Nintendo Has To Give Some Of Its 3DS Money To Another Company

Nintendo Has To Give Some Of Its 3DS Money To Another Company

It’s the kind of run Nintendo’s been on lately, that even the company’s one piece of good news – the growing success of the 3DS – has to get a punch in the guts.

With the Wii U a disaster, it’s 3DS sales that are making Nintendo’s money right now, but from here on in the Japanese company is going to have to give up a percentage of every wholesale sale of the handheld to another company.

That company is Tomita. A US judge has declared that Nintendo has been using Tomita’s patented camera technology without permission, so from now until the end of the handheld’s life, “Nintendo must pay Tomita 1.82 per cent of the wholesale price” on every 3DS sold.

That may not sound like much, but if the 3DS goes on to sell 100 million units, it all adds up. To a lot of lost money.

Rakoff Sets Royalty Rate For Nintendo 3DS Technology [Law 360, via Tripon @ NeoGAF]


  • “WiiU a disaster.” Well, next-gen consoles (of which previous-gen were already considered grade-A, and WiiU grade-B) released, Thanksgiving/Christmas/Boxing Day sales came and went… and $0 dropped from the price. Good luck Nintendo, you cocky bastards.

    • They did actually drop the price in the US as far as I know, but not here. So yeah, same result really.

      Having said that I am finding myself tempted to buy one…

      • I have one myself, but I paid $214 for the black bundle. Not the current $380+ asking price. Maybe they think that being $150 less than PS4 is distant enough..?

      • Even the GameCube ended up at $99 pretty swiftly – ill be waiting till that point with the WiiU

    • I got a basic white from the same sale for $178. Dick smith have now discontinued the wii U console, hence the sale price at the time.

    • “No games”? I don’t want to risk sounding like a fanboy, but it actually has a whole bunch of good games. I probably play my Wii U more than any other console.
      I have a feeling they’ll start selling a lot more units when Mario Kart and Smash Bros come out; no one else seems to be supporting local multiplayer anymore so anyone wanting a good competitive experience with some mates is going to get pretty fed up of everything else on offer.

        • Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros, ZombiU, New Super Luigi, Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, Rayman Legends, Super Mario 3D World, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and Wind Waker HD. All excellent games, well worth picking up.

          Mind you I don’t have the last two myself, since they’re remakes of games I’ve already got and don’t see the need for, but they’re definitely worth it if you haven’t.

        • I got it from the sale too and man there really are no games. As a guy who doesn’t like old boring 2d side scrollers you don’t have much of a choice.

          Zombiu is bad, the controller is really off putting.

          I haven’t tried Pikmin but have heard good things. Wind Waker is good but it is the same game you’ve played before. I find my self just playing snes games on it.

          I love the Zelda series and it is why I bought it but Nintendo really needs to get some new ideas going.

      • I think it’s a relative term. When someone says there are ‘no games’ on it, I think they mean compared to the rest of the industry. 360, PS3, and especially PC. A new game comes out damn near every day on Steam, and every third one is probably going to be pretty damn awesome. Whereas if you can only list enough good titles on the wiiU that you can really only spread them out to one per month (and even then only if you are generous with your definition of ‘good’), in relative terms the WiiU definitely looks pretty desolate.

        Especially if you aren’t buying any wii remakes and don’t like Mario. That’s not a great thing to say about a console. “If you don’t like Mario, there’s not much point to owning a WiiU.”

        Can you imagine someone saying, “If you don’t like Halo, there’s not much point to the 360?” “If you don’t like Portal, there’s not much point to owning a gaming PC?” “If you don’t like God of War, there’s not much point to owning a PS3?” Of course not. But people will say that about Mario/Zelda for the WiiU with a straight face.

        And that explains why the console’s in trouble.

        • You can’t really compare it to the 360 or PS3 though, those consoles have been out for years. It’s an 8th gen console, like the XBone and the PS4, just less powerful and more focused on local multiplayer and family games. I wouldn’t say they don’t have enough games, just that they took way too long to get here. If 3D World was a launch title and their advertising (and the consoles name) was better we’d be having a very different conversation now.

          • We would be… but we’re not.

            You can’t really compare it with the Xbone and PS4 considering the lead it’s had so far, either. (Although if you did, it still wouldn’t be far ahead.) But the comment about the 1st/3rd-party schism is looking like remaining disturbingly applicable. In a year’s time, I strongly suspect it’ll be ludicrous to say, “If you don’t like CoD, there’s not much point to an Xbone,” but still valid to say, “If you don’t like Mario/Zelda, there’s not much point to a WiiU.”

            As for in two years? Hm.
            Then again, sales are apparently picking up, and that could steady the nerves of all the big name publishers who’ve been scared of sinking funds into what has looked for the longest time like a sinking ship.

            Remember their launch month saw a grand total of not even 400,000 units sold. Xbone and PS4 look like being a bit closer to 4,000,000. Each. It’s a difference they can’t ignore and investing equal resources on the smaller pie would be financial suicide in anyone’s book and investors would be quite right in showing the door to any CEO who did it. Investors don’t want games to sell well ‘for a wiiU title’, they just want them to sell well, without the qualifier.

