GameStop expects 3DS to lag in second quarter

Hardware sales will drop below expectations after strong initial launch, says president

Specialist retailer GameStop has said that it expects sales of Nintendo's 3DS to be below expectations during the second quarter after a strong launch in the US.

Yesterday the company called out the system as one of the key drivers for record sales and profits in its first quarter, having secured huge numbers of the handheld for launch.

During a call to investors, president Tony Bartell noted the 3DS represented "one of our highest market shares we've ever had on a Nintendo launch, 45 per cent. We were excited about our market share."

He added: "I think there has been reports that the numbers are lagging from what the expectations were for the US and I think our results would be in line with that in Q2.

"We do expect that we will fall slightly short of what we expected. So we were excited to launch, but in Q2, we do believe that it will slightly lag our expectations."

Sales of the 3DS did not meet Nintendo's initial launch expectations, with the system moving under 400,000 in its North American debut - below the 460,000 units of its predecessor the DS.

Analysts have also claimed sales of the 3DS have slowed considerably, following a period of few new software releases.

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Latest comments (12)

Glyn Williams , 8 years ago
Is it possible that casual portable gaming has found a home on smartphones?
If so, then any dedicated portable games console is really a hardcore device.

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Stitch Jones News Editor 8 years ago
The 3DS is a very nice piece of hardware. However the lack of a web browse feature and having a e-store that could be used at launch hurt the unit. Along with the main lineup of games. While some of the game were very entertaining, most failed to capture big sales. Currently the 3DS lacks any real exciting titles and with the projected forecast of re-do games it isn't pushing current DS owners to make that big jump.
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University8 years ago
It's early days, yet. DS didn't have an amazing start, either. The trick for Nintendo is to build up a good software and features library by October, and then possibly cut the price or do a Nintendogs bundle. If they do that, it'll be the must-have gadget this Christmas, they'll sell millions and create some much needed momentum for the device. I agree the machine has only so far been a moderate success, but with Super Mario, Kid Icarus, Mario Kart and Animal Crossing coming sometime before next April, I wouldn't write the machine off at all. I expect in 12 months analysts and journalists will have forgotten any of this ever happened, especially if Nintendo meet or exceed their shipment forecasts.
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Show all comments (12)
Graham Simpson Tea boy, Collins Stewart8 years ago
Yes. It's all about the games still to come. Same applies to Kinect which also was launched with a woeful line up - though Sports / Dance Central are nothing short of brilliant and worth the Kinect in itself.
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Antony Carter Senior Programmer, Epic Games8 years ago
Has anyone done any consumer research to see if the mass market understands the 3DS is actually a next gen handheld, from the marketing ive seen it would not surprise me if the casual market that lapped up the DS, just think the 3DS is just another unnecessary to purchase DS Lite SKU like the DSi and DSiXL
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game8 years ago
I would agree with Anthony, that the main problem is that Nintendo screwed the marketing campaign, and failed to get the message across to the DS owners that don't read the gaming press that it is anymore than a DS with 3D. The lack of inspiring games didn't help, of course, but Graham pointed out that Kinect was the same, yet Kinect exeeded already high expectations for sales due to Microsoft getting across what they wanted to.
I also, and this is very much opinion, strongly beleive that Nintendo and Sony have banked highly on an interest in home 3D with just isn't as strong as they predicted, mirrored by 3D TV sets having sold half of what was expected, and the first (undersized screen oversized price) glasses free 3D TVs released in Japan flopping. Sure, price is a factor, but I would hope that was built into the projections.
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Cormac Mulhall Software Developer, Jolt8 years ago
Nintendo need to put emphasis on the better hardware in the 3DS. So far all they have been doing is emphasizing the 3D screen. That is flash in the pan stuff, 3D games will not hold interest for long and there have been so many stories about 3D causing headaches and eye strain. Apparently the vast majority of people turn off the 3D screen after a few hours playing, rarely to turn it on again.

For the 3DS to be really successful Nintendo need to give people a reason other than 3D to move from the DS, cause at the moment the perception is that the 3DS is just a DS with a 3D screen. This perception is wrong, but Nintendo are not doing enough to combat it.
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Angus Syme Senior Artist, Lionhead Studios8 years ago
At my company most of the die hard Nintendo fans rushed to buy one on launch day and the office was full of people playing pilotwings. Now? Not seen one being played in a few weeks.

They look like nice little consoles, but the markets changed fundamentally in the past few years - why would someone pay 40 quid for a game when they can get a similar one on a smart phone for 59 pence? Lacking any really must have games (glancing ahead at the upcoming list - I see the Zelda port is being heralded as the next big title. Which even the most loyal fans have to admit isn't exactly a brand new release) I have to wonder how well it will do in the next year or so.
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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 8 years ago
Nintendo are already failing to meet people's expectations on the games that are coming out for the system. Starfox has no online at all and Resident Evil doesn't even have any VOIP despite being a title with online co-op play.

Combine this with a lack of the store, browser, OS level chat system. These should be standard stuff for a system that should be selling itself as a social gaming system. So far it works like a handheld from 2004.
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Paul Smith Studying Animation, Academy of Art University8 years ago
For everyone out there. I agree with somethings and others way off.. For one I don't use my cell phone to do my email nor go onto the web. I wouldn't use a video game machine to do that either. Thats what I have a PC for. Texting is annoying to do on a touchscreen since I have gotten used to my egernomic keyboard and have such big hands at 6'2". The games I would get again even Zelda but unfortunately I have epilepsy and cannot handle 3d even in the movie theaters so I am screwed.
I think it is a great idea and the hardware is great. and for still using Cartridges Nintendo is smart as compression schemes are getting even more advanced and those can utilize even more data.
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Will I've seen the reviews and they all say thanks to that nice price tag of 250 bucks out yo pocket. And the fact that the psp out sells the 3ds in japan due to monster hunter and the 3d barley works and you end up with a nasty headache. so the game itself may have sold better if they realeased it with some good games instead of stuff like ninten dogs
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Darryl Kelley Development Manager, LEGO Systems, Inc.8 years ago
Great points here and I agree with most. From my standpoint, the 3DS experience cannot be achieved by a simple marketing campaign and TVC, this will need to be something that is actually seen and in hand. They have tried with some in-store kiosks featuring a device, but it is limited. Over time as seeding takes place, you will see this become a more popular device replacing DSI in most children's hands. Especially with new games launching, etc. Nintendo will surely come out with bundles to enhance purchase at Holiday as this is where they will expect to sell most of their devices anyway.

However, this may also be a result of smartphones and mobile gaming as kids are using these devices. The handheld market is not performing well and this may be a pre-cursor to a shift in how games are played on the go.
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