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Iwata: 'Bitter lesson' learned from slow 3DS launch

Iwata: 'Bitter lesson' learned from slow 3DS launch

January 27, 2012 | By Kris Graft

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said in an earnings briefing this week that the botched launch of the 3DS was a learning experience that the company will apply to the upcoming release of the Wii U.

"For the launch of new hardware, it is, of course, regarded as a sort of requisite not to miss the critical year-end sales season," said Iwata.

"The company is aiming to firmly complete the development of the entire [Wii U] system and prepare sufficient software so that the Wii U will be at its best at the time of the launch. Needless to say, we have learned a bitter lesson from the launch of the Nintendo 3DS."

Nintendo's 3DS launched in early 2011 after missing a holiday 2010 launch. Lagging sales of the handheld, originally $250, led the company to issue a 20 percent price cut worldwide just months after its release.

Iwata confirmed that Nintendo will launch the Wii successor in Japan, U.S., Europe and Australia in time for the holiday 2012 shopping season.

Nintendo has yet to give a firm date or price point for the Wii U, which has a touch-enabled tablet controller. A final version of the hardware will be at E3 this summer, he said.

The company yesterday downgraded its shipment and financial forecasts for the fiscal year ending in March, due to a strong yen and lower-than-expected hardware sales. As of the end of 2011, the 3DS sold 15 million units worldwide, life-to-date, riding momentum from the price cut and the release of major holiday titles.

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