Saturo Iwata accepted responsibility for lower than expected international sales of the 3DS.
Having already pointed a finger at its international teams for the disappointing performance of Wii U to date, the Nintendo boss also believes that the company has only itself to blame for the handheld’s current performance.
It is obvious that if we are able to sell only about the same number of units of Nintendo 3DS next fiscal year as this fiscal year, the sales growth of software will be limited,” he said.
In such a case, we will probably not be able to reach the level of operating profit we are aiming for. Therefore, the current sales levels of Nintendo 3DS in the overseas markets are not at all satisfactory in regard to the hardware’s potential.
This is not happening due to external factors.
In our understanding, this is because we could not fully convey the appeal of the Nintendo 3DS platform and as a result, fewer consumers purchased it than we had expected. So, obviously, our aim is to increase our hardware sales more than in this fiscal year.”
The comments are in direct contrast to Iwata’s insistence that low software sales are not of Nintendo’s own making. In the same investor conference, Iwata blamed retail for the failure of a number of potential software hits.
However, many onlookers would agree with the notion that Nintendo is at least partly responsible for the plight that it currently faces.
The age-old lack of first party software support for its machines, the high retail price of Wii U, high download prices, limited hardware memory and an almost belligerent resistance to step fully into the digital frame are of Nintendo’s making, not the market’s.
And what Iwata fails to note, of course, is that Nintendo’s UK team cannot be blamed for the drastically reduced marketing budget it had to play with in 2012. Who knows how the Wii U might have worked out had Japan coughed up.