The Nintendo 3DS has been our handheld console champion for almost two years. The focus and marketing strategy has been fantastic and the games released make this game-closet addition practically irresistible. However, with the PS Vita being charged up and a new generation of home consoles reaching launch, Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata feels that keeping up the momentum is the most important factor for the 3DS’s continued success.
While the 3DS is shattering sales records in Japan at more than 5 million units sold annually, across the globe it is not so ironclad in its success. The driving force behind it is the software, though Nintendo’s willingness to address customer issues with the XL and the 2DS have allowed more players to come to the table and remain without hand cramps. The philosophy of timing game releases has many branches, and I would say that the 3DS hit it right on the nose by not only opening with a strong line-up, but saving some of the goodies for down the road. It is the continual release of highly valued games that keeps up momentum and convinces more and more people to buy. After all, it’s hard to go wrong when a system has an A+ game library.
Here is what Iwata had to say about their strategy changes coming into the holiday season of 2013:
“Although we simultaneously released Nintendo 3DS XL and ‘New Super Mario Bros. 2’ last summer, we were not able to sustain that momentum until the year-end sales season was in full swing and turn Nintendo 3DS into a leading force in the overseas markets.
This year, as I just explained to you, we are going to head into November, the month when the year-end sales season truly begins, with great momentum that has been created by the release of ‘Pokémon X/Pokémon Y’ on October 12.
In addition, existing titles such as ‘Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon,’ ‘Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D,”Animal Crossing: New Leaf’ and ‘Mario & Luigi: Dream Team’ still maintain sufficient momentum, while the latest installment in the ‘The Legend of Zelda’ series is set to be released for Nintendo 3DS in November. With such a strong lineup of key games in place for the year-end sales season, we aim to achieve great results towards the end of this calendar year.”
The Nintendo team has it right, and the more people who have these games and are seen enjoying them, the harder it is for others to talk themselves out of spending the money. Enjoyment is contagious, and that is a key factor in what has made the 3DS, Wii and GameBoy so successful, both now and in the past. The 3DS is the pinnacle for the transition from the GameBoy Advance to better handheld technology, following the DS with backwards compatibility, the DS Light and more, slowly introducing camera functions, internet availability, removable memory and social applications to what was once a purely solo gaming experience. Now we can play all DS games, take in-game photos to share, send messages to our friends and play with them no matter how far apart we are, no cords required.
I don’t need any more marketing to keep being excited about my 3DS, and the games released just get better and better. For however long Nintendo can keep this up, there doesn’t seem to be a way for this handheld to fail. We all faun over our games and show others how amazing they are. I myself have gotten my roommate to break out the old GameBoy SP for some Pokemon Sapphire magic while waiting to buy in. I’m sure you have also inspired curiosity and longing in those around you for the 3DS and its stellar games.
So, what do you think? Does the 3DS have anything to worry about this holiday season? Are you going to take advantage of the sales and get your own system or new game(s)? Let us know in the comments!