News Article

Talking Point: Nintendo's 3DS and Wii U Strategies Face Rather Different Challenges

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Past-generation trends need not apply

In some respects today's financial results were the least surprising and eye-opening of recent times, and that's mainly to the credit of Nintendo's decision to jump the gun and reveal major reductions in sales and financial projections, blunting the impact from today's Q3 results. Nintendo's previously bold projections, which it maintained for around eight months, would have been blown out of the water, but the company decided to deal with that fallout early. It's made the best of a difficult situation, as the initial frenzy of speculation and debate has peaked before its investor briefing — that name is deceptive, as the translated publication of that briefing serves as a quarterly briefing (intentional or not) to anyone in the world interested in Nintendo's plans.

We can be pretty sure that Nintendo has been busy behind the scenes in terms of the changes in strategy that it'll outline, and we'll learn more very soon. That's not to say that its actions are guaranteed to be fodder for blockbuster headlines, as it's quite possible to pick occasions when Nintendo's played safe as well as points where it's surprised observers. Its plans to promote and boost the Wii U and 3DS could fall into either camp.

Today's announcements haven't been entirely uneventful, however. In a flashback to the summer of 2011, when a revival plan was hatched for the struggling 3DS, Satoru Iwata, Shigeru Miyamoto and members of senior management have taken hefty pay cuts, continuing the recent trend of board members receiving a financial penalty for poor performance. It's unlikely to be said much, but we should note that this is a refreshingly honest approach to missing targets — not many major corporations reduce executive salaries after underperforming, to be blunt.

It wasn't all about disappointing numbers, either. The 3DS and Wii U hardware numbers (11.65 and 2.41 million units respectively) were below Nintendo's goals for the nine months of the financial year to date, but there were some happy software tales to tell. Pokémon X & Y presented the biggest success and a sizeable worldwide impact with 11.61 million sales — it may be a slightly off comparison in real terms, but it's still amazing to think that two games released in October almost matched the 3DS hardware numbers (which aren't that bad, unless you compare to DS) up to 31st December; that's with over six months less time on the market. There were pleasing numbers for some other major releases — with a special NL high-five to Mario & Luigi: Dream Team for hitting two million units, while three Wii U titles passed one million sales. Considering those Wii U titles all arrived in the second half of the year and against the context of less than six million units in the wild at the close of 2013, Super Mario 3D World, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and Wii Party U arguably did a reasonable job scoring "over one million units" each.

The final interesting pre-briefing revelation was that the company is planning to invest a serious amount of money into buying ten million of its own shares; it already owns over 13.7 million shares, yet this increase could potentially mean serious expenditure before 31st March, contributing to those anticipated losses. We won't pretend to be stock market experts, and there's speculation enough around which shares will be the target, but it seems common sense that this is a process to exert a degree of control over the selling market. With the share value back to the levels seen during large parts of 2013 (January saw a wild upswing and equally dramatic drop) it may also be an opportunity to buy low and, assuming the company is backing itself, sell high again in the future. Whatever the case, this share buying policy is set to end before the close of the financial year, so it shows a willingness to absorb a sizeable hit now rather than let it bleed into the next year's results. All part of the company's strategy, if not necessarily hugely exciting for fans.

Moving beyond those summaries, we're going to tackle a slightly different angle when considering these results. What's clear, in black and white, is that this isn't the financial year of the Wii U's big revival — that'll hopefully be something to talk about from April onwards — nor is it the year that the 3DS keeps pace with the DS. As we've argued before, to compare this generation's handheld with the last and simply say "3DS isn't doing well" is extremely narrow-minded, and disregards a sea-change in the respective marketplaces. The fact that the 3DS can consider well over ten million sales in nine months as "disappointing" is testament to the runaway success of the past generation and, arguably, a reflection that Nintendo had significant expectations to ride out the smart device wave a little better. Of course Nintendo should keep doing everything it can to retain higher levels of sales, but considering the fact that just two and a half years ago many were saying the age of portable dedicated games devices was dead, let's maintain some positivity.

Yet still, real-life trends are now clear, and far different from the predictions that Nintendo made in April 2013. And so we've taken a look at an updated Nintendo document that shows hardware sales by region. The results show that Nintendo's future strategies won't be easy to pull together, as its 3DS and Wii U market performances are surprisingly different; the figures make the idea of a future system combining portable and home console (as many Nintendo fan chats seems to speculate) far from a simple "nothing can go wrong" prospect.

