Saturo Iwata has admitted that Nintendo has failed to create sufficient momentum for both 3DS and Wii U.
However, the resolute exec insists that 2013 will deliver better things for both machines.
“In the US and in Europe we were unable to create sufficient momentum of the Nintendo 3DS system during the holiday season, and so the situation was not looking good at the beginning of the year,” he told investors.
“However, Fire Emblem Awakening was launched in February in the US and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon was launched in March in the US and in Europe, both of which were well received by our consumers. An overseas edition of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate was also launched in March. Recently, with the launch of titles like these, we are seeing that the Nintendo 3DS sales are gradually gaining momentum.
“Currently, the overseas sales of Nintendo 3DS are still at a stage where the changes in the market are starting to emerge. We are aiming to make the momentum of Nintendo 3DS in the overseas markets more visible before summer this year.
“As for Wii U, it took off smoothly in the holiday season, but due to the lack of new software titles, we were unable to maintain the momentum this year. We initially hoped that Wii U would be showing more of a presence in the market by now, but the current situation shows that we need to spend more time on and put much effort into recreating the momentum.
“The release intervals of first-party key titles have been so much longer than we expected at the Corporate Management Policy Briefing in January that we have not successfully maintained the momentum of the platform. In addition, we have not been able to solidly communicate the product value of Wii U to our consumers yet, which has been a grand challenge for us.”
Iwata also returned to the company’s failure to properly communicate the Wii U’s features, admitting that the lack of a Wii Sports-type ‘killer app’ was a significant mistake.
“Some have the misunderstanding that Wii U is just Wii with a pad for games, and others even consider Wii U GamePad as a peripheral device connectable to Wii. We feel deeply responsible for not having tried hard enough to have consumers understand the product,” he added.
“Wii U might still have no such captivating game title as Wii Sports for Wii, with which people immediately comprehended its product value, but it surely has a lot of factors appreciated by users. We would like to take time to work thoroughly for its penetration, by making various efforts to have many people understand its product value as well as enriching the software lineup.
“Wii U has lost momentum due to the release pace of first-party titles which has not lived up to consumers’ expectations. Starting with Pikmin 3 scheduled for release in the upcoming July, however, we will intensively launch our key titles to give sales momentum to the platform.
“As a decisive factor in buying a console is that you cannot play a much-anticipated title without the hardware, we will do our best to have you feel from this summer to the end of this year that there are plenty of great games for Wii U.
“We have many titles whose release dates are yet to be announced. At E3, we will disclose more specific information about the titles for the rest of this year and early next year.”