The Nintendo 3DS' Other Problem Appears To Be The DS

Nintendo says the 3DS' sales in the US are "weaker" than hoped. Experts will blame everything from the popularity of gaming on tablets and phones to a not-yet-overwhelmingly-great software line-up for the 3DS.

Maybe....

But maybe that darn Nintendo DS is to blame.

From the beginning of April 2012 through the end of September, the 3DS sold 2,090,000 units in Japan, 1,390,000 in America. The DS? It sold just 10,000 units in Japan during that same period. But in America? 790,000. Arithmetic reveals that the America total is a shade better than the Japan one, but the split is not what Nintendo wants.

What's with America's sustained love for the DS? It could be the price. A new DSi or DSiXL can be bought for $US100 or $US130 compared to $US170 and $US200 for the 3DS and 3DS XL. The economy in America still stinks and people like cheaper things. Nintendo also might be subtly pushing the DS a little more in America. Japan's last major DS game, Pokemon Black/White 2 came out in July, but clearly didn't send people rushing to buy a DS. The same game didn't come out in America until October. The game runs on 3DSes, of course.

Nintendo's latest 3DS push came this past summer with the release of New Super Mario Bros. 2 and the 3DS XL. That has resulted in 820,000 3DS XLs sold in Japan and 550,000 in the US, plus 730,000 in the rest of the world. Clearly, people do like buying the 3DS, but in America, they sure do still like buying that DS too.


Comments

    I'd prefer Nintendo overhauled their entire strategy to a thin and sleek handheld with a single high ppi display. The DS lite is still the most compelling model because it wasn't region locked.

    A lot of the problem has been Nintendo still pushing the DS and DS game such as Pokemon as well as the lack of games being localized here in the west. We are finally getting Monster Hunter 3u/G but we are getting it at the same time Japan is already getting Monster Hunter 4 on the 3DS and that's not mentioning all the other high demand 3DS games that just aren't being released outside of Japan. So if Nintendo wants to see the sales of the 3DS increase in the west they need to do 2 major things. 1. Discontinue all other DS systems except the 3DS and 3DSxl. 2. Start localizing more games to the west and do it without a huge delay in between the Japan and western release dates.

    I think the 3DS is going to have a much shorter life cycle. The XL getting pushed out so soon for the holiday season etc. 3D is a gimmick, I'd rather have the exact same power/money spent on making a DS with better graphics.

      Um...You know that the 3d is completely optional, right?

        Yeah, but the 3D uses processing/graphic power. If the machine wasn't "3D enabled" then it could offer a much better and higher res normal visuals for the same price.

    I know I haven't upgraded to a 3DS yet because my DS is still being supported. As soon as they release a Pokemon game on 3DS I'll convert, but given that Black and White 2 just came out I don't expect a new Pokemon game for at least another two years.

      Yeah, this basically. Pokemon Black 2 was still for the DS, so no need to upgrade yet. I'll update when we have a release date for the localisation of the new phoenix Wright game.

    I'm spending more time playing DS games on my 3DS even. If you're not really excited by Nintendo's own stuff, 3DS games are pretty slim pickings still.

    I bought a 3DS XL simply for to play the huge back catalogue of great DS games on a huge screen and with the hopes that all the awesome 3DS titles released in Japan get localize. There is some really good games on the 3DS such as ocarina of time, metal gear solid, kingdom hearts and RE. Saying that though the 3D feature is useless apart from cutscenes and makes gameplay unplayable.

    Same problem as they had with their attempt to have 'three pillars'. They claimed to want to have console (GC at the time), Gameboy and DS.
    The DS was not supposed to replace the Gameboy, but it did, because all the games went to the DS (and you could play GBA games on it). This time it's the old system that's staying strong, because they haven't moved the games yet.

    While the 3DS isn't going so badly and actually has a decent software library so far, it's the lack of key entries into that library that are holding back sales.

    Pokemon, Monster Hunter, Zelda (that isn't a port (unless it's Majora's Mask (inb4 I can't parenthesize inside of parentheses))) and a decent Mario game have all been massive pushes to sell consoles in the past, and so far the 3DS hasn't recieved any of them.

    - Pokemon Black/White2 could of been a huge seller for the 3DS but instead they decided to take the safe route and release it for DS.
    - The Mario franchise has been nothing but Super Mario Bros style crap for years on handheld (and console for that matter). Considering the power of the 3DS I want a 64/Galaxy style Mario game already, and I don't think I'm alone in that wish.
    - An original Zelda game (well, as original as the same formula can be) is apparently in the works, but nothing has really being released about it. All we've gotten is some vague quotes from head developers. Thus I'm not expecting that any time soon.
    - Then there's Monster Hunter. Slated for release 2013 Q1, it's still a bit away, but I have no doubts that it's push massive 3DS sales in Japan and bulk up sales outside of the motherland.

    Pokemon can't keep Nintendo afloat forever. Nintendo should focus on being a game developer and stop wasting their time on making consoles that tend to suck after a few years.
    Granted Nintendo were the big dog back in the day and the DS kicked ass but the 3DS's 3d effect still burns my eyes and the declined in awesome from the Gamecube on is pretty apparent. The Gamecube and Wii both had a handful of great games but I express that same sentiment to the Dreamcast. It would probably help if Nintendo didn't insist on making 3 versions of each handheld console too. Nintendo kick ass when it comes to handhelds. They have some great titles. But Nintendo have made too many mistakes.
    Like not using sprites at all when they had polygons for one, making 'inbetweener' consoles like the 64 and the Gamecube (both great consoles but released at a time not too long before the higher generation of consoles), making too many games with motion controls/touch screen controls as opposed to normal controls, Other M being shit, Starfox Adventures being shit and finally.. letting Rare defect to xbox.
    With the amount Nintendo spend in 'innovation', they could develop many more and better games for other systems and appeal to more gamers. There are probably more 360, PS3 and PC (steam) gamers then Nintendo gamers these days and that can't help their sales.
    Or they could pack it in, only make handhelds and start making mobile phones. =/
    I realize as I say this, Wii U is knocking at the door, but c'mon..

    Last edited 25/10/12 9:12 pm

    the fact is the 3DS is nearly 2 years old and still has next to ZERO good games for the system

    if you want to get people to buy the 3DS it's really simple get some good games for it that are original and intuitive. 90% of the games that are any good for the 3DS are just remakes.....

    get new ideas and great gameplay and you will be on a winner. Simple.

    Pokemon Heart Gold game keeps crashing? (Not Rom)?Hi I reltency bought a Pokemon Heart Gold game from the USA (I also have an American DS).It crashes roughly every 5 minutes and sometimes the music keeps playing when it has crashed.I tried googling if there was a way for me to fix it but I only found results for a rom which is not what I am looking for as mine is a real DS game.I was wondering if there was any way for me to fix it or if I should contact Nintendo about the problem?Thanks in advance

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