Nintendo’s 3DS could save the struggling UK games market, claim industry bosses.
Worrying figures from GfK Chart-Track this week revealed that the UK games market contracted 13 per cent year-on-year in 2010 – down 29 per cent since the Wii/DS boom of 2008.
£2.875 billion was generated from software, hardware and peripheral sales in 2010, a £430m drop on the £3.311bn made by games at retail in 2009.
But Nintendo’s new handheld is tipped to halt the decline and ensure 2011 is the year the core market fights its corner. It’s the first completely new games console since 2007, and due by the end of March.
Execs across the spectrum have heralded the device’s arrival.
“Nothing excites and ignites the games market more than a new hardware launch, and Nintendo 3DS is set to be the hottest product of 2011,” Asda’s head of games Andrew Thompson told MCV.
Koch Media MD Craig McNicol continued: “It’s time for the market to regroup around innovation, designed by the best gaming minds the planet has to offer.”
Nintendo’s UK MD David Yarnton added: “It is just another example of how innovative Nintendo is and as a company we continue to lead in product development.
“The 3DS will provide people features and benefits that will not only enhance their gaming experience, but provide them with a portable platform that will be used everyday, everywhere, by everyone.”
Other industry bosses are looking ahead to 2011 as a pivotal year for the industry, as it evolves to take in new business models.
THQ’s president and CEO Brian Farrell explained to MCV: “We’re most excited to see innovation in practice. With the expected new triple-A IPs from breakout creative talents, forward-thinking business models and rule-breaking gameplay, we predict 2011 will be defined as a watershed year.”
3DS is due to hit shelves in March. Full launch details are expected in two weeks.