News Article

Reaction: Nintendo's Drop in Momentum Is A Bigger Concern Than Initial Financial Losses

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Net sales and 3DS performance are down on last year

Nintendo's Q1 financial results have been announced and, in a continuation of the past couple of years, bring losses for the company. We'll repeat the nitty-gritty before assessing some other key points, yet we should perhaps take the positive spin that Nintendo is maintaining its projections for profit over the whole year. It's done this before and then subsequently revised projections down, though its acknowledgement that the relevant period — 1st April to 30th June — was a quiet spell of releases on Wii U, in particular, emphasizes that it was always likely to be a poor quarter.

Operating losses and net losses were pretty close to each other, suggesting that there weren't many other factors driving the coffers, for better or worse; there have been past occasions when exchange rates and clever accounting have delivered a small profit despite the struggles of the business. The net loss has come out at roughly $97.2 million / €72.5 million / £57.4 million, which is a fairly hefty chunk of money and leaves a major turnaround as a necessity for the remaining three quarters. The target net profit to be reached on 31st March 2015 is 20,000 million Yen, which is around $195.6 million / €146 million / £115.5 million.

The Fall and Holiday seasons will be vital, in that case, particularly for Wii U, while the 3DS will have Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire as the major drivers in the Holiday period; Super Smash Bros. will naturally be a notable draw for both systems. There'll also be a lot of focus on amiibo, not just in terms of selling the toys as neat collectibles but to ensure that they serve their primary purpose — pushing forward additional Wii U sales.

While it's all merely informed speculation at this point, it certainly seems possible that Nintendo will have a good run at its Wii U targets. The home console has such modest goals for this year, in actual fact, that it's projections are looking entirely reasonable at this point; the figures below paint a clearer picture.

Wii U

Hardware Sales (Q1) — 510,000 units
Hardware Sales Projection (2014 to 2015) — 3.6 million units
Sales Required (Q2 - Q4) — 3.09 million units
Target Reached To Date — 14.16%

Software Sales (Q1) — 4.39 million units
Software Sales Projection (2014 to 2015) — 20 million units
Target Reached To Date — 21.95%

Even with the excellent start for Mario Kart 8, the relatively substantial line-up for Wii U over the rest of the year gives good grounds for optimism. It's the 3DS picture, however, that has us a little worried.


Hardware Sales (Q1) — 820,000 units
Hardware Sales Projection (2014 to 2015) — 12 million units
Sales Required (Q2 - Q4) — 11.18 million units
Target Reached To Date — 6.83%

Software Sales (Q1) — 8.57 million units
Software Sales Projection (2014 to 2015) — 67 million units
Target Reached To Date — 12.79%

There's no surprise that the 3DS is comfortably out-performing Wii U, but it's had a poor Q1 by its standards, even with Kirby: Triple Deluxe and Tomodachi Life achieving "wide popularity" worldwide. It's also trending a fair way below its equivalent numbers for Q1 in the last financial year, as you can see below.

Hardware Sales (Q1 2013 / 2014) — 1.4 million units
Hardware Sales (Q1 2014 / 2015) — 820,000 units
Difference — 580,000 unit drop (41.4%)

Software Sales (Q1 2013 / 2014) — 11.01 million units
Software Sales (Q1 2014 / 2015) — 8.57 million units
Difference — 2.4 million unit drop (22.2%)

This adds to an overall picture of net sales for Nintendo dropping by 8.4% over the equivalent quarter last year; a sizeable fall away. It should be said that Spring and early Summer last year was a terrific period for the 3DS, with releases such as Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Fire Emblem: Awakening, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and more delivering significant success. This year's lineup has struggled to emulate that period's volume, in both games and sales.

It must also be said that the respective software lineups for Wii U and 3DS also show the strain of supporting both consoles with recognisably limited third-party support. The Wii U list is looking rather healthy, but the portable has relatively slim pickings on the retail front, in particular. We can expect Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire to sell millions of copies in short order, and it'll be interesting to gauge the performance of Super Smash Bros. in its handheld début, but it's light elsewhere; is Fantasy Life a title that can drive substantial sales? We're sure it'll succeed on some level, hopefully along the lines of Bravely Default, but those numbers we've provided above highlight the extent of the work still to be done by the 3DS to hit its targets. Nintendo must also be hoping that Capcom successfully delivers Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate before the financial year — 31st March 2015 — is out, too.

With trends of receding sales even kicking in last year, what can Nintendo do to keep the 3DS family healthy for another 2-3 years, assuming that's the plan? The impact of the 2DS was decent originally, but the cheaper tablet-form only shifted 210,000 units in Q1 in Europe and North America — it's not out in Japan — leaving it with life-to-date sales of 2.42 million units. Not bad, but hardly flying off shelves, and it leaves us wondering whether a reboot is needed in the next 12 months to give the 3DS family a final push to finish its generation strongly. The DS Lite made way for the DSi, let's not forget, which enhanced the offering with download games; perhaps finding a similar hook for a fresh 3DS model is needed. Perhaps a neat model with a little extra power under the hood and a sizeable storage solution — allowing the largest SD cards and bundling one with the hardware — could be a reasonable shout, with extra processing grunt helping existing games along and supporting some flashier late-life software for the system. That may be unrealistic, though we do have amiibo on the way to the portable next year, which could help if the right accompanying software also arrives.

With these trends the 3DS is sure to be a slight concern for Nintendo, especially as it's been so vital in minimising the financial damage caused by the Wii U. The company has a lot of work to do in sustaining its hardware business while also gearing up its QOL (Quality of Life) platform, which should be unveiled in this financial year — it's no doubt also planning hardware for the next generation, as always.

The pieces are in place to potentially get the Wii U on a stronger footing in the next nine months; perhaps the next priority should be to ensure that Nintendo's consistent and reliable 'sure thing', the 3DS, doesn't slip away in the meantime.


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User Comments (151)



WebHead said:

Well thing is just about every Nintendo handheld first-party system seller has released now. There isn't too much left that Nintendo can release that would move 3DS systems in droves. I doubt the successor will release next year, but with sales dropping right now, and if they continue, an E3 2015 reveal with a 2016 release is looking very real.



Jinxyman said:

I would love to see a 3ds redesign. A slimmer, more stylish, pocket friendly variation would be most welcome. While I love my 3ds xl its not really all that portable. This maybe just what Nintendo needs to spark 3ds sales again. Maybe call it 3DX? Great article, Thanks!



Warbeard said:

@webhead they could make more of those titles. A full 3d Mario game, or something like that. Ds had 2 Zelda games. We also practically know that majora is coming, and STEAM is. I'm hoping for a 2d metroid too. I think the problem is that the people who want the games on 3ds have one already. They need to branch out if they want others on here



WebHead said:

All I'm saying is I don't think Nintendo can wait until 2017 or 2018. As awesome as a Metroid 3DS would be, I doubt it'd be a big system seller.



EpicJonah said:

The reason that the 3ds sales had dropped is because everyone already owns one!



TruenoGT said:

It's quiet, too quiet on the 3DS front, particularly with E3 having been so Wii U focused. There's gotta be a Nintendo Direct with some 3DS heft coming sooner than later.



Jazzer94 said:

Releases have been quiet this year for the most part, I feel Nintendo keep saving to many games for fall they need to spread things out considering the lack of third party support.



MrGawain said:

Nintendo really frustrates me- new content trickles through and I really want to buy more games but very little new has been made available or has been delayed. So I think I should go multi console so I can flesh out my purchases. Then I realise the PS4 and the XB1 have less games, less original ideas, even more delays, and virtually nothing I want to buy.

The consumer is willing, it's just these triple A games are too few and far between and cost too much to make.



Jinxyman said:

@russellohh yes, this is true. Let me specify further, a sexier 3ds more akin to Apple or LG phone styling for those of us that are not in the "kid" age bracket that Nintendo is traditionally targeting with 3ds models. Pikachu edition anyone? To go a step further, they could remove the cartridge slot to cut cost and make is slimmer. Make this their first venture into the downloadable only space for a console and use this as a test case for the next home console.



WebHead said:

Like I'll be honest...I traded in my 3DS at GameStop for a deal towards getting a PS4. I felt like I've played what I've wanted to play on it honestly.



