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Five years of hardware declines leave Nintendo weakened
by Matt Matthews on 01/30/14 11:54:00 pm   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Nintendo is stuck in a really tight spot. The Wii U hardware is profoundly unpopular with consumers, and software support is fleeing. So while it rides out this storm, Nintendo will need to rely on sales of the Nintendo 3DS.

But Nintendo's 3DS business is already in decline, so even that source of revenue is getting smaller.

Before I get to the handheld side, let's take a look at the console business.

Nintendo's Console Shipments

I put together some figures to show you just how long this has been going on, and just how much Nintendo's core business has shrunk. For example, at its peak, Nintendo was shipping 26 million Wii consoles per year. Take a look at the trajectory since that time.

Note that these are annualized rates, so each point on the curve represents total shipments in the trailing-twelve month (TTM) period.

It only took two years for the Wii to ramp up from zero to 26 million consoles per year. Then in the four years from that point until the Wii U launch, Nintendo watched the sales rate fall to a mere 7.5 million systems per year.

Normally at that point, the new console would push hardware sales back up again, and that's certainly what many of us expected with the Wii U. But after a reasonably strong holiday season, the Wii U saw its sales fall to laughably low levels. For nine months, combined Wii and Wii U shipments held approximately steady, but then shipments of the Wii tapered off during the last three months of 2013.

In all of calendar 2013, Nintendo shipped a mere 4.3 million consoles. As the graph above shows, that's only a million units above annual GameCube shipments in September 2005.

Nintendo's Handheld Shipments

So, yes, Nintendo's console shipments have fallen 80 percent in the past five years. Let's look at where their handheld hardware business is going.

The corresponding figure for Nintendo's handheld shipments is shown below. This includes the entire lifetime of the Nintendo DS, and everything for the Nintendo 3DS so far.

The 3DS launched well, and then stabilized once the price was reduced a few months later. But as soon as the 3DS XL was released, annual shipments have been declining.

It's tempting to think that the 3DS is doing fine and that all the decline can be attributed to the dying Nintendo DS, but that's not actually the case. The 3DS saw its annualized sales rate peak at 15.5 million systems per year in September 2012. It's now fallen to 12.9 million systems per year.

Europe is Lost

That global shipments graph above hides something important about the dynamics, a regional aspect that shows that Nintendo has seen its support erode overseas.

If we break out the three key regions that Nintendo uses for its data -- Japan, Americas, and Other (mostly Europe) -- and graph the shipments precisely as above, the graph looks like this.

You'll note that in each region the Nintendo DS peaked at a different time. Roughly speaking, it peaked in Japan in early 2007 and then during the 2008 holiday season in Europe. Top sales in the Americas happened one year after that, during the 2009 holiday season.

Also, when the 3DS launched in early 2011, it breathed some life back into the Japanese market. While it never reached the peak achieved by the Nintendo DS, it did top 6 milliion units in a single year during 2012.

In the other regions, that recovery never happened. In the Americas, there was a tiny pop when the 3DS launched but the trend has been mostly downward since that time. In the Other region, here I consider it a proxy for Europe, the 3DS stabilized the market for about a year, but then after the 2011 holiday season its sales fell below 8 million systems per year and are now just below 4 million.

The loss of Europe must be particularly painful for Nintendo. When we look back over the entirety of the Nintendo DS lifetime, the world outside of Japan and the Americas accounted for 40 percent of that system's shipments.

Compare that to the situation with the 3DS, which is pictured below.

Japan accounts for 37 percent of all 3DS shipments so far, up from a mere 21 percent for the Nintendo DS. Instead of the Other region being the leading one, it is in fact the smallest of the three.

How Many More Iterations?

Which brings me to the next question: What, if anything, will Nintendo do to revive the handheld business? Within two years, the company will probably be ready to launch a new handheld system and until then there is time for Nintendo to consider one more revision of the 3DS hardware.

