3DS Sales Pick Up as Games Catalogue Strengthens


Before the launch of their newest portable gaming system, Nintendo announced that they expected 4 million units sold by the end of the fiscal year. In reality they only sold 3.61 million units, which is significantly less than expected. There are several factors responsible for the lack of sales. At first, many gamers weren’t interested until the device would be updated with the eShop and the ability to transfer previous DSiWare purchases. Others weren’t thrilled by the catalogue of games available at launch and soon after. There will always be some people simply not interested, and some that are interested but want to see a price-drop before they buy a new product. But according to several surveys in the UK, US and Japan, many gamers were waiting for more games, and specific games that had already been announced. At launch, gamers already knew they would soon be enjoying The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Starfox 64 3D, Kid Icarus: Uprising, a new Mario Kart and various other games. But none of these were around at or even near launch, and this has clearly affected hardware sales as many gamers hold off. Another factor is that Sony’s PSP is going very strong and has some great new games out at the moment (especially in Japan). The PSP has a stronger catalogue of games, but obviously had a huge head start.

But now times are changing. Many of the Nintendo games mentioned above are going to be released this year, and some already have been. The most eagerly-awaited game on the list was certainly Ocarina of Time 3D, and gamers can get one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time on their Nintendo 3DS. And now the other big games are starting to work their way to the gamers. It is easier to understand that the lack of games helped drive the less-than-expected unit sales of the 3DS when we see the Japanese charts from last week. The number 1 selling console in the week from June 26 to July 03 was the Nintendo 3DS with 30,233 units sold, just beating the PSP with its 29,871 units sold. The Nintendo 3DS also led the software charts that week, with the PS2 classic Tales Of The Abyss from Namco Bandai (a game I mentioned very briefly in my last Nintendo Scene post). It sold 71,393 units, far ahead of the Playstation 3’s latest Street Fighter title selling 53,886. Another 3DS game in the top 10 was Ocarina of Time 3D, sitting in 6th in its third week. The PSP had four great games in the top 10, all selling well, and the 3DS is far from dominating Sony’s alternative. But it’s clear that when the great games are available, they will help sell systems. We can see this in the great sales recently for the 3DS and its games, as well as in the popularity of the ageing PSP which has life because developers are still creating strong titles for it. The game catalogue will improve quite dramatically in the winter according to the release dates that have been announced, and with that we should expect to see sales of the Nintendo 3DS increase not only around Christmas but also into 2012 as gamers consider the new selection of games available.

Are you waiting for a specific game before buying a 3DS? Or have you got one already, and are just excited about the new games arriving towards the end of the year? Let us know in the comments what game(s) you’re most looking forward to!

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  1. […] 3DS Sales Pick Up as Games Catalogue Strengthens (nintendoscene.com) […]

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  2. […] units, but they have fallen far short of that target with 3.61 million. I have discussed in an earlier news article about why I think this happened. The main factors seem to have been a launch lineup of games that […]

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  3. […] 3DS Sales Pick Up as Games Catalogue Strengthens (nintendoscene.com) […]

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  4. […] 3DS Sales Pick Up as Games Catalogue Strengthens (nintendoscene.com) […]

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  5. […] 3DS Sales Pick Up as Games Catalogue Strengthens (nintendoscene.com) […]

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