Without exhaustively breaking down the sales per year for previous generation systems, there are sales trends between regions that are certainly revealing. The sales figures in question only go back to 1998 but there's a consistent pattern of Western markets, in particular North America, outperforming the sales in Japan. This applies in most years for the Game Boy Advance, the mid-to-late years of DS, and through the entire lifespans of Nintendo 64, GameCube and Wii. Not a surprise, of course, as North America is the biggest video game market in the world and, when you add Europe and PAL regions into the mix, the Japanese market (as an individual country, after all) can't keep up.

That is, until this generation. The tales of the 3DS and Wii U respectively show markedly different performances per region, and therefore leave Nintendo with a handheld now delivering expected results in Japan, and a home console far more even between territories than the company would like. Let's bear in mind that Nintendo has said that, from April 1st to 31st December 2013, 31.9% of total sales in Japan. This is accentuated by the fact the the 3DS is selling more in Japan than North America on a consistent basis, a trend last seen in the two years of the DS 'Phat', before the DS Lite conquered the markets in the West.

3DS sales by region

2011 financial year:

Japan — 1.06 million
The Americas — 1.32 million
Others — 1.23 million

2012 financial year:

Japan — 4.79 million
The Americas — 4.67 million
Others — 4.06 million

2013 financial year:

Japan — 5.69 million
The Americas — 4.27 million
Others — 4 million

2014 financial year to date (up to 31st December 2013):

Japan — 4.22 million
The Americas — 4.1 million
Others — 3.33 million

Sales to date:

Japan — 15.76 million
The Americas — 14.36 million
Others — 12.62 million

Although these numbers are still in progress, lifetime sales for previous systems have always been higher in The Americas than Japan. But what about Wii U?

Wii U sales by region

2013 financial year:

Japan — 920,000
The Americas — 1.52 million
Others — 1.01 million

2014 financial year to date (up to 31st December 2013):

Japan — 830,000
The Americas — 1.1 million
Others — 480,000

Sales to date:

Japan — 1.75 million
The Americas — 2.61 million
Others — 1.49 million

To start with the Wii U, it's obviously early days and the picture may change. Despite the low numbers the trend continues of North America being Nintendo's best home console market, though the gaps seem lower due to limited figures across the board. The Japanese and 'Other' markets have been relatively close before in the N64 and GameCube eras, swapping places across those two generations. The Wii was an exception, with the PAL territories easily outselling Japan as the little box achieved outstanding results in the West. It's not uncommon, from the N64 era onwards, meanwhile, for The Americas to outsell Japan by anything from three to five times in units — it's been the dominant console market even on underperforming hardware. If anything, Nintendo may be most concerned that, of the sales so far for Wii U, a larger percentage don't belong to The Americas, as the region outsold both Japan and PAL regions combined with the GameCube and N64, propping up modest (by Nintendo standards) sales.

The 3DS, however, has been a trend-buster so far. Every single portable generation to date (Game Boy, Game Boy Advance and DS, accounting for multiple iterations in each) has enjoyed higher lifetime sales in The Americas and Other territories, in individual terms, than in Japan — in other words, Nintendo's homeland has always trailed The Americas and PAL regions for portable hardware. With the 3DS Japan has only been the lowest selling territory in the very first reported period, which covers the initial launch. In every financial year since, Japan has out-sold The Americas and Others individually, which is a success story for Nintendo's homeland but a concern for the company — its sales are becoming increasingly less in the most valuable markets, and it's in the West where the loss of portable gaming customers is perhaps being felt the most.

And so while Nintendo will aim to boost the Wii U everywhere, there are considerations to tackle for the 3DS, too, in order to get back to a stage where the Western markets contribute to the levels they have in past generations. An issue is clear for all to see in this released software data, too. The numbers of first party games releases on each respective system per year show consistency with past generations (typically less than 15 per year per system), but the externally published games are well down on the peaks seen, even during the most recent Wii and DS eras. There are multiple considerations — it's early for the Wii U and these figures don't include download games. Yet still, major retail publisher support for the Wii U is low at this current time, and even accounting for downloads the volume of third-party content on both current systems is undeniably below-par.

