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Nintendo President Satoru Iwata sticks by the 3DS during these tough times  (Source: thereviewcrew.com)
Nintendo recently saw a 5 percent share slide as well as criticism from analysts who say gamers are happy playing on mobile devices like smartphones instead, and that Nintendo doesn't fulfill the gamers' needs anymore

Nintendo's 3DS has lived a pretty tragic tale since its March 2011 release -- and it doesn't look like that's changing anytime soon. 

Nintendo announced poor first-quarter earnings in July, and largely blamed the poor sales of the 3DS
. Between April and June 2011, only 710,000 units were sold, which brought the total number sold to 4.32 million (830,000 in the U.S. total). This was disappointing for Nintendo, considering it was hoping to sell this amount in the first few weeks of the 3DS' release. The company blamed a poor initial game lineup for the system's failure.

In an effort to run damage control, Nintendo slashed the price of the 3DS from $249.99 to $169.99 in August. It also offered a Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program that allowed users to download certain games for free.

The effort 
appeared to be working -- Nintendo sold 215,000 3DS systems between August 8 and 14 in Japan alone. This was pretty significant, considering the company sold 109,000 units in Japan in all of May 2011.

But that's where the success stops -- for now. Nintendo recently saw a 5 percent share slide as well as criticism from analysts who say gamers are happy playing on mobile devices like smartphones instead, and that Nintendo doesn't fulfill the gamers' needs anymore. 

Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata announced that Nintendo will release a significant game lineup starting the end of 2011 to the beginning of 2012. But analysts believe a better game lineup won't save the 3DS at this point. 

"Nintendo succeeded by pulling in people who weren't gamers and their needs now are no longer being fulfilled by Nintendo -- they are happy playing games on their mobile phones," said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment.

So far this year, Nintendo shares have plunged nearly 50 percent due to 3DS woes and doubts that the Wii U can be as successful as the Wii. Iwata took a 50 percent pay cut while other executives took 20 to 30 percent pay cuts for poor performance, and analysts have cut their full-year operating profit forecasts for Nintendo by about 45 percent in the past month. 

Despite the doom and gloom
, Iwata marches on with hope that the 3DS won't be a complete flop after a better game lineup is released. 

"From the end of this year to the beginning of next, we are planning the kind of extensive lineup that has probably never been seen before in the history of video games," said Iwata. "We will make an all-out effort to see that the 3DS sells enough to become the successor to the DS."

Rumors also circulated last month that a second circle pad would be released for the 3DS, and that a whole new portable system would be released in 2012.



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Honestly
By Sazabi19 on 9/13/2011 10:29:26 AM , Rating: 3
A poor game lineup is what turned me off of the 3DS. I think the concept is neat behind it and I have owned several gameboys through my life and have liked them all. When I saw a complete lack of titles on the launch (especially Super Mario titles) I just shied away from it. I know a version of Mario Cart will be coming out soon and that is nice, but I need more than just that. Also, for the PS realm, I really want them to make another Kingdom Hearts for the PS3 (haven't had a new one accept the PSP since PS2 days), I loved the Kingdom Hearts series. Just throwin that out.




RE: Honestly
By Flunk on 9/13/2011 10:49:56 AM , Rating: 4
I agree, the game lineup is very weak. Almost all the games are ports of games I've already beaten years ago and there isn't anything novel or unique about them.

The hardware itself is pretty uninspiring too, the DS sold because of the novel 2 screen setup and Nintendo seems to have made the mistake of assuming they could just slightly update it, add a stupid feature and throw it out the door.

The majority of smartphones seem to be able to outperform it, at least in polygon count and they're still getting faster. The 3DS is stuck at it's current performance for it's entire lifecycle, which could be up to 10 years (although this is doubtful unless people start buying them).


RE: Honestly
By RealTheXev on 9/13/2011 11:55:26 AM , Rating: 2
The biggest problem with smart phones is the battery life you get when playing an intensive 3D game. This is the one thing Nintendo really excels at.

I could never think of playing Sonic 4 for 10 hours on my HTC Trophy 7.

Games like Angry Birds, battery holds out longer, but 2 hours of battery life while playing a game like that still isn't acceptable imo.


