Nintendo recently introduced four new downloadable games which made use of the 3DS console's StreetPass functionality. Available for purchase individually or as a bundle with a discount, this quartet of titles marks a new phase in Nintendo's online strategy with its popular handheld.
According to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, the experiment has worked — despite the company not spending any money on promoting the new games:
With the 3DS, there is the StreetPass Mii Plaza, which you can use to play games with Miis that you meet by walking past other people carrying a 3DS. However, because people were growing tired of playing the same couple games, we have, in fact, brought four new StreetPass Mii Plaza games! Four new games have been added, where you can buy one game for ¥500 or all four games at a discounted price of ¥1500.
One month has passed since we added these new StreetPass Mii Plaza games, and we did not use any type of mass advertising. It was written on our homepage, with information about all the new content included in the update. You are also made aware when you visit the StreetPass Mii Plaza for the first time after the update, but we didn’t use anything like television commercials to advertise.
However, in this state, we have generated a lot of income from our customers. Furthermore, a lot of the people who are playing and enjoying the new games are communicating and advertising through outlets like Twitter. Thanks to this, the circle of customers is growing bigger and bigger, and interestingly, sales were a strong ¥400 million in only a month.
That's an impressive achievement when you consider that Nintendo hasn't been shouting from the rooftops about these new titles. It's also interesting that Iwata has identified social media as a strong driver behind downloads — a statement which proves that despite the launch of Miiverse on phones and PCs, Nintendo is well aware that more traditional social networks are a valuable tool when it comes to spreading the word.