Jinxyman said:

Yea, the horizon looks a little thin for 1st party titles. Looking forward to Theatrhythm, Layton vs. Phoenix Wright, & Persona Q on the horizon though. Need a new Nintendo Direct to let us know what's coming! I think I will pass on Super Smash Bros on 3ds and play that on Wii U.



Peach64 said:

The 3DS situation is quite sad for me. It could be argued that Nintendo deserved the Wii U sales with the decisions they made. I actually think it deserves to be doing way better right now, but I can still understand the damage done to its reputation.

3DS had a poor launch, but Nintendo fixed those problems nearly instantly. Since the end of 2011 it's been a great effort. The worrying thing is I'm not sure if there is anything they can do to turn it around. Too many of that audience have just moved on. Pokemon is a sales monster, but surely most Pokemon fans would have bought a 3DS to get XY. Smash is for the Nintendo hardcore, and most of those have a 3DS.



FlaygletheBagel said:

My gut tells me Nintendo isn't going to put out a new handheld until their home console has expired too-- That's because I suspect that them merging their handheld and console development teams a couple years ago was a sign of what's to come, namely, a console that doubles as a home console and a handheld.

That might be reaching a little bit, but it might solve some of Nintendo's problems. I think the reason there have been droughts of games on both platforms is because Nintendo has to split their game developers between two consoles: a home console and a handheld. If they had all their dev teams working on one console, there would be far less gaps in the release schedule. A console that you could take wherever you wanted, but also mount to your HDTV at home, would probably entice consumers a lot, particularly consumers of the Pokémon series, who would finally get to play a main series entry on their home console (or take on the go if they want). If something like that is marketed correctly and the technology allows for it, it would be one of Nintendo's most impressive consoles ever.

Just my two cents. I doubt we'll see another handheld anytime soon, but who knows? Nintendo always tends to do the unexpected, for better or worse.



MoonKnight7 said:

I know people have talked about this idea before, but in terms of a successor, I feel like this home console/portable hybrid idea is a good one. I said it in the other article related to this, and Thomas specified it further above. There always seems to be a yin and yang with releases between the home console and the portable. When one console has steady releases, the other is baron.



Gerbwmu said:

3DS will move a lot of special editions for the pokemon remakes and MM3D will get announced probably for December. No way they reach the 3DS sales goal though.

Wii U will have a decent holiday though. I'd be shocked if they didn't hit the hardware goal for Wii U by the time December is over.

It is definitely time for a direct though. Time to start the pre-holiday hype train.



MoonKnight7 said:


"...but surely most Pokemon fans would have bought a 3DS to get XY. Smash is for the Nintendo hardcore, and most of those have a 3DS."

This is certainly true. It makes me really wonder how many 3DS's they can sell this year. Perhaps a special addition 3DS is in order when Ruby and Sapphire re-release.



Spoony_Tech said:

We could be seeing a ceiling hitting on handhelds for the foreseeable future. Gone are the days of 100 million units sold. Everyone has a handheld in their pockets and a lot of people are content with that. Gamers are the only ones that care about such things anymore and the true games are becoming less with each generation due to casual gaming.

Tbh I've bought 2 3ds games this year. It's all I wanted. At this time last year I had already bought what 8 maybe 9 and still wanted more. With droughts people lose interest. I'll be buying one for my son here soon enough though so everyone counts. I kinda want a new one as well. Both the battery life is getting worse and some scratches don't help.



Moco_Loco said:

I've actually seen the "Nintendo Cycle" of game releases posted online before. One or two essential games to start a console, followed by a drought, followed by a large number of amazing games, followed by another drought, followed by a final salvo of amazing games. The Wii U is off this pattern significantly, but the easier-to-program-for 3DS is in its second drought (and arguably lacked essential games initially as well) while development teams work on the final salvo.



TheWPCTraveler said:

I'm calling for Nintendo to buy Sega, and by extension, Atlus. Persona alone would be a huge boost to Nintendo platforms, and Atlus has that "magic touch" when it comes to games they create around Nintendo's platforms.

And taking Persona away from the PlayStation platforms will immediately make this an Atlus vs SqEnix battle in Japan.



TheWPCTraveler said:

By the way, the 3DS is in a drought at the moment, and will continue to be so until September.

Not surprised about the drop in hardware sales, but impressed with how well the software sales keep up in comparison for the 3DS. And that's with a drought compared to a season full of great, nay, amazing games for the 3DS.



Dogpigfish said:

I'm not sure this quarter is any indication of anything except Reggie cleaning up Iwata's mess in America. We'll see if he can fix the damage done the last three years of Iwata focusing on the US.



TheWPCTraveler said:

@Spoony_Tech Majora's Mask 3D? Let's hope Nintendo counts to three more, then!
Come on, count to three, Nintendo! (wink wink nudge nudge from all the Mother fans out there)



dkxcalibur said:

Well my wife just informed me last night that we need a 3rd 3DS. I guess our youngest is tired of sharing my 3DS and wants one for himself like his big brother. So, I'll be contributing to Nintendo later this year - most likely this fall.



mr_nihilism said:

@FlaygletheBagel excellent thought. It seemingly makes sense on many levels. But would this newfangled "handheld" cost too much for those that want portable without the TV anchor?



russellohh said:

@Jinxyman There we go! The white 2DS does that for me. It looks more like an ipad than anything else, without all the folding open and close. I miss the 3D, but overall the 2D is my favorite design. It does fit in all of my pockets, though it is a bit bulky.



Starwolf_UK said:

Contnet is king and the 2014 3DS is nowhere near the 2013 one in that respect. Likewise Wii U is still extremely slow going (one game, sure it was one game that made people stand up and want the system).



6ch6ris6 said:

not a single retail release since new leaf that i am interested in. not from first party and not from 3rd party either. BUT i will get fantasy life in september and monster hunter 4 in early 2015.

maybe the expections for sales are too high at nintendo. but hey at least the 3DS is way more succesfull than the vita



ferrers405 said:

There's no need to a 3DS redesign, can't be bigger (XL) can't be smaller (3DS), a new model with more process power would be bad because most of people wouldn't buy just for this, what Nintendo need is just more great games who appeal to a lot of people.



Trikeboy said:

This is pre E3 sales right? I have witnessed a sharp intake of Wii U units since the awesome E3 show. A few gamer groups I am in (not just Nintendo ones) became littered with "I need a Wii U" threads and people buying them.



Prof_Clayton said:

Their sales are already rising, I'm sure. We'll see good results in January so I'm honestly not concerned at all. Though the best thing for Nintendo to do is GET THOSE SALES RESULTS OUT ASAP. People will be hesitant if the latest sales they can see were these, and they weren't so hot. By saying the systems are really selling, they cause a more hopeful outlook.



Jason723 said:

@MAB Agreed. Nintendo is competing with them self. Some people like Nintendo games, but they won't go out of their way to play every one. If they can get their Nintendo expierence though the 3DS, they're not going to buy a Wii U



unrandomsam said:

@Dogpigfish Reggie has done nothing ever but make things worse by downsizing Retro and NST and messing up all the 3rd party relationships generated by Lincoln. Reggie is uselese hence why he never does anything.



FlaygletheBagel said:

@mr_nihilism That'd be one hurdle they'd have to jump. Ideally, the way I'm picturing it, they could sell it in two versions, so to speak. One that only includes the handheld and one that includes the handheld and the TV anchor. The handheld could stand on its own if you wanted it to, but the TV anchor could include additional features like extra controllers, HD resolutions, some additional game functionality, peripherals, and so on. The same OS would run on both, so there's no issues with things like cross buy or separate eShops, unlike the case between Wii U/3DS.

I'm totally spitballing here and there's probably a lot more to figure out about this than I even know about. But hey, it's fun to dream.



ricklongo said:

The sad thing for me is that my "must-have" retail titles on both consoles are few and far between for the remainder of this year. On the Wii U, yes, I'll get Bayonetta 2, Hyrule Warriors, possibly Sonic Boom and Captain Toad, but Smash Bros is pretty much the only game I'm really excited about (there are others, like Xenoblade and Mario Maker, but they're all 2015 releases). When it comes to the 3DS, I'll probably only get Fantasy Life this year - really not interested in the Pokémon remakes.