However, the history of the Nintendo DS shows that these new iterations are less effective as time goes on. Here is the full breakdown of lifetime Nintendo DS shipments into the four models: the original Nintendo DS, the Nintendo DS Lite, the Nintendo DSi, and the Nintendo DSi XL.

The Nintendo DS didn't really take off in the marketplace until the Nintendo DS Lite was available, and unsurprisingly that model accounted for over 60 percent of the system's sales. The next iteration, the DSi, added another 18 percent, while the larger Nintendo DSi XL added another 8 percent. 

If Nintendo has similar plans for the timing of the 3DS (and we can't really know -- Iwata's presentation a day ago didn't really address their plans for the 3DS) then there may be another model within the next 12 months. Then a year after that, the company could be ready for a new system.

The 2DS just launched, and while it did fairly well in the short period it was out, the 3DS family is just still only holding fairly steady in terms of annualized sales rates. That is, the 2DS helped maintain momentum but didn't push the platform's sales rate ahead very much at all.

And Now They're Stuck

And that brings me back to my starting point: the Nintendo Wii U is suffering badly in the marketplace, and Nintendo's handheld business may have peaked for the current generation of hardware. While Nintendo pursues its new projects in the health and quality of life market, the base on which its entire business is built continues to shrink.

 


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Comments


Jonathan Jou
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Interesting article. I'm curious to see sources on the sales data, of course. Are these sales slowdowns for the 3DS unique to the 3DS? Does the data show that handheld consoles are on the rise, while the 3DS is in decline, or that handheld consoles are in decline? And I'm really hesitant to agree with calling Nintendo "weakened" or "stuck." People regularly say that the world of gaming is changing, that tablet gaming is going to replace mobile gaming, that consoles are on their way out, that PC games are on their way out, or vice versa, but very few people have been successful at really predicting how things will go.

I'm rather confident in your assessment that Nintendo may not dominate the market share the way the Wii drove demand with the casual gaming audience. There's a fairly well-supported hypothesis connecting the humongous rise of tablets and tablet gaming, as well as mobile gaming, that could show a shift in interest among the Wii's biggest audience. I can safely say that the Wii U is still rather misunderstood, by consumers as to how it's different from the Wii, by developers as to how exactly to take advantage of the gamepad (I haven't and doubt I will think of a killer app for the Wii U as obvious as Wii Sports), and most importantly by the gamers Nintendo was hoping to court, who wanted titles targeting mature audiences with higher visual fidelity and hardware horsepower.

None of this really makes it sound like Nintendo as a company is "weakened," of course. As a counterpoint, I'd point to their 5 billion dollars of cash, the same superstar lineup of development staff, and the much more entertaining market share domination Nintendo continues to command in the handheld market. It's true that the market is changing, and that the competition isn't really just between Sony and Nintendo, but I'm waiting to see how the gamepad attachments to the iphone do before I'd believe that the handheld gaming demographic will be wholly subsumed by the tablet/mobile gaming demographic.

Many people are calling out for different possible moves from Nintendo, and it's not too brash to speculate about just how important their next success or failure might be for them. But as a profit-driven company that makes quality first-party titles, I do and have seen Nintendo as a stable, necessary source of innovation in the console market. It's worth remembering that Nintendo was actually unsure of the future of the Wii, and quite ready to pull the plug and move onto newer hardware if it didn't do well. Nintendo has tried to be different, and the things that make it seem less appealing to many people are the very things that I think will keep it afloat. I can't predict if Nintendo is ever going to do what it did with the Wii, but in all honesty I don't see Nintendo in the same category as Sony or Microsoft. Nintendo's first and most important goal is to sell consoles and games for a profit, which I think isn't particularly affected by the reeling shock most people are having that Nintendo's new consoles aren't selling like the gangbusters the Wii and DS eventually became. Everyone seems so keen on showing how Nintendo has fallen from grace, but it's hard for me to see as anything more than Nintendo doing what Nintendo does: try something different, see what happens.