Nintendo has plenty of considerations when plotting its strategies — boosting the 3DS and its portable market outside of Japan, and reviving the Wii U across the board. We should be grateful for the 3DS doing so well in Nintendo's homeland, but it also shows that decisions on future hardware aren't simple. If portable hardware is the big attraction in Japan compared to Nintendo's home consoles (as it was with the GBA and DS eras, and seems to be with the 3DS) will the company do anything to disenchant that audience? Likewise if it can't make its home console pick up the slack to the required extent in the West, how is that resolved?

As some of these facts and figures possibly indicate, Nintendo is dealing with some changes in hardware sales trends that have been consistent for a decade and more; as a result its moves in the coming weeks, months and years are likely to be fascinating.

From the web

User Comments (71)



unrandomsam said:

The 3DS deserves more effort considering how much it is contributing to the bottom line. (Good example Shi'en proved that 3D Land was possible in 60fps with 3D - Nintendo didn't make it happen.)
The current situation is 3DS and Wii U games cost about the same but the Wii U ones have far more effort put in.



M0rdresh said:

@Peach Special read for your mate "As we've argued before, to compare this generation's handheld with the last and simply say "3DS isn't doing well" is extremely narrow-minded, and disregards a sea-change in the respective marketplaces"



WingedSnagret said:


What huh? Oh, another business article... Zzzz...

No offense, but this is getting extremely repetitive. Then again Nintendo has given us absolutely nothing interesting to talk about all month, so I guess this will have to do.



ThomasBW84 said:

@WingedSnagret Did you read what I actually wrote, or just skim and decide it was repetitive?

And saying "no offense" when being insulting (even in a minor way), doesn't exclude you from offence being taken.



TheRealThanos said:

@ThomasBW84 Well, I DID find it an interesting read as I have been busy discussing this current situation on various sites now, so thanks.
But ehm... "the market of one country in Japan"? Last time I checked Japan WAS the country...



WingedSnagret said:

@ThomasBW84 You're right, my apologies. Shouldn't have acted disrespectful.

All the doom and gloom stuff has just been getting to me lately. We need SOME good news on the Wii U front. Hopefully the upcoming meeting will provide that?



Peach64 said:

@SeVok I've never said the 3DS is not doing well. All I've said is that it's not the 'it prints money' phenomenon that so many on here think it is. Nintendo have done a fantastic job with it, and the reason it's down on previous generations is because of mobile, which they can't really do anything about.

Nintendo themselves said they're disappointed with 3DS sales, but I say they're disappointing and people call me a troll. Or they say something alone the lines of 'not outselling the DS should not be considered disappointing'. That statement is entirely true, but it's not just a case of it not matching up to the DS, which was selling over 30 million units in it's 3rd year compared to the 13.5 Nintendo expect for the 3DS, but the GBA was also at 50 million units sold by this stage of it's life.

The Wii U they have made mistakes with, but I can't fault how they've handled the 3DS after it's launch. Maybe a proper account system and more VC games, but that's not really going to affect hardware numbers in any big way.



KittenKoder said:

Nintendo always has weak points, it's just how things are. But in general, the company serves it's fans well.



M0rdresh said:

@Peach64 Well regardless of what you think, with the current market conditions and the fierce competition of the mobile gaming platforms eating away casual gaming interest, I think the 3DS and it's sales is still a, relatively speaking, a phenomenon. Pressure and controversy at Nintendo should be directed at the WiiU, the 3DS is remarkable and is performing excellent in my opinion, though with the disadvantage of having had a very slow start. I don't care what the DS did in it's time, there were no millions of smartphones and apps out there, nor did we have tablets, that's some very serious competition, we must stay realistic.



tanasten said:

Nintendo need to boost game production, and they have a lot of improve margin on the WiiU software, from OS to games, being open to other OS and apps.

WiiU can't be only a gaming machine where you can't neither navigate throught the web due to flash incompatibilities or it's not good that we can't use google docs. Makes no sense at what type of market was Nintendo trying to catter (the tablet market)



Lord said:

Tell us your plans for the future?
Ps with north America dominating wii u sales looks like we need more hardcore games like f-zero, starfox, metroid online, power stone, skies of Arcadia, panzer dragoon.



