by Mike Bendel on July 3, 2012 @ 3:09 pm
Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata has expressed concern over ‘weak’ 3DS momentum in US and European territories, by way of a candid investor Q&A. While the 3DS represents around 55 percent of all handheld sales in Japan, the current sales reach in other territories is approximately 20 percent, according to Nintendo’s internal sales data.
Not exactly a poor figure, considering US and Europe dwarf Japan in terms of sheer market size, but Iwata believes Nintendo can do better. As the 3DS is the follow-up to one of the most successful platforms in video game history, we’d say such an aspiration is hardly out of reach.
“On the other hand, sales momentum in the U.S and Europe is not so good. Considering that the U.S. and European markets are larger than the Japanese market in terms of the size of the population, sales in the U.S. and Europe are supposed to be larger,” said Iwata.
He added, ” At the year end of 2011 the sales momentum in those markets increased in the same way as in Japan; however, the sales pace went down after the beginning of 2012. As a result, the sales proportion of the Nintendo 3DS is now about 20% of the total video game sales in those markets. Thus, solid sales momentum has not been created.”
Further, Iwata pointed to the upcoming launch of Nintendo 3DS XL and New Super Mario Bros. 2, both key launches that he feels will drive momentum outside of Japan. Iwata did concede that one of major factors blocking 3DS growth is the fact that home consoles are more popular than handhelds in the states, while the inverse is true in Japan. He referenced the original Nintendo DS — which also had a slow start in regions outside of Japan. Of course, Iwata was quick to point out that this situation bodes well for US sales of the Wii U.
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