Matt Matthews
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The shipment data is directly from Nintendo's documents.
http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/library/earnings/index.html

Nintendo may have plenty of cash, but there is no question that they are in a weaker position than they were five years ago. They are no longer bringing in as much revenue, nor as much profit. They also aren't putting out the kind of volume of new hardware that will help turn that around.

As for whether this is just Nintendo or the traditional handheld market, it's pretty clear that Nintendo is basically the only player in that market. Both the PSP and PlayStation Vita are marginal players in Europe and the U.S. (as measured by GfK and NPD data), so that just leaves Nintendo to define the traditional handheld market. The other players are tablets and phones and dedicated-use devices. As Nintendo's handheld business goes, so does the traditional handheld market go.

Jonathan Jou
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All true! Of course, I wasn't one of those people who believed that the Nintendo Wii was going to be succeeded by an equally popular console. Most people can now safely look back at the Wii era and observe that Nintendo had courted a highly fickle and incredibly lucrative audience, which neither the Kinect nor the PS Move really stood a chance to capture.

It's definitely the case that Nintendo's position isn't as strong. So weaker would apply. I just find "weakened" and "stuck" slightly more alarmist and inflammatory than I'd like, especially since you take a lot of time to describe all the trouble Nintendo's in, when in reality Nintendo is still plenty healthy and very, very financially solvent. I don't know when Nintendo will try to launch their next console, but I'm sure they're going to try to learn from the lessons they may have forgotten during the Wii era.

Josh Charles
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I'm not too fond of the terms "weakened" or "stuck" either but yes, the dedicated handheld gaming market has declined since the height of the DS and the Wii. And really, that's to be expected now that mobile gaming is more accessible.

Assuming that Nintendo and Sony continue to release stellar games like we saw in 2013, I'd be very surprised if the downward trajectory did not level off in the next 2 to 3 years though and possibly start to rise again in the future. It appears as though we're in a transition from handhelds to mobile yes, but largely from the casual audience who bought the DS (or the low end of the market if you want to call it that). When 5+ games on the 3DS sell more than 2 million copies in 2013, that's just one example that I think highlights the fact that there's still a demand for dedicated handheld gaming experiences. The main difference is that Nintendo is simply not going to be selling as much hardware as they used to before mobile came to the forefront.

So in essence, I think we end up with two slightly overlapping but quite different markets that cater to the different lifestyles and gaming preferences of their audiences.

G Irish
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Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if a large number of core gamers are abandoning the Nintendo handheld market as well. It's anecdotal, but 5 or 10 years ago I would regularly see adults playing with their GBA's or DS's on the metro, at airports, waiting in line at the movies, wherever. Now I couldn't tell you the last time I saw an adult with a handheld console.

There's still a lot of people buying 3DS's but it's clear at this point that the 3DS will never reach the sales total that the original DS. That can't all be casuals migrating to smartphones.

On one hand it doesn't necessarily spell doom for Nintendo handhelds. As long as Nintendo makes a profit selling handhelds they'll keep making them. But I do think Nintendo needs to make a handheld that is a more compelling purchase. Opinions differ, but I think they need to offer a handheld that is better at general computing. Granted, the Vita is just that, but the Vita doesn't have the games library that the 3DS has.

Benjamin Quintero
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@GI - I play my handheld almost exclusively at home. It would be nice to project it onto the big screen, but I still enjoy the types of games that you get on them. They can be paused on a dime, continued whenever I want, and yet still have more depth than the usual mobile rubbish. It's the console depth of experience but the convenience of mobile gaming for when life at home doesn't allow me to have long spans of core time in front of the big screen. This is personally a demographic I don't think the manufactures have marketed to; they still envision people playing on trains.