RE: Honestly
By someguy123 on 9/13/2011 12:37:57 PM , Rating: 2
There's no doubt that the lineup has been anemic. I don't think it's fair to compare them to smartphones, or sony for that matter, at least in terms of what to expect in processing power. Sony actively subsidizes and will heavily subsidize the vita, and smartphones are subsidized by telecoms, who attach plans with all of their decent smartphones. Ever try buying one of these things without a plan? The iphone 4 and galaxy s are 649$ retail! Even with a plan these things are more expensive than the current 3DS pricing.

I think what went wrong here was the push for a 3D screen. It appears to cost them a significant amount, as they claim the current 3DSs are being sold at cost. They seemed to believe gimmicks attached to the handheld itself are system sellers, which may be somewhat true, but in their desperation to find something new they went with a trend that's dwindling in popularity.


RE: Honestly
By MrBlastman on 9/13/2011 2:48:01 PM , Rating: 2
What turned me off was the eye strain. I've never used something that made my eyes hurt as much as this thing did before.


RE: Honestly
By Manch on 9/13/2011 3:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
My friend said it made him cross eyed. It didn't bother me at all. I bought one. I thought it was pretty cool. Plus playing Zelda on a 9hr plane ride was awesome!


How expected
By captainBOB on 9/13/2011 10:56:27 AM , Rating: 2
Nintendo should know that the casual gamer isn't loyal to a brand as much as a more dedicated gamer.

Its not surprising that the 3DS is failing when compared to a smartphone, which aside from games can also has superior web browsing, email, texting, calling, the kitchen sink...

What's more, the hardware in smartphones is evolving at a rapid rate, we're now barreling toward phones with over 1.5 Ghz processors and graphics hardware that would make the 3DS green with envy.

All the 3DS can do is be a dedicated game system with a camera, and pokemon.

They really should just cut their losses and develop their games for the mobile platforms, i'm sure there are tons of people who would play Pokemon on their phone and are willing to pay for it.




RE: How expected
By Paj on 9/13/2011 11:04:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
They really should just cut their losses and develop their games for the mobile platforms, i'm sure there are tons of people who would play Pokemon on their phone and are willing to pay for it.


This.

5 or so years ago you would see plenty of people playing on their DS or Playstation. Now, iPhones and Androids are eating up their market share. Judging by what I see (and play) on my 2 hours of train time every day, this will only continue.

Sony sort of had the right idea with the XPeria Play, but they should leave the hardware to the major players and focus on developing some solid mobile games, with a view to perhaps being involved in an alliance with other manufacturers to develop standards for handset design. This is where the money will be made.


RE: How expected
By wempa on 9/13/2011 3:31:06 PM , Rating: 2
Nintendo is starting to experience the same pain as the companies who sell digital cameras and MP3 players are feeling. Smart phones are becoming replacements to a lot of these separate device. To some extent, even laptop and tablet sales are affected. Heck, my PSP died on me but I'm in no hurry to replace it since I get plenty of entertainment out of my Android phone.


RE: How expected
By Manch on 9/13/2011 4:04:36 PM , Rating: 2
Smart phones provide a "good enough" solution for some things, but until the battery life improves they'll be hard pressed to become true replacements. It'll eventually get there. Convergence is a matter of time. My GPS has succumbed to this. Why buy one of those when I can just use the one on my phone. It works great and the maps are updated constantly(no costly map packs). Still, until it does, i'll continue to use a separate camera, portable game machine, and mp3 player.


RE: How expected
By robinthakur on 9/14/2011 7:20:02 AM , Rating: 2
And it's no coincidence that the 3DS has awful battery life! my IP4 last all day playing games, so clearly you do not own an iPhone. People are also used to charging their phones every day, so this is less of a problem. The 3DS is another device to carry, which rules it out for me. When I can play Super Streetfighter 4 Volt on my iPhone4, I didn't need to buy the 3DS and Super Streetfighter 4, so they lost a sale. Might be picking up recently though with Starfox and Zelda plus what's around the corner plus 3D is stilla cool feature to have. They sure do need to improve their perception...no parents I know have bought xone or their kids due to the potential damage to their kids eyesight growth, simply what parent would take that risk when it's on the packaging in black and white?