Darknyht said:

If I could dream, Nintendo would do the following:

Announce that Star Fox, Metroid, F-Zero, Kirby and Pokemon were all getting new entries exclusive for the Wii U at the rate of one per quarter.

Announce that Star Tropics, Kid Icarus, Golden Sun, Fire Emblem, Nintendo Wars, Excite Racing, Custom Robo, Pilotwings, and Touch Generations were coming back as smaller eShop releases (Some with Retro Graphics, and Some as updated Re-releases). The goal being small teams, smaller budget, faster turnaround.

Finally, go after smaller publishers that have already made games for PC using Unity that can be ported. Pay to port them if necessary. Get Kerbal Space Program, Wasteland 2, Sir Your Being Hunted, Gone Home, Republique and other great games on Unity on your platform.



kingofnynex said:

The 3DS might be one of my favorite systems of all time. Its sheer game library is absurd and keeps growing. I've never had to turn on 3D, which I have no interest in.

The Wii U? I tried it at Nintendo World and couldn't figure out why I would ever want it. The tablet controller felt weird in my hand and there aren't any games for it. I might be wrong, but the Wii U looks DOA.



zool said:

Is there enough Wi u's out there for Nintendo to keep making a good amount of games that will keep us happy, while still making a profit, without over pricing them, until they can bring out a new console, in a few years.

Or would it be so bad if Nintendo made it's tv console games for the PlayStation? At least we would have the best of both worlds, all the Nintendo games and PlayStation games as well om one machine.



Yamitora1 said:

3DS: After 3 years of being on the market, everyone who is going get one pretty much has gotten at least one by now. Its hard to sell what everyone pretty much already has, which is both good and bad for the handheld giant.

Outside of lowering the price of the 3DS XL to $150, the 3DS to $130 and the 2DS to $100, there isn't much that can be done to improve sales on this already selling well hardware.

Really, I don't see the 3DS as having challenges other then pencil pushing idiots at Nintendo's market department thinking they can sell a few million more units than what is possible at this late stage of things.

As for third party games for the handheld, they're doing surprisingly well I think. I mean looking back at the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance era of games, every show, every movie and even every video game had to have a video game of it. Whenever a new Movie was coming out, no matter how terrible it and/or the game of it was, there was still a game of it.

Plus you had numerous Yugioh, Naruto, Dragonball Z and other anime shows coming out with one game after another. Not to mention all the Cartoon Network games like Dexters Lab, Powerpuff Girls, heck even Johnny Bravo. In recent years, games like that are not flooding the market which is kind of good, but it also makes the shelves and library of games avalible seem empty. We still get lots of Ben 10 games and what have you, but cutesy, make it just to make a little money off the cash cow games are a dying breed.

This applies for both the handhelds and home consoles, but Nintendo needs to fill this void with both first and third party games. Plus, if they stop region locking and/or maybe porting more games and localizing them, then some sales will increase in that regard. I mean there are hardcore gamers at there who spend hundreds every year in shipping and handling fees to port Japanese and European only games for the PlayStation and sometimes even the Xbox. Its not going be a big hail marry game saver, but it would be a nice option for all parties involved.

As for the Wii U, I think if Nintendo spent some time actively wining, dinning and courting third party developers, and neutering a good relationship, than maybe they would get some more business in that regard. Really Nintendo comes off as a hard to work with, control freak with a My way or the highway attitude which is off putting to so many degrees.

I see no reason why Nintendo can't try to get a few exclusives, like a Tom Clancy title or a Resident Evil title or two. Those are some big names in the gaming world, and if Nintendo got something the others don't, it would be a great move in the right direction. I still remember when the original Splinter Cell was Xbox only for like 2 years before a PS2 port came out. Games like that game was what got me to buy a Xbox.

3 titles Nintendo could work a deal out to be exclusive and grow sales. Resident Evil, Call of Duty, Sonic the Hedge Hog.

Nintendo is going buy their own stock, I think they need to focus on buying Sega and make Sonic first-party.



rjejr said:

" the figures make the idea of a future system combining portable and home console (as many Nintendo fan chats seems to speculate) far from a simple "nothing can go wrong" prospect."

Something can always go wrong. The fact that Nintendo took a 100m seller in Wii and followed it up w/ a potential - though the jury is still out - dud in the similarly named Wii U means things do go wrong.

