The biggest challenge for Nintendo and the 3DS was always going to be advertising a feature that can’t be shown via traditional mediums.
And that’s exactly what Nintendo president Saturo Iwata has blamed for what he describes as lower than expected sales of the device.
"Nintendo 3DS has not been selling as expected since the second week," he told analysts in Tokyo, as reported by Kotaku. "And this is not just in the Japanese market but also in the United States and Europe, where no direct impact from the great earthquake has occurred."
The only way Nintendo can overcome this, he says, is to address its marketing.
"It is now clear that the combination of these new features is not necessarily easy-to-understand by just saying one word to those without experience," he added. "There seems to be more than a few consumers who have Nintendo 3DS hardware but don’t know about this software and possibly haven’t had a chance to get interested in it.
"After all, pre-installing a feature which we would like many people to enjoy is not sufficient to make it actually popular among users. There is no easy road to making people understand the attraction of glassless 3D images and making Nintendo 3DS widespread."
In a separate interview with Reuters, Iwata also expressed some regret about how the company has handled the 86m+ selling Wii, speculating that had things worked out differently the console might not have suffered such a sharp decline in sales.
"I now regret that we didn’t tie up with someone outside the company to market the Wii," he stated. "If we had done that, the fate of the Wii might have been different. Now I am aware that we should not rely too much on ourselves. You will see what I mean by this when we market the 3DS and the Wii in the future."