RE: How expected
By Manch on 9/14/2011 10:42:57 AM , Rating: 2
Using the 3D it played Zelda just fine durng my recent trip across the atlantic, so I do not think the battery life is horrible, not for what you can do on it. You said you do not have a 3DS so your gripe about battery life is someone elses.

I on the other hand have had a few smartphones. No, not an iphone, because there are better ones out there than it, and I can hold them how I like ;)

I can charge the 3DS everyday too, just like your iphone. It even comes with a dock so I can just drop it on there to charge. The 3DS will fit in my backpack just fine, as I'm not trying to stuff my pockets with it.

As far as SFIV goes, cool, good for you. I however can play SF, zelda and many more games on it that your iphone nor any android phone has. Plus it has actual buttons.

I like buttons. Using virtual buttons on screen sucks. That's why my last phone(epic 4g) has a keyboard bc I personally preferr physical keys.

I understand the concern for parents about the 3D. I think the warning was to satisfy some very vocal concerns, although I do not know if I believe the warnings. I think however kids do not need to play SF, they need to go play kick ball, or get there chubby off the controller and wrap them around a bat. I'm not saying kids shouldnt play video games. Far from it, I grew up playing videogames, but i also grew up outside of the house too. I see too many kids sitting there like zombies playing games on their DS's spinning in slow circles while others kids are running around. Guess who the fat one is?

If you get one I think you will enjoy it and you'll like ot for gaming better than your iphone. Ultimately it's up to the individual wether they want one or not.


RE: How expected
By mganai on 9/13/2011 10:17:26 PM , Rating: 2
If Nintendo were to develop for other platforms, they would lose out on software royalties, and have their core hardware platforms undermined.

Also, they have almost always sold their consoles at a profit, unlike MS and Sony, who always start out selling theirs at a loss.


Android 3DS?
By ihateu3 on 9/13/2011 8:05:09 PM , Rating: 2
If Nintendo would port Android to the 3DS or a future handheld than the problems solved! Nintendo could still profit from their games and also allow people onto Android market for those games they play on their Smart Phones, except with dedicated buttons, and long battery life.

3DS with Android = win!




RE: Android 3DS?
By ShaolinSoccer on 9/14/2011 12:52:10 AM , Rating: 2
Or maybe Nintendo should make their own smartphone?


RE: Android 3DS?
By ihateu3 on 9/14/2011 2:14:06 AM , Rating: 2
Problem with a gaming smart phone is battery life, no one wants to use their phone to the point of no battery left for texting, gps and phone calls.

If we had unlimited (or highly improved) battery life on phones, there would not be a need for handhelds...


Poor game lineup my ass, try faulty exicution!
By RealTheXev on 9/13/2011 11:03:05 AM , Rating: 3
Let me ask anyone a simple question, have you SEEN a 3DS? How are you supposed to be oohed and awed by something no one has ever seen. To date, none of my friends have seen one and I haven't seen one either, and apparently this system has been out since March????!

When the DS launched, even my local Walmart in the middle of nowhere had a kiosk that you could try it out at. But if you go into GameStop, Walmart, Target, Toy R Us... no retailer has a unit on display in the Erie PA area. How can you experience this supposed eye popping glassless 3D when you can't even see it in person at a store?

Sorry everyone who lives in a city in civilization where what I just said may not be true, but these displays need to be everywhere, not just big cities. Who knows, someone in a super populated city like New York tell me if its the same there??

I have no interest in a machine in a box. Killer titles might change my mind, but how can I see if this glassless 3D is any good with out a damn display unit!?

I ask Daily Tech or ANY OTHER SITE to step out of the office where they might receive game units and titles for free, and go LOOK for a damn unit.

My local stores do have units for sale, but again... WHERE IS MY DISPLAY!?




By Subzero0000 on 9/13/2011 10:00:57 PM , Rating: 2
It's the same situation here in Hong Kong (a super populated city).
They do sell 3DS, but none on display.


need more of this...
By M4gery on 9/13/2011 11:13:33 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Iwata took a 50 percent pay cut while other executives took 20 to 30 percent pay cuts for poor performance


need to see more of this instead of golden parachutes




Tool late now, dummies!
By bigdawg1988 on 9/13/2011 11:17:20 AM , Rating: 2
"From the end of this year to the beginning of next, we are planning the kind of extensive lineup that has probably never been seen before in the history of video games," said Iwata. "We will make an all-out effort to see that the 3DS sells enough to become the successor to the DS."

