News Article

Industry Analysts: 3DS is Bouncing Back

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

But there's still work to be done

We may only just be embarking on a new year, but reports are already surfacing that the 3DS enjoyed a positive holiday period, particularly with the news that over four million 3DS consoles have been sold in the United States. With the recent boom of sales in Japan, it's clear that the handheld is enjoying its most positive period to date.

This is further supported by recent comments from leading industry analysts. Our friends over at Eurogamer have spoken to some prominent figures about the 3DS, with various encouraging statements being made. Michael Pachter, of Wedbush Morgan, had this to say about the rocky start and revival of the handheld:

It's very successful, but ran into a headwind given its relatively high price — which I incorrectly thought was the right price — and lack of third party software support. Now that we are seeing more first party titles at a lower price point, sales have increased. It's definitely turned the corner.

Before we all start the celebration party, perhaps this note of warning from Screen Digest's Piers Harding-Rolls should be considered:

2012 will be crucial for the platform, as its sales momentum will decide how third-party investment in content development will be prioritised. We expect the 3DS to continue selling, but Nintendo faces an increasingly competitive landscape and the hurdle of convincing third-parties to invest in the platform.

What do you think — are you optimistic for the 3DS this year, or worried that it'll lose momentum?

[via eurogamer.net]

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User Comments (44)

Nikolai

#1

Nikolai said:

I really hope they stay like this for the rest of the year with amazing games being released for the 3DS.

WiiLovePeace

#2

WiiLovePeace said:

Nah, I'm excited for the future of the 3DS. I thought it was a given that it would eventually get awesome (which it now has) so hopefully more third-parties see it & jump in on the action.

eviLaTtenDant

#3

eviLaTtenDant said:

I hope that games like RE: Revelations, MGS:Snake Eater, Heroes of Ruin, Rhythm Thief and Contra 3D do well on the system to encourage most third parties to jump or stay onboard.

Geonjaha

#5

Geonjaha said:

I want to say the 3DS will keep up its pace but I have no faith in the eShop at this time. Virtual Console releases are too slow, there is barely any good 3DSWare - and things look like they might slow down even more. Some of the anticipated Game-Card games might bring it up, but none are announced for anytime soonish.

PinkSpider

#6

PinkSpider said:

@Geonjaha
There are lots of good 3dsware games on the e-shop yes they have taken there time but Zen Pinball, Mighty Switch Force and Pullblox/Pushmo are all Excellent games, plus a good selection of VC game boy games. I'm loving the 3D classics range to. And to be honest I like the fact they are not releasing tons all at once. As I can only play so many games at one time Im doing quite well at actually completing games these days. I find it easier to play portable games than home consoles these days.

And anyway any console that has ever been released has always taken a good year to find it's potential I remember when the Xbox 360 came out I was far from impressed with it but now look where at the quality of games made for it they just keep getting better and better every year.

stromboli

#7

stromboli said:

3DS is the hot thing right now. Nintendo shall sell even more than its target prediction.

XCWarrior

#8

XCWarrior said:

But, but, these analysts just said recently the 3DS is doomed! I want to be an analyst. They are like weatherman. No need to be correct, or head accountable. Just make sure you keep making blanket statements.

The 3DS will be fine because Nintendo has plenty of loyalsts, and well they finally got online right. Be interesting to see how Vita fares, especially now that Japan doesn't care about it without Monster Hunter.

kyuubikid213

#9

kyuubikid213 said:

The 3DS will be fine. It will have a successful 3 year run and then a new 3DS will come out. Then the 3DS systems will go on for another 2 years before Nintendo makes a new handheld. And the 3DS will still sell like hotcakes.

My friends want to get a 3DS, but one won't get it unless they remake Majora's Mask, and another won't until Metal Gear comes out.

BulbasaurusRex

#10

BulbasaurusRex said:

I was surprised to see an article on IGN talking about the problems Vita is having so far trying to compete against the 3DS (and other handheld electronics) in Japan. They called it a genius move by Nintendo to release two Mario games shortly before the Vita launched in Japan.

Ducutzu

#13

Ducutzu said:

These analysts are working for investment bankers and other professionals. So if anybody at all followed their advice, then this practically means that their wrong advice prevented people from earning money (or has even caused some to lose money).