Josh Charles
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@GI I have the exact opposite experience where I reside. I see people all the time in public with their 3DS. The majority of them I'm passing via streetpass but I still see more people than I expected with the system out in the open playing in the laundromat, at a restaurant, or on public transportation.

As an aside, most people who uses streetpass know that you cannot get streetpass hits in public with the system open. (There's a very rare exception to this but it's besides the point.) Besides simply not needing to play my system all the time, I don't play it in public because of the chance of it being stolen or because I could miss a streetpass. I've even mentioned that to random people I pass who simply aren't aware of how the system registers streetpass hits. (I do think the possibility of theft is a more serious factor now compared to 10 years ago, especially considering cellphone robberies have skyrocketed in the States.)

Also, I believe @Benjamin is right. There's no way to prove this outright but I get the sense that a significant amount of 3DS users spend the bulk of their time playing right at home. Just because it's a handheld, doesn't mean players spend the majority of their time playing out the house. The quality of the games have gone up since the DS era so it's not like the core audience isn't being served anymore either. So I don't think they've really gone anywhere. Genre diversity is greater now compared to the DS days as well so there's something for everyone.

Ironically, I personally think that being able to play anywhere in your home has become more important than the concept of being able to play outside your home. Games like Kingdom Hearts 3D, Virtue's Last Reward, and Fire Emblem Awakening I played for hours on end while moving around my house to whatever room was most comfortable based on the activities of my family and the time of day.

One more example before I go. I don't like playing RPG's on a console these days because while they're fun to play, they're not necessarily fun to watch at times. So I like playing them on a portable so the TV is freed up (for hockey) and I can chat with anyone in the room while simultaneously enjoying the less visually spectacular elements like leveling up and exploration.

G Irish
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@Benjamin Quintero
Yes but how do you market to that person? "You already have a Xbox/Playstation/Nintendo, more than one TV, and a smartphone. But here's something when you can't use any of those things." I honestly don't know how you would market that.

Dedicated handhelds absolutely deliver a better gaming experience than smartphone/tablet games, but is that worth enough to even core gamers to buy one? Many people are still buying for sure, but that number is falling.

I find a lot of people use their smartphones and tablets around the house when they don't wanna watch what's on TV. The use cases in that scenario are internet browsing, watching streaming video, social media, and games. Something like a 3DS delivers on the gaming front in spades but it doesn't do well on the other 3 use cases.

I just wonder if Nintendo made a device that did a good job on internet use cases AND delivered a great gaming experience, would it reverse the current sales trend?

G Irish
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@Josh Charles
Maybe it's just that people in the DC Metro area are too stodgy to play with their 3DS in public, and people on airplanes are watching movies instead of playing.

I do think the 3DS still does a great job on delivering a deep experience to core gamers. But fact remains that the market is shrinking. Maybe it will stay large enough for Nintendo to keep doing what they're doing and remain profitable. But I have to think there are ways for Nintendo to rope people back into the handheld ecosystem.

Benjamin Quintero
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@GI - yeah I agree they could certainly make a stronger push for a more multimedia friendly device and I have no doubt that the 2DSi/DS4 will be just that. I'd gather that they've learned their lesson now to not simply ship a handheld console, that it needs to be everything a phone has (maybe minus the calls). They are almost there, but it needs refinement.

As for marketing, Nintendo just needs to stop playing nice. They need to be forward with their advertisement and show people pushing away the tablet to pick up their handheld in favor of the deeper experience. They need to have those people in their commercials slapping you over the head with statements like, "I want better," when presented with an iPad. *cut to flashy explosions and popular franchises* They shouldn't be afraid to call out the little time wasters and do a little chest thumping. Nintendo's always been so timid with their marketing; I almost never see Nintendo product commercials except when I have NickJR on for my kid (and it's usually a Disney Inf or Skylanders commercial).

Josh Charles
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@Ben I wouldn't say gaming handhelds *need* to offer everything a phone does minus the calls. Those are more or less bonuses. I would say that may appear to be necessary if you're operating for the assumption that someone would simply want one device that caters to all their needs. But I wouldn't agree with this line of thinking if that is the case (which it may not be).