Of course, when it comes to the e-Shop, things are an entirely different animal (especially on the Wii U), but it's a pity Nintendo can't get their stuff together in the retail war. I can't pretend to understand their finances in any deep manner, but it's really worrying that they're not delving into the war chest to bring some more exciting third-party exclusives into the fray (sorry, Devil's Third simply doesn't do it for me, and I suspect it will be the same for the majority of their potential consumers). I can only imagine how excited I'd be for an exclusive Mega Man retail game by Capcom, or an exclusive Level-5 or Square Enix RPG for the Wii U.



JesseJames23 said:

Nintendo have all the options of succeding, but they keep a policy of 1 or 2 of the greatest games pr. system. Why not make many Mario 3D, Mario 2D, Donkey Kong, Wario and Skyfox games? Nintendo is sitting on the gold and arent developing it.



Kogorn733 said:

Despite Nintendo's loss this quarter, I'm very optimistic for the future and feel that, after the holiday season, the Wii U will have enough momentum to be and remain successful, and that the 3ds will continue to be successful, and here's why.

(1) The Wii U gained a good deal of momentum this quarter, and is likely to continue to gain more through the holiday season and early 2015. Smash, Zelda, and Bayonetta, in particularly, are likely to be system sellers, and if they increase attach rates as Mario Kart 8 did, the Wii U will probably be nearing the "magic 10 million mark" by the end of 2015. Will it reach it? probably not, but I think it will at least hit 9 million.

(2) Nintendo appears to have recognized its marketing failures of the past. Marketing for Mario Kart 8 was very well done (with cross promotions with McDonalds, Mercedes, tv commercials, etc.), and I'm convinced it contributed to the game's success. Nintendo appears to be carrying out an equally aggressive marketing campaign for Hyrule Warriors, and is likely to continue campaigning for key titles in the future.

(3) Nintendo consolidated its R&D departments for portable and console technology and is likely to introduce new technologies that make use of 3ds/Wii U interactivity. Amiibo is only one example. Nintendo is likely to implement features that make it possible to unlock features of various games with this interactivity, which is likely to encourage people with only the 3ds or only the Wii U to buy the other system. Plus, Nintendo will be making sales from the sale of the Amiibo figures.

(4) Consumer confidence in Nintendo remains high after this year's E3, with many publications declaring that Nintendo "won"

(5) Nintendo is slowly, but surely, improving its online capabilities (although it still has a ways to go).

(6) While the 3ds has fewer titles coming out in the near future, those titles are likely to be successful. Pokemon games always sell well and have great attach rates, and Fantasy Life is likely to be as successful, if not more, than Dragon Quest IX

All of the above being said, I believe Nintendo still lacks the manpower to churn out HD titles at a respectible rate, and without dragging resources out of producing games for the 3ds. nintendo either needs to buy more studios or recruit some more outside developers to help with production.



Jese_1 said:

Content is everything. The only game I've bought for the 3DS this year is Kirby Triple Deluxe, unlike last year where I shelled out for tons of games because the release schedule was amazing. XY have made me rethink getting ORAS, since I wasn't blown away by it (still good, but not entirely amazing)

Similarly with the Wii U, I've bought Donkey Kong and Mario Kart, and the next one I was looking forward to was Captain Toad, but now that's been pushed back.

At least 2015 is looking decent for the Wii U, but as far as the 3DS is concerned I don't see anything on the horizon that really excites me, which is a pity because I got a lot of fun out of it last year.



Frank90 said:

The solution is simple, bring more japanese games to the west! Digimon and youkai watch are examples.



Caryslan said:

To be honest, it's felt like Nintendo has tried to nudge people away from the 3DS family and get them to buy the Wii U. Our Virtual Console has suffered, most of the directs have been focused on the Wii U, and perhaps most stupid of all, the 3DS barely even appeared at E3. It was all Wii U!

I understand Nintendo had to save the sinking ship that is the Wii U, but it feels like it's come at the cost of the 3DS! Have their been good games this year? Yeah, Kirby: Triple Deluxe and Mario Golf were good games. But they barely had any hype behind them. They just quietly appeared on store shelves.

We can't go a day without hearing about some new character in Hyrule Warrors or seeing another Wii U game get hyped up. Why can't the 3DS get the same treatment?

It looks like Nintendo decided to put the 3DS on autopilot and hope for the best. And quite frankly, the decision has bit them in the behind. Sales are down, and the 3DS is losing the momentum it had. Meanwhile, the Vita has started to gain some ground, and of course mobile devices are always there to eat away at the 3DS's market share.

This is not like the 90's and 2000's where Nintendo handhelds sold pretty much automatically, and there was no competition outside of the Game Gear and PSP.

At the end of the day, it's games that sell a system and 2014 was not as good as previous years. And as I said before, keeping the 3DS out of the biggest gaming trade show of they year is both pathetic and stupid, and only serves to hurt the platform. Think of how much hype Nintendo would have created had they announced Majora's Mask 3D or a new Metroid game on the 3DS.

I understand their focus is on saving the Wii U, I get that. But they just can't expect their handhelds to coast by on name alone anymore. The 3DS needs to keep the steady stream of great games going, it needs content! And it's games need to be promoted just as much as anything on the Wii U!

The 3DS is not in danger yet, but a massive sales drop is not a good thing and a lack of content and promotion is the main problem. The Wii U should be promoted, but not at the expense of the 3DS.



mercurio2054 said:

i THINK that they have to hight expectation. this years lots of companies have losses and Nintendo need to cool down.



mercurio2054 said:

i THINK that they have to hight expectation. this years lots of companies have losses and Nintendo need to cool down.



Caryslan said:

@6ch6ris6 The issue is that Sony is starting to regain some ground with the Vita. The system has only been slightly behind the 3DS most weeks in Japan, and the recent hardware redesign for the Vita recently sold out at numerous stores. Not to mention, major games like Minecraft are still coming to the Vita.

Nintendo is pretty lucky Sony can't get their head out of their behind and market the Vita properly in the West. If Sony had a good lineup of games for the Vita and good promotion, the 3DS might be in bigger trouble., especially in a lackluster year like this one. As I said before, in Japan, the Vita is keeping pace with the 3DS and selling very well.

The problem is that Sony has no interest in recreating that success in the West. If they put their full effort behind the Vita, gave it their AAA games, and blitzed the hell out of it, then they might give the 3DS a challenge.

But the 3DS has gotten a very lucky break thanks to Sony not caring about the western handheld market.



Noelemahc said:

What the 3DS needs is a redesign.

Integrate the Circle Pad Pro components (second analog, more buttons).
Ruggeder matte design (a-la DSi).
Sturdier buttons (my DSi is twice my 3DSs age, but is in a better shape despite similar regimen of use).

EXTRA IDEA: One-time pay-to-add-extra-region to your device.
eShop, "$200 lets you play NA games on your JP 3DS, Y/N?"

EXTRA IDEA: The Sequel. DS games have a "convert to 3D" function that tries to guess voluminity based on Z-buffer data (for 3D games and side-scrolley 2D games this would be exceptionally easy as long as they fix the "load DS games in a "I'm not a 3DS, I'm a DSi" mode).

EXTRA IDEA: The Quickening: SNES VC. TG-16 VC. CPS VS. GBA VC. Just sayin', all those VC games we had on the Wii can easily be run on the 3DS's hardware if it had just a wee bit extra juice to go around the aforementioned "I'm a DS" mode, but the DS's redesigns added extra RAM with every revision (DSi has more RAM than the DS, it was the main reason it can use a web browser while the DS needed a RAM expansion cart for that). Yes, this will lock these to the 3DS-2, but it will also drive sales for it. And fuel the processing power of the DS-to-3D mode!




I told people that the 3DS would not do well this year, but all of you called me crazy and a hater.

There isn't anything remarkable coming out for the system. Only Smash.



rjejr said:

I don't understand all the worry about 3DS sales. It's already sold 44m despite being up against all the smartphones and tablets in the world. Sure that 12m projection may be a bit rosy but even if it only sells half that at 6m that still puts it at 50m in a world it shouldn't even exist in, just ask Vita. And I agree it's been a really slow year on 3DS, but SSB is coming for the very 1st time on a handheld. And Pokemon OR and AS. And MH4. FF Explorers. Fantasy Life. Yokai Watch to the west. STEAM. Seriously, what more do you people want or expect? Wii U is in it's coffin waiting for the nails, where do you expect Nintendo to focus this year? amiibo is all the marbles and they don't currently work w/ 3DS.