          • Of course no one would say “If you don’t like CoD, there’s not much point to an Xbone”, CoD is available on every console. The thing about the XBone and the PS4 is that besides exclusives they’re pretty similar, so if you’re not interested in the exclusives there’s no point getting one over the other. If you’re just wanting to play games like Call of Duty you wouldn’t get a Wii U because it’s less powerful and has a shitty account system and hardly any players online. So I think even if all games that are on other consoles came to the Wii U people wouldn’t buy them. The only reason people are going to buy Wii U games is if they focus on the strengths of the system, and that’s the gamepad. I don’t think anyone but Nintendo is going to put that effort in for a while.

          • Alright, let’s say ‘Halo’ then. The point is, even if you don’t like the platform’s exclusives for the x-whatever or playstation-X, you’re still going to buy it to play other games.

            But if you don’t like Nintendo’s flagship exclusives, then there really is very little point to buying their console. The number of ‘good’ 3rd-party titles is incredibly small (at this point). That’s a big part of the reason sales are low, and the reason people say there are ‘no games’ on there, if they don’t like Mario.

            (Side-note: I don’t own a WiiU myself, but the Penny Arcade guys and others seemed to love BLOps on the wiiU. Possibly because of having families, and being able to play on the gamepad screen while family watch TV or something.)

          • It’s great having two screens for multiplayer rather than just one screen being split though the middle. It’s great if you have shitty friends who like to watch your screen all the time.
            I mostly just get first party games for the Wii U, but there are a few mulitplatform games that are better suited to the gamepad. At the moment the only game I have on Wii U that I would have considered on another console is Black Ops 2, and that’s because I don’t much care for CoD games and I wanted a dumb shooter to play when the TV is being used, or to play local. No point even trying online with most games, there just aren’t enough players. Blops 2 does alright but matchmaking is kinda slow.
            I have about 25 consoles at home, so I’m really not the person to talk to about what normal consumers would buy, but I think there is a market for the Wii U outside of the collectors and fanboys.

      • $400 is too much for what is essentially last-gen tech. $700 for the latest and greatest is a steal.

        • No it isnt. You can build a mord powerfull pc your self cheaper. Wiiu may be “last gen” buti love it because its a HD witht the games that i love and play lots of you. You cant get metroid, zelda, mario or any other of the classics on your 700$ pc like machine.

  • Their products have always been over priced, across the board for at least the last 20 years so I feel absolutely no pain for them. Apple are in the same boat, dead to me.

    • Who startes selling there games for around 60 after the game cube? Was it sony? No it was nintendo while all the others were more expensive.

  • Getting a bit tired of the nintendo bashing. The Wii U is far from being a failure. It amuses me greatly that these “expert gaming journalists” will be eating their words in less than twelve months when the system really hits off.
    This BS about no games really shits me, too. I’ve got over 25 games on my Wii U and I wish I had more time to play it!

    • In 12 months we’ll have PS4/Xbone bundles and/or price drops. It cannot remain competitive at the $400 Australian asking price. If there’s at least a $100 price drop in the elite bundles, along with $80 releases of Donkey Kong + Smash Bros + Mario Kart, then it definitely has a good chance of kicking up a storm.

    • in less than twelve months when the system really hits off.

      And 2014 will be the year of Linux on the desktop!

    • Same I wonder if Kotaku will do the same if the PS4 and XBONE struggle? Bet they don’t. Bit of history everyone forgets for the first 18 months the PS3 was under selling. Now it’s my favourite console of the last gen(I ownef them all). Not to mention the money Sony is losing. And we never see bad ps vista reviews on Kotaku do we?

      • PS3 undersold because of a known technical issue causing a price premium and the fact that it was up against a crowded market. Wii U has had a year competing only against 7 y/o consoles and it still bombs.

        • Explain then why at the time the N64 was the last Nintendo console, or where is the bad write ups on the Vita that there is for Nintendo. The main reason is Nintendo is the oldest, goes against the grain.

  • If the Wii U were a disaster, it would be in clearance everywhere, but at least in Australia it has only been heavily discounted once, and that by a single outlet who took a hasty and -likely- unwise decision. I’ve been waiting since October for a good price for the Wii U and it has hardly gone under $400 or got bundled with other than crap games/accesories.

    My point is, if stores still have this now “old” and obsolete console at almost the same price it had when it was released it is because it is still moving at that price and they are not desperate to clear dust-gathering stock. Not a definition of disaster by any stretch.

    • You’ve forgotten the fact of pride and hubris getting in the way of business sense, and the fact that the price did drop in the US, but that Australia is a largely ignored/abuse-target market as far as Nintendo’s concerned.

      The earnings calls are out. The sales ARE low. They definitely qualify as a disaster. Go google ‘ nintendo sales wiiU’ if you want evidence and numbers.

      • From what I’ve heard from people in the industry it’s mainly been older core gamers buying the Wii U, people who have probably owned every Nintendo console for decades. Parents are starting to buy them for their kids more now, so I think the word is spreading, but the fact is most people who don’t read gaming news sites didn’t know the thing existed until recently.
        Although I’ll admit I’m one of those people who jumped on the Dick Smith sale and bought the console and a bunch of games. I think it was a bad move on their part, but it was great for me.

    • Yes and the reatailer Dick Smith is doing so well Woolworths are ready to sell it to anyone who wants to buy it.

  • I think there is a problem when people compare Nintendos’ consoles with others, in that Nintendo actively does NOT compete in the silly (IMO) console wars. Sure it tries to survive, but its like comparing 2 kinds of chalk and cheese. I own a Wii U and a PS3, and I will most likey get a next gen console eventually, but thats an either or siuation in terms of Xbox / PS, and hell PC almost makes them both redundant.

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