Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nintendo Stomps the DSi XL

Apparently, Nintendo is not content with sticking a knife into the back of the DSi XL launch, as I discussed here a few weeks ago. Now they're looking to cut off its head and bury it at the crossroads, according to this article in Businessweek. They are calling the 3DS the biggest handheld product since 2004, when they introduced the original DS. Translation: Don't buy the DSi XL since the 3DS is the new hotness. In fact, why don't you avoid buying any DSi at all, since this new device is going to replace all of them.

Nintendo must be really, really worried by Apple (certainly not by Sony, as the PSP continues to fade). Why else would Nintendo sabotage its own handheld business in favor of a new and untried handheld that won't even be out for at least six months? Perhaps the clue is that they projected in January that DS hardware sales have dropped 3.8% over the last 12 months, and software sales have dropped 24%.

So I guess their answer is new hardware. I sure hope that the 3D effect works... it seems like an awful big risk to me. A more surefire answer might be to put some effort into the DSiWare store, and perhaps make it easier for developers to get in there. Apple has 50,000 games for the iPhone/iPod Touch... the DSi has perhaps 4000. Average selling price... well, let's not go there.

Not to mention that the DSi is only for playing games, and the iPhone/iPod Touch can do all sorts of other things. Hmm, Nintendo should be worried, but I don't thing putting 3D lipstick on their hardware will be enough to compete effectively in the long term. We'll see, I guess.

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