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Wii U Sales Up, 3DS Sales Down in Third Quarter

by Bryan Rose - January 28, 2015, 5:56 am EST
Total comments: 18 Source: Nintendo Life

Nintendo is in the black as far as profits go.

Nintendo has remained profitable in the third quarter ending December 31, but 3DS hardware sales are way down.

The Wii U sold a little more than 3 million units in 2014, compared to the equivalent time period last year in which approximately 2.8 million units were sold. However, the 3DS sales were down. While they sold 7.67 million units in 2014, this is down from last year in which they sold 12.89. The total 3DS sales for 2014 add up to roughly how many units of the system were sold just from October to December 2013. Wii U software sales were up while 3DS' sales were down.

Nintendo attributed the high sales of the Wii U with titles such as Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U being released in this time period. Games that were steady sellers for the 3DS included Pokemon X and Y, Mario Kart 7 and Tomodachi Life.

Talkback

CericJanuary 28, 2015

Darn that Month of Octover.

I hate to say this but in general the 3DS really can't put out the graphic quality you are seeing on Mobile Phones.  We all knew early on this was going to be a problem when it didn't look much different than the PSP.

Luigi DudeJanuary 28, 2015

Quote from: Ceric

I hate to say this but in general the 3DS really can't put out the graphic quality you are seeing on Mobile Phones.  We all knew early on this was going to be a problem when it didn't look much different than the PSP.

That means nothing for handheld gaming since the people playing on handhelds generally care less about graphical quality.  The DS already proved that loud and clear and the 3DS complete domination of the Vita makes that even clearer.

marvel_moviefan_2012January 28, 2015

the DS didn't prove anything it was considerably cheaper than PSP and came out before mobile gaming took off. Sales have never been as cut and dry as the least powerful wins just because people are stupid. Its always more complicated than that but some people still chant power doesn't matter because despite flaws a weak system can still sell enough units.


Anyways no the 3DS wasn't powerful enough even for Nintendo if it was they wouldn't be rushing out New 3DS so soon. Also Wii kind of lowered the bar for Nintendo gamers expectation anyways but it didn't fool everyone.

marvel_moviefan_2012January 28, 2015

also the DS had to compete with PSP but they were both new, untested markets, iPad, Iphone, Android those are strongholds the PSP and DS only wish they could crack.

CericJanuary 28, 2015

Quote from: Luigi

Quote from: Ceric

I hate to say this but in general the 3DS really can't put out the graphic quality you are seeing on Mobile Phones.  We all knew early on this was going to be a problem when it didn't look much different than the PSP.

That means nothing for handheld gaming since the people playing on handhelds generally care less about graphical quality.  The DS already proved that loud and clear and the 3DS complete domination of the Vita makes that even clearer.

Your talking about a vastly different time.  When the DS was out only the hardcore had Smartphones really.  Now they are relatively everywhere and to the point that there are hand me downs that are powerful enough to make 3DS graphics.  If I had to choose between gaming on a mobile device that I already own that looks nicer or making the investment into specific built device that doesn't look as nice the choice is pretty clear.

When your advertising graphics are the easiest thing to advertise with.  Because of Smartphones, Tablets, and even the Vita portability is not the selling point that it was on the DS and earlier.  Then you have to consider software.

We have not had as much exclusive universally appealing software.  I lot of the items that would be considered universally appealing has a Smart Phone/Tablet equivalent for more than likely a cheaper cost and hardware you probably already have.

broodwarsJanuary 28, 2015

Well, now we know why Nintendo has been even cheaper than usual lately, and why they've been overtly panicking over the 3DS.  I think I saw elsewhere that Nintendo had to slash its 3DS predictions from 40 million to 20 million. Ouch. Of course, I can't say I'm surprised about 3DS sales considering there was no reason to buy a 3DS as soon as they announced the New 3DS. Plus, Japan especially has become obsessed with smartphone-based gaming. Unfortunately for Nintendo, the Wii U's probably hit its sales peak (though it'll spike again when Zelda releases) so it'll be up to the New 3DS to hold the line over the next 2 years.

CericJanuary 28, 2015

Nintendo's best strategy with the WiiU is working on increasing the Attach Rate.  I'm pretty sure we've seen the system sales stabilize to what they are going to be. Time to really know your buyers.