Which conveniently brings me to the 3DS remake we all seem to be in agreement should come. Things to add:

NFC chip
2nd thumbstick (I had a dream last night I was playing an XL w/ 2)
longer life battery
whatever chip the Gamepad is using to make the 3DS serve as a 2nd Gamepad (which is why it needs a 2nd thumbpad)
whatever chip/port/dongle it needs to make it play games on tv via the Wii U - and only the Wii U, might as well push both. And please spare me the "resolution" argument, GBA games look just fine, I'm sure 3DS games will suffice.

Which brings me to the 4DU, the next handheld w/ fully integrated Wii U Gamepad capabilities, sort of half way between this and next gen home console hardware. As somebody else said, announce at E3 2015, release 2016. 3DS games will have run their course by then.



Socar said:

I'll admit that there really isn't much the 3DS has this year that has potential sales. But suppose Dragon Quest showed up..........?



MoonKnight7 said:


"...but even if it only sells half that at 6m that still puts it at 50m in a world it shouldn't even exist in...

That is quite an accomplishment, certainly, especially since it had such a poor start. I think the big concern is, 3.6 million Wii U's and 12 million 3DS's, as Nintendo projects, would return them to profitability, by a small amount anyway (however, I'm not accounting for software). They desperately want to hit black ink again this financial year. We all know their stockholders aren't overly happy at the moment, especially since the 9 million Wii U prediction gaff.



IxnayontheCK said:

I have this nagging fear that Amiibo will be poorly executed and costly for nintendo. Guess we'll see...



rjejr said:

@Jinxyman - "they could remove the cartridge slot to cut cost"

Like the PSPgo? And people think Vita is selling poorly. PSPgo has practically been removed from history. Nintneod removed 3D from the 2DS so parents would buy it for their kids. I just don't see DL only being something Ninteod can push on parents. Though Nintendo was smart enough not to release 2DS in japan b/c they knew people would laugh at it, so I suppose a DL only model could sell in japan, but the PSPgo ghost will deter it for now.



DualWielding said:

honestly the 3DS was my favorite console of 2013 but has been dissapointing this year, except Bravely Default (who came in Europe last year) no 2014 3DS title has picked my interest



YouGotOwend said:

Well, put it this way: after the incredible year of games the 3DS had last year, I haven't bought any physical title for the system yet this year (bought Fallblox and Squids Odyssey on the eShop). They really did need some quality titles this year, and I don't think a Kirby game and a left-field life sim are A+ titles. Although Tomodachi Life is selling well, I simply haven't found a reason to buy any physical 3DS game this year so far.



rjejr said:

@MoonKnight7 - "We all know their stockholders aren't overly happy at the moment"

If I were a stockholder my concerns would be about the poor Wii U sales, not the 3DS. Which I suppose is part of my problem, I'm biased towards the home console. I feel like there will always be kids growing up who get a Nitnedo handheld b/c at some point the parents are going to need their phone back to make a call or send a txt. But kids won't get a home console until they are older, and the competition is greater for Wii U. Even if kids spend more time playing app games they are still going to want a real gaming handheld eventually, and that market is all Ntinedo's.



Darknyht said:

It is not surprising to see 3DS sales slowing down nor to see that the Wii U is still struggling. The 3DS has been out for a while and unlike the DS has not focused on Touch Generations product line so people like my mom never updated her DS (nor Wii for that matter). On the software side, I think they have mined every A+ franchise, raided the B series. Where do they go next?

The Wii U has had two critical hits since it's release, Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8. There are other good games on the system, but those are the only two that have gotten great press coverage. On top of that there is a lot of bad or negative press, plus internet group-think is the Wii U isn't a next gen or serious console (that even filters into this site).



MysticX said:

It just seems Nintendo doesn't have the manpower to pull 2 systems at once (Especially with the third-party situation), if they focus on getting the 3DS to shift the WiiU does a Titanic and when they focus on WiiU the 3DS starts sinking, Nintendo needs to work on increasing their development efforts, seesaw-ing between the two obviously isn't working very well...



C-Olimar said:

3DS will have its last decent Christmas this year before sales plummet.
Wii U will have a terrible Xmas but will bounce back next year. Sales will still remain low, however.

Nintendo will tell us how they have learnt from this when they announce their next consoles, then will make the same mistakes they have been making for the past 10-15 years.

What a well-run company :/



MoonKnight7 said:


"If I were a stockholder my concerns would be about the poor Wii U sales, not the 3DS. Which I suppose is part of my problem, I'm biased towards the home console."

I'm just saying, a target is a target. I doubt stockholders are only worrying about the Wii U with this news. This is more about Nintendo keeping their word this year.



ericwithcheese2 said:

I think it is quite understandable that the 3DS is lagging behind last year. It had a year to die for in 2013 with top quality, system-selling titles spread throughout the year. Animal Crossing was out this time last year and that proved to be more potent than anything on 3DS so far this year. The well is a bit dry compared to last year, so the hardware sales reflect that.

They do need to get on the stick and announce some big titles in development though for 2015, however.



Nintenjoe64 said:

They should make a phone. Doesn't even have to be that good, just a Nokia 8210 stuck to the back of a 3DS.



DiscoGentleman said:

@FlaygletheBagel "I suspect that them merging their handheld and console development teams a couple years ago was a sign of what's to come, namely, a console that doubles as a home console and a handheld."
That's really where they should've gone with the Wii U/3DS. Such a missed opportunity there.



BertoFlyingFox said:

I think we wont see anything new hardware-wise until 2017-2018. As I posted in the other financial article, it might actually help Nintendo to rebrand the WiiU and introduce a remodel with color schemes, similar to how iMacs helped rebrand Apple and generate attention. This is of course random speculation, I know nothing about Nintendo's finances and the like.

I love my WiiU, but I think the branding got them in a funk and all the financials seem to be showing it's for the long haul. I feel an evolution would've caught more people's attention, rather than a successor to their previous system. While 3DS worked as a successor, Nintendo's latest ideas for their next system show they're eager to evolve past the DS/Wii branding and jump into new territory. And personally, they'd be better off for it so long as their new branding doesnt echo that godawful Doctor's Office aesthetic they took a liking to.



Yorumi said:

My fear with the wiiU is we're going to get our 2015 games and then basically have a drought until the system dies. Keep in mind 2015 is more than halfway through a typical console life and we're just then getting something that looks like a decent line up. There's not going to be something like a smash/xenoblade/zelda at e3 2015. If anything big is shown it's likely to be a late 2016, early 2017 release. By then it's mostly going to be the console's last push.



MAB said:

@Nintenjoe64 Yeah, a circular dial has been innovated to the back of the Gameboy unit... Apparently only Nintendoes this



FJOJR said:

@Jinxyman Sounds too much like 3DO or 32X lol. But yes they need to make a 3DS Lite that would rival the thinness and portability of smartphones. Whether the functionality of those phones (like 4G support) can come into play might push a lot of people to buy one.



rockodoodle said:

A $97m loss in a quarter..... when it is said that the Wii u is no longer selling for a loss? This quarter included a month of MK8- likely the best month for it and the Wii U until Dec.

I agree with Iwata about not making layoffs for short term gain, but at the same time, quarterly losses like this can't be sustained forever (I think they have $4B-$5B in cash- and then have a total of $13B in assets & investments- not sure what that figure is now after this report).



Desy64 said:

I worry that this kind of articles keep popping in serious sites like NF.

Nintendo is fine, they're grown up guys, and they keep delivering the best games in the market. Sure, I'd like those games to come earlier, but they strive for quality.

Nintendo FTW
WiiU is the best, IMO, home console Nintendo ever did. They already the launched the best Pikmin, Kong, Kart, I only need their best Zelda and Metroid and I'll be fine.