Now, I happen to be familiar with the game industry. The lesson should be that, if I ever want to put some money in an industry that I don't know much about, then I shouldn't bet all my life savings on the analysis of one like Michael Pachter (and many other analysts)...

grumblebuzzz

#14

grumblebuzzz said:

As long as they keep great first party games coming to the system, I don't expect the sales to drop much. People don't usually buy Nintendo systems for the third party titles anyway. I mean, look at the Wii...

NintyMan

#15

NintyMan said:

I'm not concerned about Nintendo's 2012 performance. They've got Kid Icarus, Luigi's Mansion 2, and Paper Mario coming, while third-parties like Resident Evil and Kingdom Hearts will be coming with hopefully a Monster Hunter to the west as well. Analysts are like the stock market, they rise and fall and get concerned easily about the future.

vdallos

#16

vdallos said:

Everything is back to the main porpouse...games. If the rate os launching is good the performance of sales should be good too. But the system can be perfected as well. And maybe reduce prices in eshop let it took off. Good hopes to Nintedo for the good of my black 3DS full of GBA joy!!

Slapshot

#17

Slapshot said:

@BulbasaurusRex It was genius! And when Monster Hunter 3D dropped on top of them with the lower price point of the console, that how the 3DS has been able to rise above Vita sales. ;)

thanos316

#18

thanos316 said:

michael patcher is a jack. does anyone really still listen to that idiot. no one cares about what he has to say. i would really hope sites would stop showing quotes from that idiot. they know nothing. ninty just needs to put support into the 3ds, don't hold back, more advertising, more everything and they will continue to push on

Mandoble

#19

Mandoble said:

If my environment is a valid sample (many engineers and their families), I'm the only one with a 3DS the rest are using tablets to play (mostly Android and only few using Apples), and while several have seen and experienced the 3DS no one is planning to buy it.

Guybrush20X6

#21

Guybrush20X6 said:

I knew the 3DS would sell when the big games came. Mario Kart, Mario Land,Monster Hunter (JP only) all have pushed systems.

koryz12

#22

koryz12 said:

Anyone know the world wide sales poor vita will probrably be up against 12 million 3ds units when it launches.

Dak_n_Jaxter

#23

Dak_n_Jaxter said:

I really hope it continues to do well, it's a great system. Would love to see more developers make some great games for it....

Haywired

#24

Haywired said:

It's funny how the 3DS' early life has mirrored that of the DS. When the DS came out Nintendo tried to sell it entirely on the gimmick. It was the "the touchscreen console!!!", but people weren't massively interested. It wasn't until huge games like Mario Kart DS and New Super Mario Bros. etc. (funnily enough, games that had nothing to do with the touchscreen) that it skyrocketed (it also took a swanky redesign/revamp, which I still think the 3DS needs in order to completely turn the corner).

When the 3DS came out, the marketing was all about the 3D and people didn't care (and many were even turned off). Again, now that they've removed the focus from the gimmick and put it onto the games such as Super Mario and Mario Kart, it's selling. Maybe Nintendo is realizing that people just want their games and they don't actually care about all the new-fangled gimmicks.

However I do agree with that cautious last paragraph, that the 3DS isn't totally out of the woods yet. Just from my own experience, that everyone I know (both casual and hardcore) now uses their smartphones for their portable gaming and buying a handheld console probably makes about as much sense to them now as buying a Walkman. The only 3DS I've ever seen is my own. Luckily though, the kids' market should remain strong for handheld consoles. I can't imagine many 10 year olds have smartphone contracts.

Kaine_Morrison

#26

Kaine_Morrison said:

Because of me, 10 people that I work with have now bought a 3DS!
From March to November, I was the only one I knew who had a 3DS.
*ps,
I'm addicted to SwapNote!

mickywill

#27

mickywill said:

@Haywired haven't you seen a kid playing with mom or dad's phone while waiting at the dentist, doctor, rec. center or wherever parents and kids are hanging out? smartphone gaming is taking a dent out of the portable market but it won't stop the 3DS or vita from being popular. The games that come out will determine that. I just wish more developers were moving away from IOS and android to 3DS and vita, instead of the reverse.

StarDust4Ever

#30

StarDust4Ever said:

I'm getting tons more street-passes, almost on a daily basis now, since returning to college from Christmas holiday. I know of at least two other 3DS owners in my dorm, too! 3DS outlook for 2012 is getting better and better!

