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Nintendo: Wii third party sales 'especially low', 3DS will do better

Iwata pledges to work more closely with external publishers

Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata has acknowledged that its current platforms have not performed as well for third parties as they do their owner.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Iwata noted that "it is true that the third party software sales ratio on Nintendo platforms are comparatively smaller in Japan. Wii's third party software ratio is especially low."

Graphs from Media Create data demonstrated this was approximately 26 per cent of total Wii software sales.

He claimed, however, that in terms of units rather than percentages, the DS was "the platform for which the largest amount of third-party software is selling" (with slides putting it at just under 50 per cent) but admitted this was partially attributable to the sheer size of its install base.

Iwata then attempted to defend interational third party sales as "not inferior" to the situation for PlayStation and Xbox.

Using data from Media Create and NPD, he offered that DS's third to first party ratio for US and Japan combined was around 55 per cent versus approximately 45, and slightly closer to 50/50 on Wii.

However, 360, PS3 and PSP first party sales each accounted for less than 20 per cent of total software shifted on those platforms.

Iwata was thus adamant that matters had to change for the 3DS.

"We need to decrease the concern that only Nintendo software can sell well on Nintendo platforms and third party software cannot sell in the same volume.

"We will not make a trend similar to the one found for Wii in Japan now," he promised. "we feel a need to have closer ties with our third party developers from the beginning."

Iwata then presented pre-recorded enthusiastic statements about the 3DS from third-party Japanese lumanaries behind the likes of Resident Evil, Kingdom Hearts, Metal Gear Solid and Professor Layton.

"The big expectations they hold make me humble," Iwata claimed afterwards. "Together with the third party software people, we aim to expand the sales of Nintendo 3DS, and we will never stop our efforts to expand the gaming population."

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Alec Meer: A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.
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