Nintendo 3DS

3DS Sells 3.6 Million in First Month

Although not exactly the end of the world, it would appear the recently launched stereoscopic 3DS has failed to halt Nintendo’s gradual market decline. Don’t panic.

The groundbreaking 3DS portable may have amassed largely positive hardware reviews and a fair amount of public interest, but the diminutive 3D console has failed to meet Nintendo’s projected sales figures for the opening month of availability in Japan.

Speaking during an earnings call, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata also said sales of the 3DS “have been weaker than expected since the second week of launch in the U.S. and Europe,” despite a solid opening week of consumer purchasing in both markets.



Is the Iwata poker face cracking? Image: Official GDC Photostream/Flickr.

Nintendo had envisaged reaching four million 3DS sales by the close of March, but revealed during the call that retail momentum flagged at around the 3.6 million unit mark.

Iwata also acknowledged a problem we here at 3DS Buzz have been harping on about for weeks: the console’s glaring lack of standout software titles at launch.

“Some people may be waiting, thinking that there aren’t yet enough software titles that they want to play,” he added, before taking the time to point out the upcoming June release of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.

Adding to any sense of disappointment seeping through the Nintendo boardroom, the Japanese gaming titan said its Net profits for the fiscal year ending March 31 plummeted by 151.02 billion yen to 77.62 billion yen, which equates to a year-on-year loss of 66 percent.

Although 3DS unit sales may not have met Nintendo’s expectations, it’s perhaps worth noting that any shortfall in its home market of Japan was likely influenced by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that recently tore across the region.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Front-page image: emrank/Flickr

By on 21 April 2011

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  1. Johnny says:

    I was thinking that a large problem would be those terrible disasters in Japan, the last thing on your mind in that situation would be a games console. I hope Nintendo can get those figures up though, their sales should get higher when Zelda, Mario, Kid Icarus, Star Fox etc. come to life.

  2. Victor says:

    I don’t know about that earthquake thingy. Much more people in NA and EU than in Japan. If anything I think the earthquake only had a minor repercussion on the overall number. And it didn’t stop the japanese from buying lots of 3DS and PSPs as we can see in earlier posts. NA and EU people are waiting for good software to come out and then when they have a good reason to buy it… Believe me they will in HORDEEEE lol.

    And the major 66% drop is probably due to the fact that customers don’t give a crap about the Wii anymore. Kinect and Move are stealing the *casual* gamer appeal from the Wii and as a salesman I can tell you since november the Wii is outsold 10 to 1 at my Montreal downtown store. The nintendo rep was pretty sad when she looked at the christmas numbers. We sold 77k xbox with kinect… 68k Ps3 Move and only 20k Wiis + accessories in December compared to the year before where the Wii was sold out and had massive numbers.

  3. Adam Leavi says:

    It’s only 9% lower sales than their very optimistic prediction of beating the best selling console ever. I don’t think it’s that bad. Also it sounds like there was a thicker profit margin per unit than with their other consoles.

  4. Dan says:

    It’s definitely the lack of games. I bought my 3DS the day it came out, and have only played my old DS games on it so far. The launch titles are poor.

  5. Liam Dunne says:


    I think that is exactly why Nintendo are failing to make a profit from the 3DS! Everyone is waiting for Ocarina of Time 3DS and Nintendo’s other first-party games like; Super Mario 3DS, Star Fox 64 3D, Pikmin 3D, Animal Crossing 3DS, Paper Mario 3DS, etc. I know that pacing themselves was probably the best choice for Nintendo but it means that for months and months all we get is crappy 3rd party games… The only 3rd party games I am interested in are; Ace Attorney, Kingdom Hearts 3DS and Rayman 3D.

  6. Schizor says:

    I wouldn’t call the 3ds’ sales figures a failure… But i agree with Dan, that the very bad launch lineup, probably has something to do with the consoles sales-expectations not being met….

  7. epic 3ds fan says:

    i like pilotwings, and streetpass quest. however, the rest are lacking, and so the game that dominates my activity log. also, i give you a nuber of reasons for why nintendo fell
    1: the earthquake
    2:9 BIG games coming out this year
    3:Wii 2

  8. light says:

    the utterly poor battery life i think also played a major role as it was the major reason i decided to skip the 3ds despite eagerly awaiting its launch, besides im fed up of nintendo releasing remakes of games i have played years back maybe a sequel to mario 64 or something would change my mind but i doubt it

  9. smelly says:

    Maybe because of the earthquake and that nobody really cares about the Wii. Also the lack of games for the 3DS.

  10. Grort says:

    There are definetely some good titles… I like the looks of Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, Pilotwings Resort, Ridge Racer 3D… but what I really am waiting for are the likes of DOA, Ocarina, Mario Kart 3DS, and Super Mario 3DS.

  11. Roy Lagendijk says:

    Same here.

  12. Marquis says:

    @ light
    I don’t see why people are still bagging on that.
    The PSP and (IIRC) the iPhone only have slightly longer battery lives. Sure, the DS line could get you 8-14 hours of play, but that’s because the system was a lot weaker. (No offense to it.)
    I just keep my brightness on 1 and Power Save on. It still looks great and it’s never run out on me except when I have huge sessions at home.

  13. Marquis says:

    Screw reviews; PilotWings, Nintendogs, and maybe Samurai Warriors look a little better than what they give them credit for. And only one good launch title? What about Shadow Wars and Ridge Racer?
    And I doubt casual fans of Nintendo read reviews online first anyway.

    Sure, there aren’t any big name games, but there definitely isn’t only one decent game so far.
    And N must obviously know that the latter part of the year will be seeing a sales rise.

  14. light says:


    its because i for one travel abroad and am usually left in a situation where i cannot recharge which is why i was such a big fan of the ds lite which was not only cheap and had great games but had such a great battery life which made it reliable, and yes the iphone may have slightly longer battery life but i dont use that for gaming, the psp had terrible battery life which is why it was such a pain when i travel because i literally had to ration the battery, nintendo have gotten me used to a good battery life and now im spoiled, and one final point is that i personally do not think the 3d is worth it, if nintendo simply made a more powerful console with any other innovation i wouldve been fine with it, and one last thing is the resolution i mean common this is becoming unacceptable i enjoy and love mario kart but seriously they need to improve the resolution for the 3ds

  15. Paul Douglas says:

    I wouldn’t say the sales “disappoint”, they failed to meet the optimistic projection but 3.6 million in this short space of time is pretty GD impressive.

  16. shawn says:

    Lower the price to $200 U.S and stop rehashing Virtual Console games on Retail game cards (Zelda 64 and Star Fox 64) at full price and it will sell. $250 amd quick and dirty ports is another White Elephant project like the first PSP.

  17. SupaBeam says:

    nintendo wont need to worry anymore when a lot of the big boy games come out like zelda MGS and mario kart

  18. Marquis says:

    @ shawn
    To be fair, OoT is more than just a port, if you’ve been following the news.
    I agree on $200, though.

  19. 3dbrains says:

    If the screen didnt scratch itself when closed a lot more people would buy one.

  20. Rob says:

    it doesnt scratch lol, ive got 77 hours clocked in, it made merely a smudge! Just wait til august, a ton of great games for the 3ds ask any game stop or best buy retailer, they are anticipating an extrememly busy day…..

  21. lemon says:

    I really want to get a 3ds, but I have resisted for the very reason that there are no good games yet. Also, by the time there are good games, the price may drop.

  22. lemon says:

    But they are making a new 3D mario game, with the same control style they have kept since.

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