For many companies, selling 3.6 million of anything is a success.
Nintendo? Not so much.
The video game publisher expressed disappointment with its 3DS, which failed to crack four million units sold a month after its March 27 U.S. debut.
Unfortunately, things haven not improved. The new portable has routinely lost to Sony’s PSP in Japan, leaving some to question Nintendo’s marketing strategy when multiple companies (even Apple) want a huge chunk of the handheld pie.
On the positive side, the company has plenty of time to rebound. That said, the following tips would help the 3DS capture a bigger piece of the market.
More Mario, please
Every so often, Nintendo messes with people’s heads by releasing hardware without a Mario game to go along with it, spitting in the face of a sure thing.
Let’s face it, consumers love the plumber, and it’s no surprise that Nintendo has three announced Mario games coming to 3DS, two of which (Mario Kart 3DS, Super Mario 3D) may arrive later this year. Kid Icarus, Zelda and Star Fox will make fine additions to the 3DS library, but the sooner Mario hits that system, the better.
Cut the price
When Nintendo announced the $249.99 price point for 3DS, stuffy analysts declared the system a great value for the money; some would have priced it higher.
Why? Face Raiders, the game we played for five minutes and never touched again? The cameras that take grainy photos? The Mii Plaza? Come on. Nintendo has a tradition of releasing portable systems below $200. We need to see that ridiculous price come down before the end of the year, either sometime this summer, or right before Sony launches the Next Generation Portable (NGP).
Bring on the Pokemans
Next to Mario, Pokemon is arguably Nintendo’s second biggest franchise. 3DS sales will dramatically improve once Pikachu and company make their grand entrance.
New and imaginative IP
Keep in mind that the DS was fairly lackluster until games like Brain Training and Nintendogs arrived, neither of which the world had seen before. Now that Nintendo has glasses free 3D and gyroscope technology, the publisher needs to put it to excellent use with new ideas that push the boundaries of gaming.
Rock the eShop
When the 3DS virtual store (the eShop) debuts June 6, Nintendo needs to go all out with an expansive software library that gives users plenty of games to choose from. Why? The market has changed dramatically. When it comes to mobile, the App Store is the undisputed king. Nintendo won’t have thousands of titles available day one, but it can make sure the big guns are ready and able.
In other words, give us Super Mario Land and Zelda ASAP.