendo past successes on the handheld, so, how could they expect a sales boom..?

majere613
majere613

I sort of want DOA: Dimensions. But only because it's a new DOA, not because it's 3D or whatever. Give me a version I can play on a proper pad or stick and I'm there.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

It'll pick up steam.Wait till the good games come and it's the holiday season.Moms and grandparents will be clobbering each other to get one for some kid.

Krazykraz01
Krazykraz01

As soon as Ocarina of Time is out, I'll be buying. Before that, it'll just be sitting there with no games I want to play.

ar2_arr
ar2_arr

Nintendo, im one of those 'Now is the time to buy it!' ppl, the reason is simple, there is no game for me yet. The marketing has nothing to do with it, i already know it exist, but i also know there isnt any game i wana buy yet

PkGam
PkGam

Oh, another thing, it's selling decently, I'm not saying it's not. I'm saying it's not selling as much as they expected because of the reasons I stated.

PkGam
PkGam

Here's why it's really not selling: 1: Too high of a price. $250 is as much as the Wii when it launched. A handheld should never be as much (or more) than a console. 2: A bland library of games. All the good ones are upcoming games for the system. There wasn't anything that warranted a purchase. 3: (This is a big maybe here) The sales might have declined compared to the DS because a good portion of the DS's userbase was of the casual gamer market. The 3ds could be the aftermath of the casual gamer invasion. The shallow nature of casual games that brought in casual gamers, pushed them away in the end because casual games do not have the depth to keep gamers playing them. Compare a shallow game like Picross to one like Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and you will be able to tell which one has the most replay value. That's what I think.

ebonyflame
ebonyflame

If Nintendo is reading this then pay close attention. You don't need to step up marketing, the DS in the systems name will sell systems. Step up game development, if you put the titles out, people will be compelled to buy systems to play them.

Henninger
Henninger

The only reason i dont have 1 is cuz of the launch titles. SSFIV wuz the only game worth getting.

Rovelius
Rovelius

Undeniable proof that a system's main selling point is, and has always been, the games. There's barely anything worth playing right now. You think people would buy this for 3D only? Hahahahahaha ! Plus, it's so overpriced. I'm actually surprised it sold 3 million units for what it barely manages to offer right now.

kindredmachine
kindredmachine

It's not rocket science Nintendo. Launch Zelda and you'll sell another million machines overnight. I was going to buy the blu one on launch day (my wife has the black one already) but when Zelda and Strarfox ended up not being launch titles, I said forget it, I'll wait.

allanondelion
allanondelion

Pretty sure a lot of folks are just tired of all the Nintendo handheld iterations. First, it's smaller, then it's even smaller, then it's super big, now it's 3D! Hey, it's still the same basic design. Should've added a second analog pad and totally redesigned this thing. Like all the ports and remakes, it's just a tired design and system. No amount of marketing is gonna save the 3DS.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

I bought mine, and use it mainly to pass time in between 360 gaming. Tithe the update in a few weeks, and more games coming, sales should pick up in about 3 months.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

The only 3DS games worth buying are Super Street fighter 4 3D (8.5)and Tom Clancey game (Which scored an 8.0) The rest of the 3DS launch titles are not worth it. I'm in the wait until Kingdom Hearts for 3DS and Zelda OoT 3D. So the launch titles are not the greatest. But that is to be expected.

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

Its obviously the game line up I dont see anything to play on it yet...