3DS

Natsume Delayed 3DS Games Due to Slow Sales

by James Jones and Neal Ronaghan - August 25, 2011, 11:44 am PDT
Total comments: 26 Source: (Natsume)

The rocky sales start of the 3DS is the reason why we're not ghostly grooving yet.

Two Natsume releases, Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove and Harvest Moon: Tale of Two Towns, were delayed due to the lackluster early sales of the 3DS, according to a Natsume representative.

Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove came out in Japan in July, and is ready to be released in North America. However, it was pushed back to an October release, primarily because of system sales, but also because of the game's Halloween-esque setting.

Additionally, Harvest Moon on 3DS, which is a North America exclusive, is coming out in October, a month after its DS counterpart.

Natsume has released one 3DS game in North America, Reel Fishing Paradise 3D, to date.

Talkback

CericAugust 25, 2011

That is weird.  With the Halloween theme I would have originally put that game in October.
Sort of stinks. I hope its not to expensive.  Looks EBA like gameplay wise.  Waiting to see reviews but I guess that's going to be October.

Fatty_The_HuttAugust 25, 2011

There's a real chicken-and-egg thing going on with 3DS. Companies won't publish software without acceptable hardware sales. Acceptable hardware sales won't happen without decent software. Is 3DS unique in this regard?

I think PS3 struggled a bit until its price drop and until good software very slowly accumulated. I don't know about XBox360.

The Wii seemed to take off right away. But then, it had a very compelling pack-in game in Wii Sports and there was also Twilight Princess from Nintendo at launch. Was there anything else from Nintendo at launch? What ws the next big first party title on Wii? Third parties did pretty well in the early-going too. Red Steel sold very well and I think Carnival Games was an early Wii title that also sold very well. I am not here discussing quality of any games, just their sales draw.

Did Sony back up the PS3 with good first party launch or early titles? Or did PS3 really only gain traction when the price came down? It was very expensive at launch. I think Nintendo made that same mistake with the 3DS. Also, the 3DS still lacks a killer compelling original first party Nintendo title. They may have been betting on Nintendogs + Cats or Ocarina of Time but those games are perceived as repeats. The killer new games are coming very shortly: Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land.

OblivionAugust 25, 2011

The thing is is that both those games feel like repeats too.

Harvest Moon: Tale of Two Towns DS is already out in Japan. Europe is apparently going to get both versions at a future date.

ejamerAugust 25, 2011

If the games were blockbusters, they might sell anyway... but I can understand why Natsume wants to delay the releases. Nobody is going to go back and look for copies of Ghostly Groove or even Harvest Moon months after release.


Still seems odd though: given the lack of compelling software (or any software, really) you would think that releasing games while 3DS sales are still ramping up might still get decent sales since gamers have such limited choice.

TJ SpykeAugust 25, 2011

Quote from: Fatty_The_Hutt

The Wii seemed to take off right away. But then, it had a very compelling pack-in game in Wii Sports and there was also Twilight Princess from Nintendo at launch. Was there anything else from Nintendo at launch? What ws the next big first party title on Wii?

Nintendo also had Excite Truck at launch, which got decent reviews. The next big game from Nintendo was Wii Play, which was a launch game in every region except North America (it came out here about 2 1/2 months after launch).

Fatty_The_HuttAugust 25, 2011

Quote from: TJ

Quote from: Fatty_The_Hutt

The Wii seemed to take off right away. But then, it had a very compelling pack-in game in Wii Sports and there was also Twilight Princess from Nintendo at launch. Was there anything else from Nintendo at launch? What ws the next big first party title on Wii?

Nintendo also had Excite Truck at launch, which got decent reviews. The next big game from Nintendo was Wii Play, which was a launch game in every region except North America (it came out here about 2 1/2 months after launch).


So,
Wii Sports
Twilight Princess
Excite Truck
Red Steel
Wii Play
(others, of course)

That's a pretty compelling line-up right there. Even if the Wii had not generated all that mainstream buzz because of its new-fangledy-ness, it probably would have sold well at launch because it was well supported with software from the get-go. Also, I believe Virtual Console was available at launch and I remember folks considering that to be a huge selling point.

Also, the Wii was priced properly. It was a good package with a pack-in game for $250, and it compared favourably with its competion from Sony and Microsoft, which were more expensive and didn't include a game.

Now, the 3DS:
AR Games
Face Raiders
Super Street Fighter IV
Pilotwings Resort
Nintendogs + Cats
Steel Diver
Ridge Racer
Ghost Recon
(others, of course)

I am failing to see a big difference in the choices and types of titles available at launch. No deep adventure game like Twilight Princess but otherwise a fairly comparable line-up. No really big first party title. But do the masses pay that much attention to the publisher? Aslo, no virtual console at launch. That did not help. But, I am still not convinced that software was the big problem in the first 5 months of the 3DS's life.

