News Article

3DS Market Share For Early 2013 Shows Growth in North America and Europe

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Success in mainland Europe offsets poor UK performance

Over the four pages of his presentation following Nintendo's annual financial report, Satoru Iwata focuses a great deal of attention on the 3DS and its successes, as well as areas for improvement. There have been some real positives for the handheld on a worldwide scale, with its obvious domination in Japan being accompanied by slight improvements in its North American and European market shares.

An important point to note, however, is that the 3DS is occupying more space in a shrinking hardware market, a challenge acknowledged by Satoru Iwata. In fact, he stated that the vital Holiday season was disappointing for the system, but that high quality releases in the first three months of this year had led to its improved market share compared to the same period in 2012.

In the U.S and in Europe, we were unable to create sufficient momentum of the Nintendo 3DS system during the holiday season, and so the situation was not looking good at the beginning of the year. However, "Fire Emblem Awakening" was launched in February in the U.S. and "Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon" was launched in March in the U.S and in Europe, both of which were well received by our consumers. Also, this is not a Nintendo title, but an overseas edition of "Monster Hunter 3 (Tri) G," or "Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate," was also launched in March. Recently, with the launch of titles like these, we are seeing that the Nintendo 3DS sales are gradually gaining momentum.

Nintendo's overall market share is lower in Europe than in North America and Japan, yet Iwata clarified that performance in different European countries varies a great deal. Like last year, the UK was singled out for "lower-than-expected sales", despite being the largest market in the region. This was emphasized further with some recent games charts for France and Germany showing excellent placings for 3DS games, in contrast to successes in the UK charts that, by comparison, are modest. Overall, Iwata had a positive message of the 3DS "gaining momentum", which will surely continue with its exceptional 2013 release lineup.

You can check out some of the graphs below (click to enlarge) that Iwata-san presented. What do you think of the current market position of the 3DS? Do you think it's performing well at the moment? Sound off in the comments section below.

[via nintendo.co.jp]

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User Comments (31)

Gavin_Rozee

#1

Gavin_Rozee said:

Too many chavs in the UK that just play CoD and Fifa. I apologise on behalf of my country, Iwata.

TwilightV

#3

TwilightV said:

Those numbers! <3

Funny that the XBox 360 is performing better than the PS3 in the UK. Maybe they've got more marketing focus there than anywhere else.

Edit: With systems of course. Not hardware. :P

Kyoto

#4

Kyoto said:

Fire Emblem is really popular!

And funny that UK is the only country that really stands out negatively in terms of Nintendo-hardware. There are too much Fifa and COD players in the Netherlands too...

rjejr

#9

rjejr said:

I'm not trolling, I'm serious -

With all the 3DS hype, and the cost and competition in the home console market, would it really surprise anybody if Nintendo just gave up on the WiiU? If not give up now, would any sane person or company be looking forward to the next gen of home consoles? Why put yourself through that meat grinder when you basically own the handheld market? If the whole company were working full time making handheld games, rather than trying to split itself between home and handheld, imagine the 3DS game lineup? (OK, I guess it would look a lot like now, only w/ NintendoLand and Pikmin 3 in August. Which only emphasizes how sad the WiiU line-up has been.)

Microsoft doesn't have a handheld game system, the Vita is hot on the heels of the PSPgo, why should Nintendo have a home console? Sega doesn't, they don't even have a handheld, yet they're still around making games.

I know this is a Nintendo gaming site, but if TW can spend so much time the past few days covering the financials I thought I could throw some light on the reality of the situation - minus the fanboi in me, who really wants to buy a WiiU.

andrea987

#10

andrea987 said:

@rjejr Unless you're gaming 24/7 there's plenty on the Wii U to keep you entertained. I love my PS3, but if you think it'll be better if Nintendo went third party, you didn't think this through I'm afraid. Nintendo is, of the big 3, the only gaming-only company, they need to have their hardware, as that's what's allowing them to make the beautiful 1st party games we all know and love.

Ralizah

#11

Ralizah said:

This year: Stop making hardware and become like Sega, Nintendo!

(Same people) Next year: Yay Nintendo! I told you guys all along, Nintendo knew what it was doing!

Every. Single. Time.

rjejr

#14

rjejr said:

@andrea987 and everybody else

Nintendo has it's hardware - it's the 3DS - I didn't mean to imply they should go 3rd party only, the 3DS has a lot of great games and support, I meant 3rd party for home consoles. There are too many now and more coming - Ouja and Steambox and Roku lets you play "app'" games and Amazon is making a set-top box to stream video but I wouldn't be surprised if it also plays app games.

Think how much money Nintendo invests in R&D to make new hardware. Wouldn't that money be better spent on 3DS games and home console ports? Nintendo may make some money selling hardware, but not alot.

Nintendo could take their hardware knowledge and turn the WiiU into a true gaming tablet if they want two hardware platforms, big screen tablet for adults and little pocketable 3DS for kids. If they are going to make the games playable on the Gaempad only why bother hooking it up to the tv? Maybe add a mini HDMI so it can be played on tv if people want, but ditch the always connected box. Why continue trying to compete if you can't?

I owned a Gamecube and still own a Dreamcast - I've been down this road before.

Hodn

#15

Hodn said:

Well who says they can't ;). As example the same was said about the Wii and they did make a doodooload of money with it ;).

Peach64

#16

Peach64 said:

The UK charts are pretty good actually. Ni No Kuni and Bioshock both had their time at number 1, and Fire Emblem Awakening just got 3rd spot.