Luna-Harmony said:

Everyone owns 3DS's so that's why systems have slowed down as people can only buy 1 or 2.
The sales of wii u is because it lacks behind other consoles i nthe way of gamer tags, online play and multi region if that sort that out next gen they would shift more.

I hope the nintendo fusion is true make a great looking handheld and console both multi region and you can play games on both i.e. get home and play the handheld games on the home console so all work goes into one system.

As many 3DS games are greater than wii u and far more so if 3DS games worked on wii u it would double the console games.



JamesCoote said:

I'd echo what @rockodoodle and other's have said. It's disturbing that Nintendo is making those kinds of losses on the back of a successful MK8 launch.

3DS has performed admirably, considering the rise of mobile. Equally, mobile means any successor is likely to flop hard. Nintendo need to work out not only how to make fun mobile games, but also how to market them, and how to do games-as-a-service. Once they do that, they can begin to leverage their large number of strong IP's on mobile. As well, they can take that into a new console in a couple of year's time.



DarkKirby said:

Nintendo doesn't need one smash hit game every 4-6 months. They need a steady stream of games people care about and want to buy.



Caryslan said:

@ericflapjack The lineup this year seems to play it alot safer than the 2013 lineup. Kirby Triple Deluxe is a fun game, but it's your typical Kirby game with little that's changed, Yoshi's New Island is the same as Kirby in the sense that it's not really changing much, Mario Toadstool Tour is a good game with great online, but again it pretty much plays it safe.

Compare that to 2013 where we got Fire Emblem:Awakening which added tons of new stuff and was packed with content, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, which was a sequel to a cult Gamecube classic, and added online play, and that's only the tip of the iceberg.

Not only were the 2013 games better, but they seemed to take more chances and seemed more innovative or willing to try new ideas. Kirby and Yoshi are fine games, but honestly they feel like safe sequels that add a couple of new bells and whistles, but don't want to rock the boat.

Hopefully, 2015 will see Nintendo get alot more bold with games on the 3DS again.



withoutdk said:

the 3dsxl is too small for my hands... i have quite large hands so would like it bigger... but also when it comes to power, everything is about power today and i want some of the same games as the PS VITA and such gets.



xerneas said:

If you think about it in a different way, now that they've gone wrong once they at least know what to not do in next gen. I'm eagerly waiting for their innovations of the next handheld, I hope they'll figure something else out than 4DS or something. This is slightly offtopic but anyway, I like the dual screen but I don't like how 3DS is basically just an improved DS. They need good new ideas, Wii U was a step in the right direction though because a Wii 2 would've been lame but wasn't implemented well enough.



FilmerNgameR said:

I think the majority of people already own a 3DS so I don't get why NF is panicking about it. Anyway, I think that Nintendo's next console should be a portable and home console hybrid as well, it sounds so possible to happen and it would be very cool to play Pokemon on your tv and the go too.



Dogpigfish said:

And an annual 3ds with better graphic fidelity, for those who wish to upgrade. All games should have adjustable graphics like a pc. Bam, the future. That wasn't so hard.



Bolt_Strike said:

It seems like Nintendo is playing a zero sum game when it comes to releasing games for 3DS and Wii U, focusing on one console seems to result in neglecting another. In this case, they're focusing on Wii U and neglecting 3DS, which is a smart move in this situation because the Wii U needs a boost while the 3DS is doing fine. It just seems like nowadays it takes an exceedingly long time to make a full retail game and we're getting too few of them, even the PS4/One seem to be having this problem despite having all of the third party content in the world. I hate to be preaching doom and gloom here, but I think this is a sign that the console industry's days are numbered, it's slowly proving to be too expensive, less profitable, and more limited than PC and mobile.

As far as what Nintendo can do about it, it's going to be bad news for them if consoles don't sell anymore because I can't see them being ready to transition to PC or mobile anytime soon. But in the meantime, I think they just need to do what they can to keep the software output as high as possible, and alternate between 3DS and Wii U until they're ready to move into next gen. As far as next gen goes, I think what they have planned seems to be a smart move for them, use similar hardware for both their console and handheld so that games can be released and played on both as well as finally implementing cross buy, account based ownership, and their new discount system that they talked about. That should be enough to keep them in the game for at least another generation.



Yorumi said:

@Bolt_Strike well as far as pc goes nintendo could make that transition with ease they'd just have to decide they want to do it. If they wanted to maintain complete control over their store they'd just have to make a steam like interface for the eshop, keep the nnid and that would be it. It won't happen any time soon though, at a minimum the wiiU's successor is going to need to sell as poorly for them to even consider it, and I don't even really think they'd consider it then.



kereke12 said:

See what everyone doesn't understand is that Nintendo can't just be on top overnight. It takes awhile. I think those numbers are just fine & half of these comments make me laugh because some of ya'll are like ohh sh*t Nintendo is doom, Nintendo had a bad one....Well guess what those says are better then last year and a few months ago. So Nintendo will be just fine.



Bolt_Strike said:

@Yorumi What makes me skeptical about them going the Steam route is that Nintendo likes to have control over the hardware. The problem is that going forward, I think hardware developers are going to need to offer more than what Nintendo is currently willing to. And not just in terms of specs, but also in terms of apps and features, it seems to be reaching a point where people just don't want a dedicated gaming device anymore, and if that's the case, then I think Nintendo could be screwed in the long term.



DreamOn said:

3DS owners need a reason to look to the Wii U. Can't do that if the 3DS is getting releases all year long.



ecco6t9 said:

I would not mind seeing a stylish redesign. Enhance the XL speakers, maybe a slide design as opposed to clam shell?



Yorumi said:

@Bolt_Strike nintendo will adapt one way or another. They've been around 130 years so they're not going anywhere. The biggest problem with a dedicated gaming device is not so much that people don't want it it's that it's just becoming increasingly unnecessary. Computers are much cheaper and much more user friendly than they were before. Heck even wine on linux and mac is becoming increasingly hassle free.

Most indie games can be run on a toaster, and actually replicating the wiiU's graphical level in a pc isn't terribly difficult for the average consumer. Even the ps4/one isn't that bad either.

When you consider that most people probably see a relatively small number of games they really want on each console and you just start really wondering why you need to buy 3 expensive consoles to get the few games you really want. You can also get a pretty beefy pc for that price. I'm even pretty hardcore in the number of games I purchase and I'm even looking at it saying ok I want jrpgs from the playstation, smash,zelda,xenoblade and pokemon from nintendo and as far as much haves go that's about it. How much easier it would all be if those were just pc games and I didn't need to buy all the hardware.

Anyway point of all that was it's becoming increasingly difficult to justify the purchase of a dedicated console over a pc and I think the markets are beginning to reflect that. I don't know if dedicated consoles will ever actually go away but it really would be nice if they did.



aaronsullivan said:

I was also thinking something along the line of a new console that comes WITH the new portable and integrates like the GamePad does. The same portable could be sold seperately, and those who own the portable could get a console without one as an upgrade of sorts. It's a bit messy but there are major benefits. (Example: You could have four player matches each with their own screen and have the TV act as way for spectators to follow the whole game.)

The fact that the portable and console teams are integrating doesn't mean this is going to happen so literally, though.

More realistically, we are going to end up with compatible platforms. You develop for the them with the same tools and then target the platforms specifically with different features and content instead of entirely different engines.

Why is this good? Well, imagine if Luigi's Mansion, Kid Icarus, Animal Crossing, etc. had come to the Wii U in it's first year as follow ups to the 3DS versions. Basically the teams wouldn't be divided as much and the number of first party games released in a year (per device) could almost double.

Anyway, good ideas.

You want a refreshed 3DS with this:
NFC chip
2nd thumbstick (I had a dream last night I was playing an XL w/ 2)
longer life battery
whatever chip the Gamepad is using to make the 3DS serve as a 2nd Gamepad (which is why it needs a 2nd thumbpad)
whatever chip/port/dongle it needs to make it play games on tv via the Wii U - and only the Wii U, might as well push both.

Me too! That would be great. Only thing is it seems a day late and a dollar short. The resolution would have to be higher to accomodate games that need more detail in the GamePad screen, too. It would be great to unload some of the burden of rendering on the 3DS for Wii U games that use the GamePad but that would require much tighter integration than is possible until next generation.