Dizzard

#31

Dizzard said:

I have high hopes for the 3DS in 2012. There's many high quality games coming out and not just from Nintendo. (Metal Gear Solid, Heroes of Ruin, Resident Evil: Revelations etc)

Drewroxsox

#34

Drewroxsox said:

Sony fan(march 2011): look at the selling numbers Nintendo is doomed!!! Nintendo fan: -____- Sony fan(september 2011): oh!!! They just lowered the price!!! Nintendo is doomed!!! Nintendo fan: -____- Sony fan (holiday season 2011): -____- Nintendo fan: what's the matter cat got your tounge? Those numbers you talk about are looking pretty bad in Japan :) Sony fan: -____- uh... You just wait til it comes out in North Ameri Nintendo fan (interupts): STFU!!!! Nintendo 3ds for the WIN!!!

Vincent294

#36

Vincent294 said:

I played Angry Birds, and it was fun, but I like my 3DS more. It will sell more I think, with games like MK7, the DS one convinced me to buy a DS lite over a PSP. GREAT decision minus the graphics. The 3DS fixes that, with a low price, and more console-like games. With the Vita, some gamers will go for it, but its not like the DS and the PSP anymore. The 3DS is half-decent w/ lots of good games. Circle Pad Pro will work great - hasn't anyone warmed to it yet? It's not that bad when you think about the area around the top screen being black, and it being shaped like a Classic Controller Pro.

Vincent294

#37

Vincent294 said:

Mentioning MK7, stop using the Maka Wuhu glitch! It gets annoying after 5 people vote for it every time and you play it 3 times in a row. I barely remember Section 2, because you skip it w/ the shortcut. I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks this. Though it is nice for the people who I had a 5-10 sec. lead on on all the other races.

Vincent294

#38

Vincent294 said:

Has anyone noticed stores are carrying less 3DS stuff than at the launch, even w/ the better sales? Lots of stores shrunk the 3DS aisle, and put tablets in their places. It kind of put me off. Besides Game Stop, most of the other stores who did this I'm not very happy w/. I've bought more stuff at Game Stop & Best Buy, who don't do this kind of stuff too often (or because Game Stop kind of doesn't have a choice, all they carry is games), and that's why.

Carmanen

#39

Carmanen said:

Umm, Grumblebuzz... ...in fact, i purchased 3DS mostly for the 3rd party games as i'm not interested about Nintendo's first party games. But there is one exception, Metroid-series and that's the only first party game series i'm interested about and i hope 3DS will get new FPS or 2D sidescroller Metroid game in the future. Nintendo DS was i minor disappointment for me becuase of the lack of good 3rd party support but 3DS is already looking better on 3rd party games market than DS was in it's first year. To me, Resident Evil: Revelations and Tekken 3D: Prime Edition are reasons enough to own 3DS. I really hope 3DS will be more successfull on 3rd party market than DS is/was:)

eviLaTtenDant

#40

eviLaTtenDant said:

@Haywired(25.): Do not underestimate the influence of Brain Traning and Nintendogs on the popularity of the DS. Without these games the mainstream might not even have cared about NSMB, Mario Kart DS and Animal Crossing. And while the novelty of touch controls naturally wore off they still allow for games that wouldn't either be possible or at least a lot less fun without 'em. It's great to have these games beside those with traditional controls. Especially the Layton series and Art Academy still show that there is a market for these games.beside all the appstores out there.
Even if touch-controls mean nothing to you at least they made navigating menus and level editors easier.
To me Kirby Mass Attack has shown that with the right concept these games can be just as fun as traditional 2D platformers. With the Wii U on the horizon i'm sure that games heavily relying on touch controls will not die out on game consoles. With the interactivity between tablet and TV they might even get a new dimension. And i very much like that outlook. :)

Haywired

#41

Haywired said:

@battLeToad Yeah totally. Don't get me wrong, I like touchscreen controls very much. My point was that (as shown by the early lives of both the DS and 3DS), relying on the gimmick alone isn't enough.

Debageldond

#43

Debageldond said:

Looking over everything "industry analysts" have been saying for some time now, it's just sort of breathtaking how useless and inept these people are.

Here's the analysis: especially in Nintendoland, software sells hardware. Period. End of discussion.

eviLaTtenDant

#44

eviLaTtenDant said:

@Haywired(42.): Oh okay, maybe a was little hasty then. I just don't think there can ever be a game that needs 3D to be played where there are a ton of games that wouldn't be possible without touch controls. So even now i don't really get the analogy. :|

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