I kept saying I did not think the 3DS was great in 2012. Kid Icarus was good but not great, because of awkward controls, and cheesey dialog and voice acting. New Super Mario Bros 2 was good but not great because it was far too similar to what came before. Paper Mario was good but not great because of how stripped back it was. I say they're not great and people jump down my throat, as if I've said they're terrible. GOOD not GREAT! And clearly many others agreed because the sakes were disappointing.

Jump forward to 2013. Luigi's Mansion 2 and especially Fire Emblem: Awakening are genuinely great. I personally know a lot of people that have bought a 3DS in the last month for these, and it's a trend being repeated throughout the west as you can see in these figures.

People will buy great games, so don't whine that the 3DS sales used to be bad or Wii U sales are bad because people have crappy taste. Really sick of seeing it in the comments. You know the highest selling console game in the UK? Mario Kart Wii! Not just chavs buying COD and FIFA then (both great game series as it goes that continue to get high scores with many respected publications and websites).

datamonkey

#18

datamonkey said:

Interesting Iwata said nothing about Belgium which has the highest 3DS market share out of those European countries...

Sakura

#19

Sakura said:

The 3ds is not well-marketed in the UK. Hardly any stores have the console kiosks and when I did see a kiosk today, the units were not charged so not working. HMV (I know they've got problems of their own) has not shown consoles in stores for ages. Supermarkets I go to certainly don't have them and the 2 GAME stores in Coventry City Centre haven't got them either. Other consoles seem to be given more "space", more prominence. Distributors need to get behind the system too and Nintendo UK need to work harder. It's all very well showing off the console in shopping centres and at conventions, but it needs more focus alongside other systems at the point of sale if the 3DS and Wii U are to compete. Nintendo UK have not released a second special mii either. Is that a reflection of how much Nintendo is bothered about this market? All we have are a few cheesy ads that might appeal to a broader market, but are likely to put off the true target "gamer". More events in stores with better advertising, please.

LDXD

#20

LDXD said:

@rjejr just think not to long ago people were saying Nintendo should drop out of the handheld market
If they gave up this early on the wii u not only would it be stupid but I'd give up entirely on Nintendo, this system hasn't even been out 6 months yet giving up shouldn't even be an option

rjejr

#21

rjejr said:

@Peach64 - "Kid Icarus was good but not great, because of awkward controls, and cheesey dialog and voice acting."

Both my kids just started new save points on Kid Icarus. We rented it the day it came out - thank you Gamefly - then we bought it right after that and my kids have been playing it ever since, taking breaks for other games along the way. And the #1 reason is the cheesy dialog and voice acting. They absolutely love it. I think I know half of it and I haven't even played it as they recite it to each other all over the house. We'll be buying 2 copies day 1 if they ever make a sequel. They haven't played Luig's Mansion or Fire Emblem but they both want Dream Team. Nintendo may not only make kids games, but they do make some games that kids really like. We'll probably buy a WiiU for Pokemon Rumble 2.

kendorage

#22

kendorage said:

@rjejr

Your idea that nintendo should go third party in regards to home consoles would make sense IF they were still struggling after a few years and all their heavy hitters were out already. But it has only been a matter of months, and we have yet to see the big 5:

Mario kart
Smash brothers
Dedicated zelda game
Dedicated mario game
Dedicated pokemon game

After those 5 system-selling/multi-million copy type games are out(along with others like animal crossing, metroid, donkey kong, pikmin, etc), if the wii u is still struggling then yeah it would be time to consider that option. But lets wait and see what happens till then.

rjejr

#24

rjejr said:

@nameusage - re: the big 5

Mario Kart = will help sales no doubt if it's an entirely new game and not simply an HD remake
Smash bros. = is a long time away and also maybe coming to 3DS
dedicated Zelda game = who is working on that as people are currently working on 3DS sequel and Windwaker HD remake?
dedicated Mario game = I'm guessing you mean 3D type game, no argument there
dedicated Pokemon = all the best selling games have been on handhelds, I doubt Rumble or Pokepark would help sell many WiiU consoles

As for others = Metroid: Other M did not sell well so a new one is a low priority for everybody, Animal Crossing is a handheld game which will be out for 2 years before the console version launches.

Sure, WiiU could be great in 2 years, if in the meantime Walmart and Target don't join Amazon US in not selling it. There's only so much retail shelf space, and retailers are only going to have WiiUs sitting on their shelves not selling for so long before they return them. WiiU can be saved, but Nintendo needs to step it up like they did w/ the 3DS, price cut and games, sooner rather than later. Not having an E3 presentation is not going to help.

LDXD

#25

LDXD said:

@rjejr the same team who worked on skyward sword is working on the new zelda for wii u supposedly has the largest team Nintendo has ever put together working on it and its going to be the biggest zelda game ever according to Nintendo just the first dungeon alone is bigger than the entire hyrule field from Oot
As for metroid if its another other m type made by team ninja I wont be getting it, if its another prime done by retro I know a few people personally that dont even game anymore that will buy a wii u for that one game alone. Believe me metroid most certainly is high priority
And where are you hearing amazon isn't selling the wii u ?

GazPlant

#26

GazPlant said:

The UK is a bit of a joke for Nintendo fans, which is a real shame. I didn't know anyone who owned a Nintendo console until I was 20 :|

Faruko

#29

Faruko said:

@rjejr Im pretty sure theres a team doing the new Zelda, not the 3DS or the WindWaker HD remake, and you dont think a Skylader kind of game on the WiiU would sell ? i find that VERY HARD TO BELIEVE, im pretty sure it will print money, with the TV series, Movies, games, toys, etc... those $2 dollar toys will make HUGE money for nintendo...

The pokemon games doesnt sell like crazy JUST because they are awesome games but because theres a trademark that its just as huge as the game itself

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