Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Saturday, May 7, 2011

3DS Sales Still Weak

3DS sales are moving about this fast.
If you were wondering about 3DS sales, wonder no longer. It wasn't just a temporary glitch. The 3DS is being regularly outsold by the PSP in Japan, with the PSP hitting almost three times the sale of the 3DS. True, the PSP is half the price... but it's been on the market for many years.

The PSP sold almost 80,000 units compared to the 3DS at 28,000 units. In case you're wondering, the DSi LL sold a little over 9,000 units, and the DSi sold about 7500. These are really not good numbers for Nintendo. It's partly reflective of the lackluster launch titles, to be sure. But who's to blame for that? Nintendo should at least have been able to control the software titles they did in-house, and delayed the launch of the 3DS until they had at least one killer title for it. Nintendo made a huge mistake in rushing the 3DS out before it was really ready. Why would they do it? Because they saw their sales for the Wii and the DS line sinking fast, and felt they had to do something to brighten the sales picture a little (even so, their sales were down 29% for the year, even with the launch of the 3DS in there).

Nintendo was in this pickle because they refused to lower the price of the Wii last holiday season, figuring that they didn't need to. Similarly, Nintendo felt that initial reaction at the last E3 was so strong for the 3DS that they didn't need to market it, or wait to launch until better software was available. Bad choices, obviously.

I'm sure Nintendo's hoping that Ocarina of Time and other titles coming soon will revive sales (that, and some actual marketing efforts... maybe an ad or two, Nintendo?). I think they're still missing the larger industry trends, which are moving away from the directions they are going.

And, by the way, 3D is not a must-have for everybody. Not in movies, and not in games. At least Nintendo has admitted that... now. Not the same thing they were saying before the 3DS launch, but I guess they have learned something.

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