The reason being is that I think we can safely assume that most owners of dedicated gaming devices already have smartphones (almost certainly anyone over 18 years of age). We need smartphones primarily for communication with friends and family and then for secondary activities usually involving entertainment. In this day and age, anyone who can afford a 3DS probably already has access to at least one or two other devices in their house or on their person that already function as multimedia devices. So from this point of view, the notion that dedicated gaming handhelds *need* to have everything a phone has minus phone calls to attract more casual fans back into the fold is not very convincing (and certainly not on a large scale).

What I will agree with though is that once you own both a smartphone and a 3DS, having better extras like internet browsing and video playback (which the 3DS already has) becomes more useful if you're already in that ecosystem. I just don't think extras on a gaming device are a major selling point to someone who does not have one when other devices they probably already own have been catering to that need for years now.


@GI Wherever people chose to play or not play their gaming devices is ultimately their prerogative. One can look at how much less the 3DS is selling compared to the DS but that's just one way to look at it. Another way is to acknowledge that the 3DS in its currently under-performing form is in fact already profitable. The Wii-U may be dragging Nintendo down as a whole but the 3DS itself is doing quite good considering the competition from mobile. So in that sense, again taking Wii-U out of the picture, they are already doing "good enough" from a profit-standpoint in the era of mobile. The question is how much more can they increase their profits rather than when will they abandon handheld gaming to mobile. (The Wii-U is a much different and bigger problem for Nintendo but even if they left the console space, their handheld would still bring in good returns.)

Bob Johnson
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It has been widely reported that sales are terrible.

But if the Wii proved anything then it doesn't matter how bad you did the previous generation.

And if the Wii U proves anything then it doesn't matter how big of a hit you had the previous generation either.



Jeffrey Senita
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Interesting article. However, this only shows hardware sales - and that is only half the picture. With every year that goes by, their customer base grows. The more consoles and handhelds out in the market means more customers they can sell games to. How does their software sales stack up along side that? Looking at Nintendo's report for last year, it seems more mixed than declining.

James Yee
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I'm curious, how do we know their customer base grows? I mean I'm not alone in being a former Nintendo owner who no longer owns any Nintendo products when once I had both their console and their handheld. I've always wondered how we can discover a decent number of installed customer bases.

Bob Allen
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Well they've lost money for the last three years so obviously their software sales aren't making up for their hardware losses.

SD Marlow
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To actually see that the Wii U and 2DS launches only slowed or delayed a decline in over all sales rather than creating any kind of spike is bleak at best. As per some comments, it's true that game sales are a large missing factor as Nintendo charges a lot for games and basically re-releases everything for each device. I'm sure we would see sales spikes for games, but I don't know how steady they are (and suspect they drop-off almost as sharply).

"Play recycled games. It's good for Nintendo, and O.K. for you."

Benjamin Quintero
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weakened? more like weekend! am-i right?! ;)

Nintendo messed up big time, we know this. They shipped a weak console 3 years too late for last gen and about 10x too underpowered for next gen (to appease the spec mongers). Above all else, they shipped a console with no HD experience and no games to prove the value. All in the past, as much as that hurts.

This is not going to kill Nintendo. Analysts are just a bunch of pessimistic oracles because they look for "growth" not sustainability. They want to make money and anything that holds steady is a "weak" value proposition. If you look at Nintendo's stock value over any period you want, say their last 10-15 years, you'll see that the Wii was an anomaly; a fluke of nature. Nintendo has held pretty flat for a very long time. Now that their stocks have normalized again, everyone is wondering why their portfolios are looking so flat. Meh.. All the graphs and pie charts in the world mean very little when you are trying to analyze an industry maverick.

Obviously stocks don't show performance, they show trust. And Nintendo's trust is back to where it was, which means they will try again.