Still, I'd love to be able to play on the big screen with it and have an "easy" second GamePad for some types of games.

We just might have to wait for the next major round(s) of hardware.



Bolt_Strike said:

@TripleGamer3K Forgot to mention my thoughts about a new 3DS model.

Yes, I think that could give them a slight bump for the rest of this generation, the 3DS has quite a few problems with things like battery life and memory that need to be addressed, and maybe they can throw in a few more apps if they want. I'd also like a second Circle Pad, but you need games to take advantage of it, so I don't think that's a very good idea. So I think an upgraded model should have the following improvements:

-longer battery life
-a better browser (the 3DS is just not powerful enough to load certain pages and lags like hell, IIRC this is caused by a lack of RAM)
-improved Wi-Fi/internet security protocols so you can use the internet in more than just your home or a Nintendo Zone hotspot (I'd like to be able to use the internet in a place like say, McDonalds or Panera Bread).
-Built in NFC reader for Amiibo compatibility

@Hernandez Nintendo pretty much confirmed a hybrid console isn't happening next gen, but they did say they're working on the next best thing: two consoles which share similar hardware, account based hardware, and crossbuy.



Windy said:

I had an Idea the other night and think it would be a great way too advertise Wii-U. Nintendo should get in Touch with producers of The BigBang Theory TV show. Have them play Wii-U and maybe write some stories around how they started playing Wii-U. I saw an episode where Sheldon went crazy trying to decide between PS4 and XBoxOne it was hilarious BTW. In the end he never did buy either. This would be where Wii-U steps in. Its a great show millions of people watch and the advertising possibilities would be pretty great. Any Nintendo people out there? Run this by Reggie for me! You can take credit. Hee hee



Yorumi said:

@WillMelnyk I'm not going to go full on doom and gloom but generally speaking people have just been pushing the goal post back since the wiiU launched. Just wait till feb then sales will pick up, just wait till summer, just wait till fall, just wait till mk8, etc. When smash fails to move millions of consoles it'l lbe wait till 2015, when that fails to push millions it'l lbe wait till e3, then wait till 2016 etc.

Like I said I'm not saying it's all over and they should just give up, I'm actually excited for some of the games coming. It's just at this point the wiiU is unlikely to even match the GC in sales and the goal posts are going to keep getting pushed back until it's successor is announced.



Bolt_Strike said:

@Yorumi I sincerely think this is the Wii U's last hope for a turnaround. If Smash, Zelda, Captain Toad, and Splatoon can't turn things around, nothing will.



IceClimbers said:

@WiiULoveSquid It isn't. The 3DS is in a drought right now too. Nintendo's focus is on Wii U right now, and we're going to see the results of that next year. The 3DS is most likely going to suffer major droughts next year because of Nintendo trying to turn the Wii Us situation around.

Nintendo's problem seems to be juggling the two systems. They are in a position where they focus on one at the cost of the other. They need to buy some darn studios and work with 3rd parties.



Yorumi said:

@Bolt_Strike yeah this year will be interesting. I think smash is going to be the final test. If 3dworld, mk8, and then smash can't push a lot of consoles at christmas zelda isn't going to either.

To me the bigger goal needs to be inspiring confidence more than saving the wiiU. What worries me, even though it's still a ways off is that a lot of even nintendo fans have to be questioning why they'd buy the wiiU successor. Do I really want to buy a new console for mostly similar sequels to games I already have?

@IceClimbers I've been saying they need to invest heavily in promising studios and create another, or better multiple new Rares.



FragRed said:

I keep hearing people talk about the idea of a hybrid system for Nintendo's next console, both here and other sites over the past few months. I have to say that honestly I can't see it being plausible for a system to be produced in the masses at a cheap enough cost for it to sell in the millions while either making Nintendo a profit or a small loss with each unit sold.

I also don't believe the technology for such a console is available, or again cheap enough for such a system to be worth producing. As far as I see things, what ever console Nintendo produce next can't be the same power as the Wii U, it HAS to be more in line with the PS4 and Xbox One to really get any real market share and get the third party support back. Without that, they will end up with the same problems they do now.



Yorumi said:

@FragRed Due to the way modern 3d programing works you could actually achieve some fairly impressive results with a truly hybrid portable/home system. By merely changing the shaders in a program you can radically improve and change the entire look of a 3d scene. If you combine that with higher quality models and higher res textures stored with the game(or available for download as an add on) you can achieve some fairly incredible scaling.

That's all not to say you can achieve truly the same thing as a made specifically for a home console but I think you'd be quite amazed at the results.

Power has always been a red herring. Systems like the wii, ps1, ds, 3ds, gameboy and others offer strong counter examples to the notion that you need a powerful console to sell well.



AyeHaley said:

There should be a team dedicated to delivering a steady stream of VC titles and create a subscription service and/or cross-buy/play. a console/handheld hybrid is probably still a few years away but they could make some progress on their current hardware with cross buy/play. Maybe a PS+ like service as well?



GN004Nadleeh said:

wait till black friday when it costs $199.99 for the mario bundle with free pro controller. and for people playing wii u do sales really matter to your fun or is it depressing to know since it did not sell so well there will be no more, like pikmin 3



AJ_Lethal said:

@AyeHaley @Yorumi
Stop trying to make the hybrid console/handheld thing happen. It's not going to happen.

It could be too expensive for a handheld and quite underpowered for being a console. That's why the nVidia Shield is not taking over.



marko said:


Nintendo has the information to make that decision if there is a large overlap between 3DS owners and WII U owners than an expensive console that works both portably and at home is very feasible for example if 70% of wii U owners also own 3DS then the consumer is willing to pay 500+ dollars on Nintendo hardware I think that price range can give a very competitive nintendo product.
It all depends on what the market research says.



Yorumi said:

@AJ_Lethal well my idea of the hybrid is more to have two consoles that run the same games. The more powerful one loads different shaders, models, and textures. Even then it's more about the plausibility of it more than anything.

What I would personally like to see is nintendo give up making home consoles and do only portables. For their home console games just make them all for pc. I of course know how unrealistic it is to think that will happen but the absolutely need to find a way to make their home consoles more valuable.



marko said:

besides smash bros and capn toad what other 1st party wii u games are there coming out in 2014...
not much to drive sales 3rd quarter wii u sales for both wii u and 3ds are gonna be disastrous



Grumblevolcano said:

@marko You can't guarantee Captain Toad will be 2014 as it's already Jan 2015 in Europe.

The Wii U can't afford anymore delays, now the only remaining Wii U titles for 2014 are Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta (1+2), Sonic Boom and Smash. The latter of which we only have a vague release window.



Reusinck said:

hehe i wish Nintendo good luck with their 3DS target. This year's only release i bought was Kirby. Maybe I will buy STEAM when released (is that even 2014?). Furthermore, I hope all new 3DS designs posted in the comments are not meant seriously. I mean, there are 3 versions already! Looks like the 3DS is slowsly fading away. Not a problem, it had a good run and still has some big games coming up.



IceClimbers said:

@Yorumi Pretty much. Who knows, maybe this lack of manpower will be the thing that makes Nintendo buy Capcom. Those studios are as much of value to Nintendo as those IPs are. Picking up Comcept, or at least working closely with them would be a good idea too.

This generation should be used to build real relationships with 3rd parties (and not bending over for them/selling their soul) to help prevent this problem in the future, or at the very least minimize the suffering of which ever system isn't getting Nintendo's focus at the time.

Hoping that the 3DS game that Monolith Soft has been working on that we only ever got vague concept art for isn't vaporware and will be announced sometime soon.



Caryslan said:

@Yorumi I've always questioned why Nintendo even needs a home console. Their handhelds have outsold their home console since the Game Boy, and they have been the Nintendo platforms that retain strong third-party support.

The reality is that Nintendo is fighting a losing battle in the home console market. Microsoft and Sony are more popular when it comes to home consoles, their home consoles get third-party support that puts Nintendo's support to shame, and they have successfully tapped into the market of making the Xbox and Playstation brands more than just game console. Now, they are marketed as entertainment consoles that allow you play video games, watch the most recent movies, have access to NHL, MLB, and WWE apps.

My point is this, to the average consumer the Xbox and Playstation platforms come off as the better value, and their games are pretty good as well and tend to come out more often than Nintendo's offerings.

