Since its launch in March, sales of Nintendo’s 3DS console have not met with expectations, Nintendo admitted at E3 recently. Investors are blaming the design, price and advertising as factors affecting sales of the glasses-free handheld device and have called for a ‘revolutionary Nintendo moment’ in the face of consumer apathy.
Responding to criticism, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata admitted “So, first I think it’s fair to say that while Nintendo 3DS had a strong launch day, the results since then have not met our expectations … although pre-orders for this system were very strong and initial impressions of this system were very positive, those early indicators stand in conflict with where the system is at today.”
Investors complained that the 3DS was too similar in design to other devices already on the market but had a higher price point of US$250. In addition, some felt that Nintendo’s advertising program for the 3DS was too small.
“The current situation resulted from the fact that the delay of developing Nintendo 3DS software and launching online services, like Nintendo eShop, 3D video services and so forth, occurred simultaneously, so we could not meet people’s high expectations that they had before its launch, and we did not see momentum after the launch,” Iwata said.
Addressing the suggestion that the form factor of Nintendo’s handheld platform is, at this point, dated, Satoru Iwata was quick to respond. “Regarding the form factor, I think that people who purchase video game systems tend to purchase it for the experience that the system offers,” Satoru Iwata responded. ” I so while I do agree that it’s important for us to work on creating products with appealing form factors, I don’t think that the current state of the Nintendo 3DS is because of a result of not having a significantly different form factor from our other handheld systems.”
Upcoming titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Mario Kart, Super Mario, Spiderman: Edge of Time, Star Fox 64 3D and others may help reverse Nintendo’s fortunes. “I think that we’ll be able to show you that as Nintendo eShop and 3D video services come online, and a number of key software titles become available, we’ll be able to regain momentum for this hardware,” Iwata said.