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Nintendo admits it needed a stronger 3DS launch

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Nintendo’s 3DS launched to much fanfare, selling much of its available stock at launch within its first week at retail, even becoming the company’s best selling system with regards to day-one sales. Since then though, momentum has come to a relative standstill. Nintendo had previously said the reason for the slow sales were down to two stumbling blocks; a lack of big Nintendo games and a half-baked online network.

Nintendo of America’s president Reggie Fils-Aime has admitted to USA Today that the 3DS needed stronger launch titles. Ahh, the beauty of hindsight.

"We needed to have key franchises and stronger first-party titles," he said. "Certainly, we needed to have stronger support at the launch from a first-party perspective and maybe have some of these key first-party titles earlier in the launch window in order to get the system selling stronger at the start and, ongoing, drive momentum."

The staggered, delayed release of Nintendo’s eShop and its paltry offerings were also a critical factor, he believes. "We’ve seen very positive reaction to the digital offerings but it needed to be much sooner in the launch window. As a result that created a situation where the momentum wasn’t sustained. And that’s why we have now had to go back and reduce the price and reduce the price by a large amount in order to make sure we have stronger momentum beginning on Friday and powering through," he iterated.

"It’s a situation where we weren’t able to sustain those first few strong positive weeks. This is a momentum business and when you don’t have the momentum it creates a tough situation whether it’s with retailers or with third-party publishers who become a bit more reluctant to support a platform."

Thanks again, Captain Obvious.

Nintendo’s cut the local price of the 3DS to a reasonable R1899, down from its launch price of R2799 – a reduction that comes in to effect tomorrow. Loyal gamers who purchased the system before the price drop are eligible for 20 free downloadable games as part of Nintendo’s “Ambassador” program, but you have to hurry if you want in on that action; today’s the last day to enrol. Super Mario Land 3D and Mario Kart 7 are both confirmed for release before the end of this year; two titles that should see 3DS uptake increase.

Source : USA Today

Last Updated: August 11, 2011

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