Iwata discusses 3DS – Big-name 3DS titles still coming
These next few posts come from statements made by Iwata during Nintendo’s financial announcement from earlier today.
When it comes to the appeal of the Nintendo 3DS, the 3D images have been focused on. I believe, however, the actual users understand that its expanded communication methods like “StreetPass” and “SpotPass” that have a lot of potential.
These communication methods will be increasingly attractive at an accelerated pace as the platform becomes popular. For instance, most users must feel that they could more frequently experience StreetPass in the course of the penetration of the Nintendo 3DS in the year-end sales season. Also, we are expanding the places for SpotPass so that you can enjoy experiencing new types of entertainment by connecting to the Internet without any special settings.
In addition, we are aiming to significantly expand our digital business to adapt to the changes in the business conditions and to create new business opportunities.
The Internet-connection ratio of the Nintendo 3DS is approximately 60% both in Japan and the U.S., which is the highest among our handheld video game systems, and the rate of the consumers who repeatedly access the Nintendo eShop is also, by far, the highest among them. We are still in the first stage, but we are building the foundation little by little to expand our digital business.
I would like to begin with the product profitability of the Nintendo 3DS hardware, which has affected our profit the most for the current fiscal year. Let me first inform you that, in the first half of the next fiscal term, we are now anticipating to get out of the situation that we sell the hardware below cost.
The sales pace of the Nintendo 3DS drastically increased worldwide in the last year-end sales season and it was found out that, for the first year after the launch, the platform was selling at a faster pace than either the Nintendo DS or the Wii. This brought a pleasant surprise to the video game industry and changed the thoughts of third-party software developers for the better. We are now expecting a strong software lineup for the platform.
The specific titles will be released by each software developer, so I will not mention them here. I can say, however, that there will be more and more highly-anticipated titles for the Nintendo 3DS even in the U.S. and Europe where home console game systems lead the market.
In addition, we absolutely need to keep the vitality of evergreen titles and release new key titles seamlessly for the Nintendo 3DS in order to maintain the momentum of the platform throughout the year.
The two games featuring Mario released at the end of last year, “SUPER MARIO 3D LAND” and “Mario Kart 7” made the centerpiece of evergreen titles. We will maintain the momentum of these two titles and, at the same time, try to expand the sales of the titles which have the potential to be sold continuously along with the popularization of the hardware, as typified by “nintendogs+cats,” Capcom’s “Monster Hunter 3 (Tri) G” (Japanese title) in Japan and “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D” overseas.
Furthermore, here you can see the strong lineup of titles to be released in the current fiscal year. And, in the next term,
we intend to release these various titles without any extreme interruptions. In addition to what you can see here, a number of titles unannounced from third-party developers will be available. Although there is no logo here, we are planning to release a totally new side-scrolling action Super Mario in 2D as a key title for the Nintendo 3DS in the next fiscal year.
With the fulfillment of software, we are confident that we will be able to make the Nintendo 3DS active for the full year as the mainstream platform in the video game market.