G Irish
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I'd agree that this isn't going to kill Nintendo in the next few years but the trends are all troubling, and that is what has analysts pessimistic.

The 3DS market is getting smaller, and it's clear the 3DS is not going to sell what the DS did. This is not a super-pressing issue as of yet because the 3DS is profitable, but it signals potential trouble on the horizon.

The Wii U is selling more slowly than even the Gamecube did, while the two competing consoles are moving units at 3 or 4 times the rate of the Wii U.

Going forward, how is Nintendo going to adjust to fix those two problems? Have they presented a strategy that will address these issues in the next 5 years? As of right now, I would say the answer is no.

Companies that have had humongous leads in their respective industries squander them and fail all the time. Companies that were once pioneers in their field fail to adapt and get usurped by newcomers all the time. Nintendo is not immune to any of that. They've weathered missteps before, and they can weather them again, especially since they have some cash reserves. But thus far Nintendo hasn't put forth a convincing plan, hence the analyst pessimism.

Benjamin Quintero
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GI - it's easier to become #1 than to keep it. They fell, it was almost a 100% inevitability. Going forward, I've heard their plans for the future and I personally don't like it. They are creating another pillar that doesn't particularly interest me, but fitness is a $20b+ industry and I'm pretty sure that is just in North America. cha-ching!

So yes, their whole push for QoL is pretty comical from the gaming side looking in, but if they pull it off they may have another Wii craze that has nothing to do with video games. In the end Nintendo is a company; a toy company, not necessarily a game company. =( Even if the "toy" we fell in love with happened to be a game console, it doesn't mean that it will always be the main source of income for Nintendo for the rest of our lives.

I'd honestly see a future for Nintendo that makes video games increasingly less important to their future if this continues.

Josh Charles
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@GI "I'd agree that this isn't going to kill Nintendo in the next few years but the trends are all troubling, and that is what has analysts pessimistic.

The 3DS market is getting smaller, and it's clear the 3DS is not going to sell what the DS did. This is not a super-pressing issue as of yet because the 3DS is profitable, but it signals potential trouble on the horizon."

^I think we all need to take a step back from trend watching in the technology industry. Not too long ago, Internet Explorer was the dominant internet browser around the world, Facebook gaming was all the rage, and pre-iPhone Apple was almost extinct. Just because the trend of the moment is going up or down doesn't mean we need to be alarmed or that that trend is the indisputable future of a product or the industry.

The 3DS is probably not going to see DS level numbers on the hardware side or the software side but why is that such a pressing issue? Who knows, maybe the next handheld will surpass 3DS numbers. The market changes all the time and not all in one direction. Even if Nintendo's handheld business slows down to 50 million units per hardware cycle, why is that a problem as long as that device fills a niche and is profitable? It's so easy to sound the alarm because the 3DS isn't going to sell as much as the DS but if these numbers even out and stay flat and become the new normal, what's inherently wrong about a product that makes a profit that caters to a select market?

G Irish
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Well in the case of IE it was clear that when new browsers arrived on the scene that Microsoft was slipping. Looking at the leadership at the time, many people predicted Microsoft was in for a rough patch with Ballmer, and that turned out to be true on many fronts.

With Facebook games the market leaders didn't have enough foresight to understand (or care) that they were poisoning their market with their aggressive spamming. Now that segment has dramatically contracted.

With Apple, they were slowly bleeding out, but when Steve Jobs came back it was clear that he was going to lead Apple in the right direction.

In all 3 cases the leadership and plan for the future was critical.

With Nintendo the open question is whether Iwata and the leadership team can turn things around. It's early days but the encouraging sign is that they've acknowledged there's a problem (or problems) and are willing to try new things to address it.

As for the 3DS, as I said, it's not a super-pressing problem right now. As long as they are profitable they can keep doing business with a far lower install base.