I've always felt that Nintendo walking away from the Home Console business would only serve to help them. The Japanese have turned their backs on home consoles and have gone to handhelds, meaning Nintendo has lost a market where their home consoles tended to be popular.

But with a focus with only on handhelds, they could create a killer handheld system, and be capable of devoting all of their resources to a single platform.

When people think of the modern Nintendo, what do they think of first? What do they buy more of? Nintendo is known as the king of handhelds, and have successfully staved off every challenge from Sega, NEC, Atari, Sony, and Tiger. They have even managed to put up a decent fight in a market where tablets have taken over.

Maybe it is time for Nintendo to walk away from the home console market and let Sony, Microsoft, and PC fanboys fight over who have the nicer graphics.

What would they lose? A home console business that outside of the Wii(which declined halfway through its lifespan) has always been treated as an afterthought by consumers and the press?

The bigger question is, what would Nintendo gain with a handheld only focus. How much more dangerous could they become if they efforts were devoted to only one platform?



Stumpynuts said:

Bottom line is: PSBONE has significantly higher development costs, stuck in the same rut that Wii U faced in early life, nothing new overall in terms of originality.
I mean come on - The Last of Us remastered after only a year or so from original release date, XBONE TV being scrapped.



AJ_Lethal said:

@Caryslan Problem is that then it comes the "declining handheld device" argument and then you might say later "drop that, go 3rd party". You're just advocating a short-term solution that will put Nintendo further in the corner in the long run.

I won't deny Nintendo botched the Wii U start badly, but if they can get their stuff together with the "unified architechture/OS" thing (which is great, since that means dramatically streamlined game developement), they have a chance of bouncing back next gen.



Interneto said:

@JesseJames23 Saturating the market with the same characters is an awful decision, though... It can even lead to the destruction of a successful franchise.



rjejr said:

@aaronsullivan - "The resolution would have to be higher to accomodate games that need more detail in the GamePad screen,"

Do you mean using the 3DS as a 2nd Gamepad the 3DS screen can't handle it?

quick google check 854x480 vs 320x240

Well yeah, ok that could be a problem. One fix, no actual dual Gamepad game has been made as of yet (though maybe Ubi made Zombie U 2 for 2 Gamepads which is why they haven't released it yet). So what if Wii U games are programmed to output at 320x240 to a synced 3DS? I know that sounds crazy, but Square made a Gamecube game - FFCC - play on 4 GBA and the tv simultaneously. If Square can get 4 GBA to work simultaneously on Gamecube hardware while outputting to a tv why can't Nitneod make a Wii U game output to a lower resolution synced 3DS? Just saying.

And why do you think it's a day late and a dollar short? When did FFCC come out in the Gamecube GBA lifecycle? The Wii U is still fairly new, the 3DS has a couple of years left, merge the 2 in a couple of games and expand both their lives.



Kiyata_Hamasaki said:

Bringing out, say, 100 GameBoy Advance and more NES games to the eShop would really spark sales. Why have they never done this?!



aaronsullivan said:

It's the problem with adding accessories later in the lifetime of a device (the 3DS in this case). Only one or two games will support it well. People still complain about games not utilizing the one GamePad enough.

It's pretty simple, really. If I'm developing a game and want to make sales, do I want to limit my sales only to those with the NEW revision of the 3DS and a Wii U? Or put another way, how much time will I want to spend on adding an additional feature to a game that only people with that combination can even take advantage of? It's a tough sell.

If it could work with all the current 3DS/2DS devices it would be a different story. That's why the next generation consoles and portable from Nintendo could pull it off.

I'm with you on getting the Wii U (or just an HDMI cable) to output the 3DS game to the screen though. I just want to share the experience sometimes. The most fun I ever had with Metroid Fusion was when playing with my wife on the GameBoy Player and then recently on the Wii U virtual console version with my two kids. They loved it. sigh



IceClimbers said:

@JoeysGirl That would spark software sales, and they don't make as much money from VC as you think. VC games won't reignite 3DS hardware sales. New games are needed that haven't previously been covered. That basically leaves Advance Wars, Golden Sun, and Metroid. Advance Wars doesn't seem to be in development, while Metroid would likely be met with negative reception for not being a Wii U game, even if it's a 2D Metroid. After the last Golden Sun, I'm not sure Camelot is up to making a new one. That basically leaves Nintendo with more games from franchises they've already released on the system like Zelda, Kirby, and Mario & Luigi.

Perhaps it's time they use some of their dormant franchises like Eternal Darkness and Sin & Punishment.



Yorumi said:

@Caryslan I still think there's a lot to lose by giving up entirely on home console games. That's why I think it would be good for them to make pc games and then continue to make portable games. Splatoon for example isn't realistically possible on the 3ds, and is likely only going to be partially possible on the next portable. The new zelda and X also can't really be done on a portable.

The thing is the sales of their games are tied directly to the install base. Believe it or not there are plenty of sony/ms fans that want to play nintendo games they just don't see the value in the system. It's easy to understand I'm sure anyone can find games on thoes systems they'd like to play but not enough to go out and buy a whole system for it so you just live without it. If they're not making the console though and just making pc games it takes the pressure off trying to push console sales. That way they can focus on the portable and still have some of the big games in the works. Games like 3d zeldas, 3d metroids, and monolith's works need to be a home console or pc.

It's kind of moot at this point cause one way or another they're going to make a successor to the wiiU. They do need to figure out the home console market though cause what they're doing just isn't working. I was hoping it wasn't but it's looking like the wii was definitely a fluke. Niche markets are fine but it's hard to pay $300 for zelda, monolith, and a bunch of sequels to games that are mostly unchanged.



rjejr said:

@aaronsullivan - Well as usual you make a lot of sense. Still, 3DS U w/ tv out via Wii U. how hard can that be?* Really, they should have built the Wii U from the ground up w/ that as an option and/or selling point. If the 2DS and XL are the "3DS family" the Wii U and 3DS U can be the "U" family of systems They can even keep that fugly 2DS faux tablet design if they like. For some reason I find it funny that the 2DS has just 1 physical screen like any other tablet. They took away the 3D view, might as well take away the buttons and make all their games on tablets

*disclaimer - I bought a new 7" tablet online about an hour ago to replace my 2 year old one, in small part due to Chromecast and tv mirroring. Mostly b/c the battery is going. My 3DS owning kid is very happy to be getting the old one so he can play Puzzle and Dragon while he waits for the 3DS version.



Excep7ional said:

@Yorumi If Nintendo made games for PC I would convert to PC gaming real quick. To have awesome Nintendo games along with 3rd party gems all on one platform (especially one with great performance capabilities) would be awesome.



Krzysztof said:

We all know Nintendo's philosophy that software sells hardware. So at the end, new 3ds would be a nice touch, but it won't push that many units as people expect. New games will.



datamonkey said:

In my opinion the Wii U has been badly managed since its launch in 2012 with far too many AAA game droughts to mention.

3DS had a stellar year in 2013 for software which was awesome, yet 2014 has been considerably weaker in comparison so no wonder hardware sales are down there too.

Unfortunately I can't really see what is going to turn Nintendo's fortunes around at the moment unless QOL has mass appeal...?



kishimi8 said:

all these numbers are confusing.......

love the way this site loads on my 3ds,,, no adverts,,. quite considerate , if done intentionally



opeter said:

I think the tablets/smartphones are slowly eating up the the 2DS/3DS market.



IceClimbers said:

If it's true that the handheld market is going to disappear completely, even if Nintendo were to hypothetically walk away from home consoles and focus completely on handhelds, then it's bad news for Nintendo.

The reality is that Nintendo is fighting a losing battle in the home console market. Excluding the fluke that was the Wii, every Nintendo home console has sold less than the previous one. Whatever Nintendo is doing is simply not working. The home console market is dead in Japan, and Nintendo's popularity in Europe and North America is constantly decreasing. I personally don't think that a home console that sells itself as an entertainment box with a focus on third parties like Xbox and PlayStation will sell for Nintendo.



Bolt_Strike said:

@electrolite77 It was during the investor's meeting back in January, same time when they announced the QOL.