Though as 1 of the fans expecting a hybrid, it does seem like the right thing to do. The similarity is already there between the Wii U Gamepad and tv combo and the dual screen 3DS. And lest face it, Nintendo just doesn't make home console games. Home console games have 5.1 stereo surround w/ movie like elements. Nintendo games rarely even have voice acting or a cut scene. Having baciaslly a portable system that hooks up to a big screen is all they need. MK, Kirby, SSB, Mario - they spend so much time making the same game for both systems, just make 1 game that plays on the handheld that has tv out. We have three 3DS in our household and a Wii U but we've never used them together. I'ld rather just have four 3DS at this point but I wanted Wii U for Pikmin 3.

I'll be shocked if Nintendo makes another dedicated home console, unless it's a really cheap Wii U 2 HD w/o the Gamepad. Wi U Mini maybe. Why should they make a home console to compete w/ PS4 and X1, they just don't make those types of games. Let Ubisoft make one.

You can't compare 3DS to DS sales, times change. You have to compare 3DS to PSP and Vita sales, where 3DS looks fine. Not great, but profitable.



vattodev said:

@ThomasBW84 Despite being one of the best articles already written about current Nintendo situation, it doesn't stand out because in NintendoLife we read, in the past three days, about 10 similar articles talking about how bad sales is, what happened to the market or what Nintendo is doing right or wrong. It's pretty much expected that people would grow tired of reading about the same topics over and over without much really happening. In the past days you guys released many articles all addressing topics of one single event: Iwata's meeting.
I really enjoy your writing skills and it's hard to find a good news site nowadays, but we are all tired of this already. I asked before and ask again: please give more coverage to DKC:TF, BD, BD2, SKB, MH4U and the ton of new indies being released. I'd love to read articles about the combat systems, different characters, what changed in the new entries in the series, etc. In depth hype articles. I see these for many PS3/360 games, but I don't see it that often on Nintendo sites.



armondo36 said:

I think Nintendo finds itself in a position that could strengthen them in the long run. They're in third place, yes. But this gives them the chance to just make games. To just turn as many of the 100 million+ Wii owners into Wii u owners as they can. They can't really abandon the Wii u yet anyway, so search the world for new game ideas. Find talented but unappreciated developers. Make games Sony and Microsoft won't. Come up with a realistic lifetime sales figure you can live with, and innovate your way there. I think the Wii u is a fantastic system, it just hasn't been well handled...



ThomasBW84 said:

@vattodev Nintendo's plans and performance are important and a major current event, so it's just the way it is for this period. It won't be such a big topic forever, and by next week we'll probably already be looking forward to a Nintendo Direct, or something similar. We can't ignore phases where even Nintendo is focused on these kind of issues.

And again, in this article I've tried to look at something a bit different in terms of trends from past generations, some interesting stuff happening with the Wii U and 3DS that's different. Not every article can cater to all tastes, though.

I do reject the implication that it's all about this topic on here in the past few days to a week — today was inevitable, because the results were announced. It'll likely be the same tomorrow. But in that time we've posted on indie games on the way (we revealed one exclusively today), and I have two light articles I'll be writing in a little while. But in the past two weeks alone we've interviewed RCMADIAX (Blok Drop U), Codemasters (F1 Race Stars), Kennedy Baruch (filmmaker), Wales Interactive (four Wii U projects) and the guy known for his Nintendo Arcade. Then there's import stuff from Kerry, the Smash Bros. summaries, a Pokemon guide, a DK preview and a video of 10 big games coming to the Wii U. Then there are some light news articles on top of that.

So yeah, topics vary and change, but I don't think diversity is an issue. This financial talk will pass, but it's relevant right now.



gatorboi352 said:

@ThomasBW84 Look man, there's no justification or explanation needed on your part. The only crap you're receiving is from extremists that don't want to face the reality of situations.