But the 3DS resides in a segment that is experiencing market disruption. It's not just a downward sales trend, it's that the market may be in the process of dramatically contracting. It's the same kind of market disruption that has crushed personal music players, standalone GPS units, and desktop PC's. I think Nintendo is well positioned to adapt but they have to take the correct course of action in order to do so.

Josh Charles
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Hindsight is 20/20 though.

It's easy to look back and say why things played out the way they did but that's altogether different than predicting the outcome of trends that seem so certain before those trends changed. My point is that for the last few years, many were saying how consoles were dead and handhelds weren't going to make it because of how much money (a select few) companies were making on mobile and because of how accessible gaming was on smartphones since most people had them already. Well we now know that despite that, the 3DS has sold 42 million units to-date and PS4 and Xbox One have sold over 7 million units since mid November.

At least for the 3DS market, even at just one third the sales of the DS, Nintendo can still make a profit off of a rather large install-base (even after taking into account how much better their hardware and services could be and what that can mean for gamers on the fence). We're at the three year mark almost so we're still not even halfway through the lifespan. Let's get to the 6 and 7 year mark before we judge the real impact of mobile gaming to dedicated handheld devices.

It's way too early right now.

Bob Allen
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Except the trend (which was predicted when the 3DS launched and the Wii-U was announced) is not good enough to wait another four years. They're losing money now. Nintendo isn't making ridiculous profits on hardware anymore like they did with the Wii and the DS. When people did make these predictions years ago, people like yourself said "Nintendo always makes money on hardware, wait a few years and you'll see". Well, it's been a few years of Nintendo losing money and losing more money each year. It's not getting better. "Stay the course" is not an option.
Every time someone suggest Nintendo embrace mobile the fanboys shriek "phones can't replace the handheld experience!" Their sole argument is the controls on phones suck. So why doesn't Nintendo do the simple, obvious thing- MAKE A CONTROLLER FOR MOBILE DEVICES. Take the display and cpus out of a 3DS, add the second analog stick (that should have been there all along), and make a bluetooth or wifi controller for Android and iOS. Then make a bunch of games that only work with that controller. Win-win. Nintendo gets to sell hardware at a profit with their existing know-how (I'd pay $50 for a Nintendo controller I could use with my phone/tablet/pc). Every phone made in the last three years could play every 3DS game with no trouble whatsoever (and we know 3D isn't necessary for any of its games thanks to the 2DS). Heck, the 2DS is essentially a low-spec Android tablet with some artificial bezels splitting a single screen in two. Nintendo still gets to control a platform, but now the platform is a controller and Nintendo doesn't have to worry about being in a hardware race it can't win (nor does it have to play catchup anymore in things it's terrible at like online stores and profiles). And the consumers win because they get Nintendo titles without having to buy an additional, pricey device- instead they use a controller (which makes gaming infinitely better) on the phone or tablet of their choice. Heck, make it work with the Chromecast as well and you'd have what we wanted the Ouya to be.

Cordero W
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So, when do we get to talk about the declining sales of the Sony and MS consoles?

Eric Harris
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@Cordero
Obviously. Did you read the reviews for Ryse: Son of Rome? Plus the PS4 is suffering from a lack of next gen games(But they are advertising a ton). Considering the cost of the next gen consoles, I am sure there are plenty of people "planning" to buy a new system. I think the summer performance of the next gen will be more telling.


James Yee
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I would welcome an article about the declining sales of Sony and MS consoles, the problem is that we're too close to the launch for this kind of article. (Since we're still in the 12 month tail) Now we SHOULD see a "post launch" comparison article like we saw on the Wii U. Fair is fair after all. :)

Josh Charles
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I think we're too early for any sales articles for 3DS, Wii-U, or Xbox and PS4.

3DS is only 3 years in compared to 8+ years of DS sales. Wii-U still has lots of moving pieces not implemented yet (like games). And PS4 and Xbox One just came out 2 months ago.

We're just not there yet.


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