MythtendoJanuary 28, 2015

Quote from: marvel_moviefan_2012

Anyways no the 3DS wasn't powerful enough even for Nintendo if it was they wouldn't be rushing out New 3DS so soon.

They didn't rush anything. The New 3DS is an upgraded 3DS, like the DSi was an upgraded DS. The DSi came out about 4 years after the DS, and the New 3DS is out about 4 years after the original 3DS.

Ian SaneJanuary 28, 2015

This reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Bart and Lisa switch "roles" at the school.  "We always have one good kid and one lousy kid.  Why can't both our kids be good?"

The quality of games on the 3DS is just so much higher than typical smartphone games, but I don't expect casual gamers to realize that or even care.  The 3DS exists in a world where only hardcore gamers would feel the need to own a dedicated videogame handheld.  Even little kids are mostly going to be content with a phone.  If videogames are a serious interest for you, then a handheld like the 3DS or Vita is right up your alley, but if you're just looking for a mindless distraction while you ride the bus you might as well stick to the phone you already bought anyway for its phone/portable computer functionality.

Nintendo liked having the mainstream casual buck but it is gone for good.  Casual fluff does not need a dedicated videogame system.  The Wii and DS years were pretty much Nintendo inadvertently creating a videogame market for Apple.  They need to plan around not having this market.  Is the 3DS a bomb or is it more like a GBA than a DS.  The GBA was successful, the DS was once-in-a-lifetime extremely successful.  Odds are Nintendo will never had another DS again but having another GBA isn't bad, you just need to go in with realistic expectations.

But then I wonder how much effect the news of the New 3DS coming out affected things.  If I hadn't bought a 3DS yet when that news broke I would never in a million years have then bought a normal 3DS.  Though if that is the case then one can assume that 3DS sales will pop back up as everyone who was waiting for the New 3DS buys the new model.

StratosJanuary 28, 2015

I blame slumped 3DS sales on the announcement of the New 3DS and NOA's refusal to release it for the holidays. I'll bet enough word of mouth got around that it stiffed sales. I could imagine some store clerks warning customer's to hold off because of the newer device.

It seems like it's a lot of things. The New 3DS announcement probably hurt it, as did the lack of big, must-play titles this year. Being down from 2013 is probably partially due to the first Pokemon game on the system coming out in that year. And beyond that, it's pretty standard for hardware sales to be on a downward slope four years into a system's life.

EnnerJanuary 28, 2015

It's nice to see the company on track to be in the black for the fiscal year. However, they have slashed their forecast for net sales and operating income from 590,000 million yen to 550,000 and 40,000 million yen to 20,000, respectively. A bit of sad news that will be spun out in the news circuits.

http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/pdf/2015/150128_3e.pdf

Quote from: Stratos

... NOA's refusal to release it for the holidays.

Given the supply issues with amiibo and other Nintendo products as well as other cost-cutting measures, it is a very real possibility that Nintendo as a whole decided against spinning up more factories and became supply constrained.

Ian SaneJanuary 28, 2015

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

And beyond that, it's pretty standard for hardware sales to be on a downward slope four years into a system's life.

Yeah and Nintendo should probably plan for that and focus on game sales.  I'll buy their system ONCE but will buy multiple games each year as long as new ones are released.  That makes sense.  The amount of new system sales is going to decrease as everyone that wants one has already bought it.  So nearly 13 million people that don't already own a 3DS are going to just suddenly come out of the woodwork every year and buy one?

Mop it upJanuary 28, 2015

They really need to have a profitable year, so hopefully this'll continue.

LucarioJanuary 28, 2015

I heard that nintendo has enough money in the bank (from the golden age of gaming) to last 10 years if they went unprofitable for a while..

broodwarsJanuary 28, 2015

Quote from: Lucariofan99

I heard that nintendo has enough money in the bank (from the golden age of gaming) to last 10 years if they went unprofitable for a while..

As true as that is, it's also true that the stockholders won't allow Iwata to continually lose money for 10 years.

AdrockJanuary 28, 2015

Nintendo could last a lot longer than 10 years even while taking hefty losses. Nintendo's financial troubles are often greatly exaggerated. While posting losses is never good, Nintendo is built to withstand hard times. Its entire business is structured around turning profits quickly.

I think those figures were always made regarding a hypothetical situation in which they took in literally no revenue. If they were just in the red it'd be a lot longer.

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