It's been on the Japanese market for a couple of months now and worldwide for about half that time, but the 3DS simply isn't selling as expected by Nintendo.
During Satoru Iwata's presentation at Nintendo's Financial Results Briefing, the president admitted that sales of the handheld started to slow down after the first two weeks where it had a dominant debut in the hardware chart:
The initial sales were healthy; however, the sales speed slowed down from the third week after its launch which is not what we had expected for the start-up transition... Of course, it is obvious that the great earthquake largely affected the sales, but I should not blame this situation just on the impact of the earthquake. 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.
Not entirely happy with how the marketing of the Wii went, Iwata has expressed his desire to prevent the mistakes from continuing and to make sure the 3DS avoids the same route. As part of Nintendo's revised approach to hardware marketing, features like StreetPass will be promoted in order to let consumers know about services that they weren't otherwise aware of.
We have repeatedly mentioned the fact that you cannot comprehend the real value of the 3D images unless you view them with your own eyes... it has become clear that we need to do a lot more to convey the value to consumers... Another mission we have to tackle in order for Nintendo 3DS to spread is the fact that there are some more things you cannot value without actual experience than just glassless 3D images.
However Nintendo decides to play this, now might be a good time to take action rather than to wait it out as sales of the 3DS in Japan have recently dropped once again. The latest figures as gathered by Media Create (and shared by AndriaSang) reveals the 3DS hasn't been selling too well this past week in its homeland.
It's a battle between the PlayStation Portable and the 3DS as the two go back and forth between first and second place. The week ending 24th April saw 49,162 PSP consoles sold; with the 3DS only managing to shift 23,038 units, the PSP outsold the 3DS by more than 2:1. With the launch of Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS and Detective Conan: Aoki Houseki no Ronbukyoku, there is a total of three DS games inside the top ten software chart, the same number of PSP titles. With just a lone 3DS game remaining in the top ten by way of Pilotwings Resort, Japanese gamers don't seem to be buying enough 3DS consoles or 3DS games, for that matter.