I think it boils down to price. The thing was just too damned expensive for a handheld. Vita may similarly suffer.


The first two 3DS games you list are just built-in tech demos. Steel Diver is a $40 tech demo.

Fatty_The_HuttAugust 25, 2011

Quote from: Crimm

The first two 3DS games you list are just built-in tech demos. Steel Diver is a $40 tech demo.


What you call tech-demos, others call games, shallow though they may be. Wii Sports could be accused of shallowness as well. I was attempting to draw a parallel between the Wii and 3DS pack-ins.

Point taken, though.

Dammit, I was getting really excited for Harvest Moon and now I have to wait another month.

Quote from: Fatty_The_Hutt

I think it boils down to price. The thing was just too damned expensive for a handheld. Vita may similarly suffer.

Among other things, the Wii also came in time for the holiday season, and prior to the recession.

Nintendo also did a much better job of marketing the Wii than they have so far with the 3DS.

martyAugust 25, 2011

Wii Sports was a well made game that everyone could enjoy.  It brought people together and was a great title--a perfect pack in to get people excited about the system.

Quote from: MegaByte

Among other things, the Wii also came in time for the holiday season, and prior to the recession.

The Wii sold very well until 2010, far into the recession.

The price was also lowered in 2009, and it already had momentum.

martyAugust 25, 2011

Quote from: MegaByte

The price was also lowered in 2009, and it already had momentum.

So it sold incredibly well during the recession?  Agreed.

Something that was already selling well continuing to sell well during a recession is quite a bit different from something new released during a recession starting off well.

Also, there is nothing currently on the 3DS, or on the horizon, that has anywhere near the selling power that Wii Sports had. Comparing anything to the Wii doesn't make sense because of that.

TJ SpykeAugust 25, 2011

I think Mario Kart DS and New Super Mario Bros. helped sell millions of DS's. I think i]Mario Kart 7 could do the same thing.

I'm not saying there aren't system sellers. Mario Kart and Mario 3D Land will definitely help, but neither of those, and neither NSMB nor MKDS, are in the same league as Wii Sports.

martyAugust 25, 2011

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Something that was already selling well continuing to sell well during a recession is quite a bit different from something new released during a recession starting off well.

Also, there is nothing currently on the 3DS, or on the horizon, that has anywhere near the selling power that Wii Sports had. Comparing anything to the Wii doesn't make sense because of that.

I'm not disagreeing with you but "momentum" doesn't really account for anything.  Isn't momentum really just the will of the market?  Nintendo made something a lot of people liked and they responded by buying it as fast as Nintendo could make it.  Nintendo had success making games like Wii Sports, Wii Fit, Mario Kart Wii, and New Super Mario Bros Wii--maybe sales wouldn't have slumped if they kept making games in the vein.

martyAugust 25, 2011

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

I'm not saying there aren't system sellers. Mario Kart and Mario 3D Land will definitely help, but neither of those, and neither NSMB nor MKDS, are in the same league as Wii Sports.

Mario Kart 7 might be a system seller but I'm not sure.

Mario 3D Land probably won't be a system seller, at least not in any meaningful way.

Mop it upAugust 26, 2011

Quote from: Fatty_The_Hutt

What was the next big first party title on Wii?

That would depend on how you define "big." I remember a lot of hype surrounding WarioWare Smooth Moves which released about three months after launch, but it didn't sell comparatively well. Mario Party 8 sold quite well, but it didn't really have hype. So the game after Wii Sports that had both hype and sales was Super Mario Galaxy.

Quote from: marty

Mario 3D Kart might be a system seller but I'm not sure.

That filter is my best work.

Mop it upAugust 26, 2011

And it's sadly still a better name than Mario Kart (7).

Quote from: marty

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

I'm not saying there aren't system sellers. Mario Kart and Mario 3D Land will definitely help, but neither of those, and neither NSMB nor MKDS, are in the same league as Wii Sports.

Mario Kart 7 might be a system seller but I'm not sure.

Mario 3D Land probably won't be a system seller, at least not in any meaningful way.

3D Land will help, like I said. My point here is that no one game alone will get people to buy a 3DS in any appreciable number the way Wii Sports did with the Wii.

AVAugust 27, 2011

Natsume should delay the games because they want to POLISH THEM, not sales. I am a fan of the harvest moon games but they always lack that extra polish. Clipping problems, less than perfect translation, etc have always been a problem for the games that I played.


I bet they are cursing themselves because having it release later with other high quality games around them, this game will not be comparable in polish and quality. Gamers expect more with more time, and if they are going to delay it and not improve quality they will not see better sales even if the user-base is bigger who owns the console.

This decision did not affect the initial launch of these games in Japan. Ultimately that part is out of their hands.

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