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.