Rect_Pola said:

Nintendo, from where I sit, what you need is to take a big bite out of a market that would gladly adapt to Wii U's needs: indies. Kickstarter is proof that there are plenty of interesting games out there. Nintendo ought to go out of their way to seek these people. Here their ideas; if they strike you as committed, and it sounds like an interesting experience (NOT IF IT MATCHES SOME DEMOGRAPHIC OR TEST GROUP FIGURES), throw them some investment (not publishing) money to develop a Wii U version; with maybe a little boon or two like making it the primary version they build. IF you're lucky, you might get some publishing rights, but watch how far you go. Let indies be indie, or they'll hit up kickstarter to make their game meddling free.
The age of the proprietary console may be ending, but indies are bringing back an age where a game can be anything again. Make your company a home for this age.



vattodev said:

@ThomasBW84 What bothers me is not the variety, it's the quantity. The reason I still come to this site is the variety.
Let me ilustrate this, in the past 20 hours NintendoLife posted 7 articles regarding sales and Nintendo's financials. While in the same 20 hours, 6 articles about games were posted. Can you see why we think that this may be too much? It's as if every time something big happens (or not so big) the site works very hard to post a ton of information about it. It's good to inform the facts. It's not so good to go too much in depth and overreact over every event.



Mr_G said:

The only person to blame is yourself Nintendo! You so stubborn in your ways that u refuse to change or do somthing different or please your fan base that u losing out on sales and loyalist!



brandonbwii said:

I'm not arguing with your topic, this was very necessary (truth be told I have yet to read it, but I will after this posts. I see where people are coming from. It's not NintendoLife though it's the fact that there's no good news whatsoever regarding the company. The pre-investor report is disturbing because i want all those indie products to come into fruition before Nintendo pulls the plug (which it sounds like it might do in regards to Wii U).



Mystemo said:

I still have faith that Nintendo will make a strong comeback. If they just give more incentive to 3:rd party developers and keep up the fantastic 1:st party efforts. I don't think they will reach the same level of sucess that they did with Wii and DS but that would be unfair to expect.



ThomasBW84 said:

@brandonbwii I don't think Nintendo's going to 'pull the plug' on Wii U, for what that's worth. I think that's beyond feasible. Nintendo, if anything, will likely come up with strategies to try and revive it. Don't forget there are some big name games coming, so those need to be maximised along with other initiatives.



brandonbwii said:

Read the article great read and great job balacing the high points with the low points. Also a pretty uplifting reply. If Nintendo pulled the plug there'd be a lot of angry western indies out there.



MikeLove said:


If Nintendo (or anyone else for that matter) was releasing Wii-U games, there would be more to talk about.

As it stands, we are in a two month dry patch between SM3DW and DKC:TF and there isn't much to discuss.



electrolite77 said:


I'm really impressed with the coverage of the financial side of things. It's kind of the main reasons I come here. The only people likely to be upset are the head-in-the-sand zealots who don't like that things aren't going well. I can find articles trying to make Nintendo's newest platformer sound exciting anywhere, but it's excellent articles like this one that keep me coming back



electrolite77 said:

As for the article itself, great read. Appreciating all the nuances between the 'Nintendo are doomed!' and 'Nintendo are perfect and nothing is their fault' extremes.

I think a hybrid will be the way forward for Nintendo. Concentrating on one machine, especially with increased development resources suggested by the increase in R&D, may allow Nintendo to create enough first- and -second party software to pretty much do without third-party support.

Also, as @rjejr says above, Nintendo's abandonment of the technical race means they haven't taken on a lot of aspects of modern home-console gaming. The technical difference between their handheld and home console technology isn't really there. The likes of Pikmin 3, SM3DW and Wind Waker HD could be done in the 3DS with slightly lower-res graphics. I actually think it makes the Wii U a harder sell to people who have a 3DS. Why not merge the two development strands? It won't be easy but it could be a sensible plan.



whateverman said:

@vattodev you and me both. Can't find any info about upcoming wii u games to get excited about but no shortage of articles by people who think they know all about the financial future of Nintendo



wober2 said:

I get the feeling that the wiiu is the ugly step child of nintendo... They hardly seemed to talk about it in most of 2013... I get nervous by combining handheld and console departments that most resources just go to 3ds.



MegaAdam said:

That software chart is pretty amazing, I had no idea it existed. But out of the 1245 games for the Wii (in North America) and 1732 games for the DS (again in NA), how many were shovelware? I mean, even Nintendo Life only has 442 Wii games and 374 DS games in its US database.



Mahe said:

@adamical Even NL is missing a large number of good and noteworthy titles. Popular consoles get plenty of showelware, but they also get plenty of good titles.

