3DS sales have "slowed considerably" claim analysts

Honeymoon period already over, but 11.6 million sales predicted by end of 2011

Sales of the Nintendo 3DS have "slowed considerably" since the initial launch, according to analysts, with predictions suggesting the new portable will not match the success of the DS.

"Based on our recent checks, we believe that sales of the 3DS have slowed considerably since the initial launch window, although the Easter holiday could provide a near-term boost," said Lazazrd Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian, according to IndustryGamers.

A new report from research firm Screen Digest suggests that the 3DS will see "rapid adoption" in 2011, with a healthy 11.6 million sales by the end of the year. However, it cites competition from tablets and smartphones as reasons why the 3DS is unlikely to equal the sales of the DS.

By 2015 Screen Digest estimates 70 million unit sales for the 3DS, compared to 91 million for the Nintendo DS and DS Lite over the same period.

The Nintendo DS family of consoles has currently sold upwards of 145 million units worldwide, putting it on course to become the most successful video game format of all time - beating even the PlayStation 2 on 150 million.

The 3DS has been launched in a very different market to that of the DS in 2004 though, with recent estimates placing US launch figures at 750,000. This compares to 303,000 in Europe, including, 113,000 in the UK and 50,000 in Germany.

With Nintendo reticent to reveal even those launch figures the only country to provide regular weekly hardware updates is Japan, where the 3DS has sold only 800,000 units in its first month compared to its target of 1.5 million.

As a result of the latter Nintendo ADR shares reached a two year low at the end of last week, over increasing uncertainty over the format's future sales potential.

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Latest comments (12)

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
The 1.5 million was a shipment target, not sell through.
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Private Industry 8 years ago
Sounds believable with the slowed down sales Game here already reduced the price a bit.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Private on 12th April 2011 9:46am

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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University8 years ago
A couple of weeks after launch and they're already predicting lifetime sales?? Who would have predicted sales of 150m plus for DS when the phat model came out back in 2004? Certainly not these analysts!! I bet there were reports then that the DS would not match the success of the GBA line!

There is a long road ahead for 3DS, and Nintendo have yet to play all their cards. It may yet far exceed, or even fall short of, 70 million units.
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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 8 years ago
I agree Daniel, long road ahead. Nintendo really need to get a wriggle on with giving the system the features that it was meant to have from the beginning, like the Store and the web browser and you know.... games.

On the other hand I think that this really is a word of mouth thing but they should be making more of an effort to differentiate this from the DS. Most people I know have seen the adverts and don't realise it's a new product.
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James Poole Managing Director, Sarcastic Hedgehog Ltd8 years ago
It's all going to come down to games. Pokemon 3D, Mario Cart 3D, Mario Galaxy 3D and sales of the 3DS will look very different to what they are now.
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Daniel Growns IT Engineer 8 years ago
As James stated, it is all going to come down to future titles. I'm certain it would've done better provided there was a more exciting mixture of launch titles.
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Alex Winton Website Administrator 8 years ago
A slow launch period means nothing in the long run. The DS's launch was a -lot- worse than the 3DS's - there was literally a gap of about 6-8 months before any real titles started showing up for it. The 3DS is on track, however, to have a pretty strong release window for the whole rest of this year.

The DS's abysmal launch didn't do it the slightest bit of harm in becoming the best selling portable system ever - I don't see why the 3DS's would either.
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University8 years ago
As far as quality goes Nintendo have a fantastic mixture of first and third party software both in the near term and stretching into next year. The GDC confirmation of Super Mario 3D being made by EAD Tokyo (the Galaxy team for those not familiar) has convinced me to drop the cash on a 3DS between my degrees. I'm not yet fully convinced Nintendo have found any 20million plus selling software titles, which were the main driving force behind them shifting so many DS systems. Nintendogs + Cats is sure to be a slow burning success, Mario Kart is coming at the end of the year of course, and I think if Animal Crossing leverages the 3DS' wireless features, it could become an absolutely massive hit, and smash the 12 million sales mark its DS predecessor achieved. I've high hopes for it being the mass market hit the 3DS is going to need to remind the masses (and analysts!) why a dedicated gaming portable is still relevant in the days of all singing, all dancing smart phones and tablet computers.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Daniel Hughes on 12th April 2011 2:00pm

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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 8 years ago
There is a lot of potential but I'm worried that they might pull that trick they did with Animal Crossing Wii and give you almost nothing new to offer in a new iteration.

I look forward to E3 intently.
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University8 years ago
Definitely a possibility-Animal Crossing on Wii was a sore disappointment.
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Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer 8 years ago
The thing is with the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, consumers in Japan will be more reluctant to spend money on gadgets but rather pull money for disaster recovery. If these analysts look at the amount of money people pulled to Japan for disaster recovery, they will know how much money was not spent on other consumption. I think these days "journalists" and "analysts" really need to relate things in a more all-rounded manner instead of putting out sensation stories as such.
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Eliot Lloyd Studying Computer Games Design and Production, Northumbria University8 years ago
It's stupid to say that tablets and smartphones are the reasons no ones buying 3DS's. The only people I know with 3DS's are people with smartphones. If anything it's the lack of titles and the high cost of it: No games for the hardcore to buy, too expensive to randomly buy for your kids.
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