Why the hell wouldn't you do that in the first place? Did you really think 3D would be so great that everybody would run out and buy one just to play a crappy game in 3D? Damn, Nintendo must still be drunk off the Wii's success. Forget the 3DS and put your efforts into writing (and getting 3rd party developers making) good games for the Wii-U!

I will give them credit for taking pay cuts. Wonder how many American executives would do that, even if they know they suck?




RE: Tool late now, dummies!
By captainBOB on 9/13/2011 11:33:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I will give them credit for taking pay cuts. Wonder how many American executives would do that, even if they know they suck?


I don't think the paycut is as much out of generosity or whatever could describe what they did as it is expected from Japanese corporate culture.


Dedicated Mobile Gaming Is Dying
By Arsynic on 9/13/2011 11:10:47 AM , Rating: 3
Nintendo isn't failing, it's the fact that adults rely on powerful mobile phones for their gaming needs. Nintendo needs to go third party and develop mobile games for Android phones.

But they don't want to do this because they want to sell mobile games for $40 a pop.




Sales Numbers?
By someguy123 on 9/13/2011 10:48:54 AM , Rating: 2
So...what does this comment by analysts have to do with the price drop? Have the sales dwindled?




Newsflash
By bug77 on 9/13/2011 11:27:29 AM , Rating: 2
People like to play, people don't like to buy fancy devices just because they're on the shelf (unless they're sold by a certain company).




And the after-effects!
By The0ne on 9/13/2011 1:11:16 PM , Rating: 2
Sales jumped 260% after price drop!

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Nintendo-3DS-Price-cut...

And still outselling the closest handheld by twice as many.

3DS - 54,744 [1,727,529]
PS3 - 33,831 [852,514]
PSP - 30,192 [1,410,681]

I could have sworn July was way past due. Hmmm. Keep your hopes up gamers, it's just lacking games for now.




Really?
By MattCoz on 9/13/2011 2:05:17 PM , Rating: 2
It took them this long to realize that games are what sell game systems?




The 3D screen
By kmmatney on 9/13/2011 2:18:55 PM , Rating: 2
I would think that most of nintendo's handhelds are bought for kids, and the 3D screen is a turn-off for us. My wife refuses to buy one (I have 3 kids) as she's afraid it will screw up their eyes, or give them headaches. Even if its not true, it's something I'd rather not risk. Who would want to risk that?




Misleading much?
By pwnsweet on 9/14/2011 8:33:22 PM , Rating: 2
I'm staunchly anti-3DS, but to be fair the title for this article is misleading. It makes it sound like Nintendo are only releasing a bunch of games because the price cut failed to increase sales. This is not the case.

The price cut has increased sales significantly, and Nintendo would've released these games regardless of the results of the price cut.




I bought one:
By Manch on 9/13/2011 11:59:41 AM , Rating: 1
I picked one up after the price drop. I picked up SF-III, Zelda and I'll pick up Star Fox remake when it releases. Still i would like to see original titles, not remakes. I travel a lot and I don't want to burn my phones battery down playing games on the plane,train, or whatever. I still enjoy games that have more depth than angry birds...ughhh.

A competent web browser would be nice on it too. The one that's on there now just isn't acceptable. Still a web browser isn't why I bought it. This thing is supposed to be as powerful as a GameCube so it should put out decent graphics.

While i do wish it had dual analog sticks, to me it's not a deal breaker. I bought it for one thing and that's to play games. While the 3D works great for me, I know others that it bugs the hell out of.

Ultimately I think it will do OK, and eventually make some money for Nintendo. They botched the launch and they know it. Once they rectify the lack of games an properly supt the system, i think it will only get better. Plus, if they haven't realized, consumers are not spending right now, so they need to provide overwhelming value(at least in the consumers eyes) in order to push the system(pack in game?. Better yet, $30 price point for new games. $25 for remakes(not ports) Selling a remake for $40 is only a value to the most ardent of fans. When it comes to Zelda games, I'll admit they could sell me shit on a platter, tho that trick would only work once.




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