As for saying, "3DS isn't doing as well as the DS", that's perfectly reasonable. While the 3DS game selection has improved recently, it just isn't touching the greatness that DS displayed. DS was a better system in both software and hardware than what the 3DS has been. That doesn't mean that 3DS isn't good, it just isn't as good as the DS was.



vattodev said:

@JohnRedcorn Some of my favorite indie games were released this month (Castlestorm and Unepic come to mind) on Wii U and 3DS received Kirby and Bravely Default. What I see other sites doing when there is an upcoming release like this is revisit older games in the series. I still didn't see a single article telling what changed in the series in the next DKC game. It included a new characters, who are they? Why are they important? Go to IGN. You'll see what I'm talking about. They are still talking about GTA V, Saints Row 4 and Tomb Raider every week. Why? To hype it up. Those kind of articles make you excited about a fun game. Sales and doom articles make you sad and insecure about your future or past purchases. So I think these sales articles are needed, but not this much. One or two articles covering a meeting is ok. Seven is insane.



Bolt_Strike said:

The problem is that the market place is changing, people are starting to transition to mobile platforms which have casual friendly games, can be played anywhere, and are essentially "do everything" machines. No existing game console does all three yet, which is why sales have decreased. With that in mind, the 3DS is about as successful as it's going to get, and if they can keep up the pace they should be fine. Wii U is going to be much tougher because it currently lacks any advantage over anything else, if it's even going to be possible to save the Wii U, they're going to have to make better games, and improve their other services like online. Other than that, their solution will probably have to wait until next gen, and I hope that this time they have the foresight to make a console that would be competitive in the 9th generation gaming market, not the 8th gen as it normally would. I think in the long run, Nintendo (and all of the console developers for that matter) may need to transition into mobile platforms to remain competitive, because at some point tablets and smartphones will catch up with what game consoles are doing and game consoles will start to look outdated by comparison.



unrandomsam said:

@ThomasBW84 Loads of stuff is ignored in the article that may or may not be relevant but there are nowhere near enough calculations in the article. The subsidy / The different effects of less units with more software per unit / how things like the 55% stake in Game Freak affect things / Is there situations where they lose in selling the system subsidised. (Say somebody gets one with Nintendoland and and then buys one 3rd party game and that is it) the Wii and DS sold lots of systems but comparatively few games / How does the money in the bank affect these things (Presume e.g US government bond rate) how close is it to working ? Is it likely to be able to happen ? The profit is in the games as well one person buying 20 retail games is better than 5 people buying two (Or I would think but the calculations are the important part). Those are the things I want to know (I don't like fact and opinion mixed either if it can be avoided it is like what the Sun does when compared to respectable publications).



Nintendofile said:

Some interesting points... You know what I see in the future from Nintendo, hardware-wise? The best damned portable gaming device ever (think Vita Xs 2, and just as slick looking) which can hook up to your TV. That would just about do it.



MoonKnight7 said:

It's always interesting to see these figures. What surprises me the most is that the 3DS in NA and Europe didn't have the same kind of growth Japan had. There were some fantastic games in 2013 like Luigi's Mansion, Animal Crossing, Zelda and most importantly Pokemon (among others of course). I found their previous estimate perfectly reasonable. I guess Nintendo has some homework to do.



Mahe said:

@Bolt_Strike You can't assume that. Try a thought experiment instead: imagine that Nintendo launches the 2DS in 2011 instead of 3DS. What would be different? It wouldn't just be a different piece of hardware at a cheaper price, it would also be positioned differently. And quite possibly, the 2DS would have been better off than the 3DS was.

Already, the 2DS is representing a massive chunk of the "3DS family" sales, up to 44 % in Europe and US:



hiddenstampede said:

Iwata: "O.. O... Ouendaaan!!!"

Sorry, can't helped myself of thinking that. xD I wish the next Ouendan game make scenario, based on Nintendo's current situation. 8D



Mahe said:

@Bolt_Strike Well, have you seen the 3DS brochures with the line "home console games on a handheld"? That didn't work out for the PSP, and it didn't work out for the 3DS, either. If Nintendo had launched with the 2DS, maybe that line would have been "high-quality handheld games!" or something else. It wouldn't be just marketing slogans, of course, it would also signify a development divergence. Just one example of the potential differences.



Obito_Sigma said:

That first picture... that uniform looks like a sweater vest...? Huh, I wish that all employees at Gamestop would wear that.



