updated 09:05 am EDT, Mon April 11, 2011
iSuppli says Nintendo 3DS limited by iOS, Android
Nintendo's 3DS sales will never match those of the earlier DS line due to competition from Apple and Google, IHS iSuppli said this weekend. The 3DS would hit 11.6 million devices in 2011, but it would always lag behind what the DS line managed at the same point in its history, hitting 69.9 million systems versus 90.9 million. Both the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as tablets like the iPad and Android 3.0 devices, would steal away potential sales.
The decision to focus on always-on Wi-Fi features was a hedge against what Apple and Google were doing, researchers argued. By including automatic updates as well as Street Pass to automatically grab challenges and content from nearby 3DS owners, Nintendo was encouraging gamers to always have their 3DS on hand. US president Reggie Fils-Aime had argued that Apple was a threat to Nintendo because it consumed valuable free time and was filling gaps that would otherwise have been occupied by Nintendo's systems.
Nintendo has yet to show how well the 3DS sold but is being closely watched for its 3DS numbers on April 14. It has claimed single-day sales records but, in Japan, has had a hard time sustaining sales.
The 3DS is relatively expensive for Nintendo at $250 but mostly faces challenges in Internet support and game pricing. Its support for Internet access isn't as strong as on the much more universal iOS and Android platforms. Many games also cost $30 to $40 on a 3DS where a phone or tablet game usually costs $10 or less.