Nintendo admits 3DS lacks Western momentum

Sales of the 3DS in America and Europe are not where Nintendo would have hoped, the company has admitted.

What we should say first is that while the Nintendo 3DS has a certain degree of sales momentum in Japan, the momentum in the US and Europe is currently weak,” boss Satoru Iwata has told investors.

Fortunes are somewhat better closer to home, however.

Sales of the Nintendo 3DS are constant in Japan and in fact we could say the sales volume is exceeding our forecast at the start of this fiscal year,” he added.

After the beginning of this calendar year, the average unit sales have been 83,000 units on a weekly basis. This means that about 55 per cent of all gaming hardware sales in Japan consist of the Nintendo 3DS. Now, with the level of sales momentum for the Nintendo 3DS created since the last year end, we would say the centre of the Japanese video game market has been the Nintendo 3DS.”

The handheld’s fortunes had appeared to improve in the West in the run-up to Christmas last year, but have since dipped again in 2012.

Considering that the US and European markets are larger than the Japanese market in terms of the size of the population, sales in the US and Europe are supposed to be larger,” Iwata confessed.

As a result, the sales proportion of the Nintendo 3DS is now about 20 per cent of the total video game sales in those markets. Thus, solid sales momentum has not been created.

For those investors who understand this situation, they might think that our earnings situation will not turn around in the way we have mentioned, or they might think it will take a much longer time than we expect to revitalize the profit situation.”

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