DreamOn said:

@ThomasBW84 Love this time of year every year for your business breakdowns. No one else in the online news world is doing a more assiduous job of it!



Squiggle55 said:

I hope Nintendo comes up with a plan that benefits me, the early adopter. That's my favorite.



Squiggle55 said:

@Nintendofile I like this idea of yours. Next generation Nintendo just does the handheld to beat all handhelds that also hooks up to your TV and foregoes the home console. Everyone needs their own to play multiplayer and you can do it on the TV if you want.

Throw in a real account system and respectable online infrastructure and they're good to go.



DarkCoolEdge said:

The lack of third party support is getting really serious. And I'm not talking about WiiU.

What has the 3DS gotten recently beyond Atlus games? Batman AO: Blackgate, Bravely Default and Phoenix Wright... and a couple more games. The eShop is on life support and even Nintendo's VC is pathetic.

Nintendo needs the Western developers on board. EA, Ubi, Activision...

I have more games than I can play but there is not enough variety.



TwilightOniAngel said:

well this is a month about nintendo failing i just hope they bring back the third party support and lets see if EA actually makes a game for the wiiu should they buy sega and capcom and have there games as exclusives for the wiiu at least if they do then we wont get a drought again for the wiiu like last year.



segasonicsteve said:

i genuinely believe that nintendo has been hit with a serious case of bad luck, from releasing the wii u and not being able to get the games out for it quick enough to capitalize on the year head start on the ps4 and the x1, to ignoring the importance of 3rd party publishers and how helpful it would of been to have games releasing whilst nintendo were struggling with the transition to hd gaming. nintendo just need to keep doing what it has done best since the days of the nes and thats continue to make amazing games and the people will play!



unrandomsam said:

Nintendo releasing 15 games a year is definitely not enough either (Per system). Most of them can be played in 2 nights pretty casually. Doing that gives 2 months a year worth of games. There is no way it can be enough which leaves the Virtual Console and indies (That aren't often very long either). If you are not interested in some of Nintendo's games it gets progressively worse.



Rafie said:

@midnafanboy EA would more than likely NEVER make an exclusive game for the Wii U. Especially if they were to buy out Sega or Capcom (which I don't see happening). They are a business first. They would maximize profits across the boards.



K-Gamer said:

I can't believe MK8 might come out in May. Are they insane!? We NEED Mk8 in early April and no later. I'm not sure if its true and I guess I don't mind it in May that much.



Subie98 said:

I know most of Nintendo's problems are their own fault, yet I still feel a little bit saddened by all of it. I guess because I grew up in the early 80s having an nes and every Nintendo home console after that. I love Nintendo, but I have zero excuses for them. The whole situation is ashame.



GearsOfWarU said:

Nintendo buying Sega & Capcom would be cool ... The also need to strengthen there relationships with Warner Bros , Ubi Soft & Activision (only 3rd Party Company's making games for Wii U ) ... Also Buy Platinum Games .... Love Wonderful 101 & Bayoneta ... Really think Nintendo should throw some Cash Towards Activision/Bungie to get Destiny on the Wii U that would be Huge for the Platform and Give The Wii U that game Hardcore Shooters are looking For



JaxonH said:


Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze. That's the only game I need. Oh, and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. That right there will make me one happy gamer. The foul cries of Nintendo finance woes will fade into deafness as I partake in one of the most exciting video games I'm ever going to play in my life.

And here's to hoping Nintendo was smart enough to fund development of a MH4U Wii U port to help bolster the console's library. It's a no brainer. Pay for development, split the profits. Capcom can't lose. I think they're smart enough to realize that, and if I had to guess, I'd say that's exactly what they're doing.



TheRealThanos said:

@Darknyht Excite Racing, huh? Liking the title because it sounds like a total package with all three games (Excite Trucks, Excite Bots and Excite Bike) in it.
Bring it on...



gregrout said:

Some of the hardware design issues are heavily influenced by cultures and lifestyles. North America is geographically huge compared to Japan. Features that would be ideal for crowded cities like Tokyo (where living space is at a premium), benefit from off-TV play and street pass. These features tend to be underutilized in North America. While there's not much that can be done for the off-TV feature as most Americans have multiple TVs, the Street Pass features could be better served through internet updates.

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