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.

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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.
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.

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