"Nomura analyst now asking why Nintendo revamped its organizational structure to merge consoles and portable devices. Mr. Iwata says there was a huge technological gap in developing consoles and portable games in the past since portable devices run on batteries, but technological advances have narrowed the architectural difference between the two. He adds he doesn’t know yet whether the two hardware will be merged in the future, but the two will become more like 'brothers.'"

@IceClimbers I think it's more than that. I think people are becoming less and less interesting in dedicated gaming devices since you can easily buy a PC or mobile device at a comparable price that can do the same things plus more. And if that's true, it's even worse news for Nintendo because video games is basically all they know at this point.



Yorumi said:

@Bolt_Strike their games still sell like crazy, it's just the consoles that don't. I actually don't even think the portable market will disappear it's just removing the more casual players from it and shrinking a bit. They're never going to make a phone with buttons for gaming and they're generally going to lag behind portables in power.

Things can always change but keep in mind right now in the mobile markets you have to shift through tens of thousands of games to find one that's barely passable. Most are very short burst type games with very little depth. There's more quality games released for any portable in about 3 months than have likely ever been released on the entire mobile market.

As long as there are true gamers with a strong passion for games the portable market isn't going anywhere.



Bolt_Strike said:

@Yorumi Shrinking markets are never a good thing, especially in an age where costs have been continually rising. I don't think Nintendo can survive with just the "true" gamers nowadays, because that's basically what we're getting now. The sad fact is that us "true" gamers just aren't enough to drive a profit anymore, the casuals and the dudebros are much larger and they're the only markets that are capable of that.

You're right that the mobile market isn't really ideal at this point, but that's going to change at some point. Someone's going to come around and make a mobile device that's more gaming friendly with actual buttons, and it would most likely outsell consoles and handhelds by a mile. As for lack of quality control, that's happening in a lot of places, even the eShop.



Yorumi said:

@Bolt_Strike markets grow and shrink all the time. The good businesses survive. Keep in mind we're still talking about a system projected to sell 67mil units by 2015.

The thing with buttons is they don't make sense on a phone, and if we get to the point where they do nintendo might as well just allow their portable to make calls. Overall there's a lot of myth built up about the mobile markets that just simply isn't true at this point in time. Could it change? Of course markets are always changing. There's a reason the various android market at home devices arn't exactly burning up the market.

We've been hearing since before the 3ds launched that no one would buy portable game systems because of smart phones, and yet it's still projected to sell 70mil units, and it still has between 2 and 4 years of life. It could easily pass the 100mil mark in a supposedly dying market. Remember a few years ago when facebook games were going to completely kill the traditional gaming market and how well that all worked out? Quality control is always an issue but it's apples and oranges. The shovelware on the wiiU looks like downright masterpieces compared to quite literally 90%+ of the mobile games.

Finally keep in mind we have numerous developers who have games on mobile and console markets mentioning how they perform much better on console markets.

There's going to be a portable market certainly for the foreseeable future. Remember we'll be 10 years or more down the road when the successor to the 3ds has finished it's life.



maceng said:

The days of selling 80+ million consoles/handhelds is over. Many people get their fix with an iPad or Android tablet. More and more, I'm seeing incredible games (as well as a lot of cr@p!!) coming for these gaming devices.

The cycle of handheld Nintendo games is almost over:
DS / 3DS
***** / ******
Super Mario Bros / SMB 2
Mario 64 / Mario 3D Land
Mario hoops / Mario Golf/Mario Tennis
3 Mario rpgs / Mario Sticker star/Mario &Luigi Drem
Yoshi Island DS / Yoshi Island 3DS
Mario Party / Mario Party
Mario Kart / Mario Kart
2 Zelda games / 2 Zelda games
Fire emblem / Fire Emblem
4!! Kirby games / 1 Kirby game
3 Wario games / ????
Princess Peach / ????
----------- / Luigis Mansion

Other (DS): Yoshi Touch and Go, Starfy, Rhythm Heaven, about 17 Pokemon games, Donkey Kong Jungle Climber, Diddy Kong Racing, Magical Starsign, Mario vs DK (2)
(3DS): Donkey Kong Country, 7 Pokemon games so far, Mario vs DK (eShop), Pushmo (2) (eShop), Steel Diver, Starfox 64

I'll say that content wise, the 3DS has between 80 and 90% of the DSs' offerings, so unless Nintendo brings something new, from now on is downhill.

I feel that the third party companies have failed in producing games with the quality of likes GTA Chinatown (sold poorly), the Castlevania games, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, etc.



maceng said:

I'll say that the 3DS will sell between 65 and 75 million units and its successor will sell less than 40.



DeltaPeng said:

A thought, I read a lot of the initial comments yesterday about wanting more retails games, and concern as it is hard for Nintendo to focus on creating games for both systems (seems one gets the focus and games over the other).

I think this is the trend and the way dedicated gaming is headed in general. The reason being that it is getting harder over time to justify the price of a console and $50+ games, particularly as PC gaming and steam regularly discounts and drops prices of games within the year, if not within a couple of months after a games release. Combine that with mobile phone gaming a < $10 apps, and console gaming can't continue doing business as usual.

The popularity of eshop is an example of this, the public is preferring cheaper, smaller titles that are more risk free (being cheaper) and cost effective (easier to develop), and diverse (more developers). The low amount of retail games, not just in Nintendo platformers but across the board, is also indicative of this, and the head towards digital (as the overhead for physical product, distribution, and store display is high). Part of this is the demand for cheaper games from the consumers, part of this is a demand for quality (as there were many retail releases on the Wii and DS, but a high number was shovelware). To be successful, I think developers need to give up or re-analyze the idea that a retail game they make will sell at the $50+ range, and/or that they will make a viral hit and become insta-rich, as the market is instead towards the cheaper / smaller titles. There are exceptions for the quality games that come out (i.e., a lot of what Nintendo makes is worth that price range, for a time), but expecting all retail games to be at that price, is unrealistic in the way the market is turning.

Since things are turning towards digital and download only, and retail game releases only being made for the games that are more quality, the issue comes in that game droughts are seen 'in terms of retail releases'. In spite of there not being as many retail releases on the 3DS this year, there was still a fair number of eShop releases made. That, and while I hear complaints that not many games were released 'this year' that people wanted to buy, surely there are other good games that were made earlier that haven't been tried yet? If you haven't played a good game that was say released in 2008, then that's as good an opportunity as ever (maybe better, since it's cheaper now) to buy it and play it.

Along those lines, I think a way to save the console industry and/or improve public opinion of it / remove the idea of gaming drought, is to create a more detailed and comprehensive review list of games that are available on a system. eShop for example, has a fair number of quality titles on it, but the average consumer does not know about them. If Nintendo made more news about just how many games are available and just waiting to be bought, and from the convenience of your home, I think people would see more the value and opportunity that their system has. A solution for the average consumer who goes to their local department or gaming store, is to advertise and display pamphlets / or cardboard cutouts, etc of the games available on a system that denote it as Download Only. Gamestop does this for some of their games, but if this was done for a lot more of the eshop titles, it would raise a lot of awareness at a reasonable cost (one cutout per store per game title). If these stores were enabled to sell digital download codes for said eshop titles, again, awareness is raised and 100's of games that already exist are brought to the consumer's attention.

That said, thanks for reading my wordy exposition. Here's some eShop titles I enjoyed / are in my queue that look pretty good. As a gamer, I've grown up on Nintendo classics, love platformers.
Rabi Laby 2 = $2
Bloody Vampire = $5
Crimson Shroud = $5
Steam World Dig = $8?
Mutant Mudds
Pop Island = $2?
Escapee Go
Liberation Maiden

I'd be interested to hear what people's favorite eshop and retail titles are, though I wonder if there'd be a convenient way for each person to just make a list of their favorite titles? Then if someone has similar tastes as you, you can just check out games on their list. That may be a good way to spread the word among friends and miiverse



Bolt_Strike said:

@DeltaPeng Lack of exposure to digital releases is definitely a major factor here. They're not very well advertised, you'll probably never know about them unless you visit the eShop itself or a gaming site, and the major developers usually don't give them much attention beyond a 30 second sizzle reel. The ability to purchase a download code definitely sounds like a good idea, and I think the major console developers need to give them more coverage as well.

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