When the Nintendo 3DS was first revealed at E3 2010, gamers everywhere, along with the press, were immediately smitten by its hi-tech glasses-free 3D screen and promise of major game releases. The buzz didn't waiver; the build-up to the 3DS launch was full of hype. But then something happened. Nintendo over-promised, but grossly under-delivered.
The 3DS hit retail shelves everywhere during the last week of March. In that one week, the Nintendo 3DS sold a very respectable 400,000 units. Not too shabby. But that was the initial early adopters, the rich kids, and the Nintendo fanatics. And even they realized that the 3DS wasn't quite the system they were so excited about.
Where were the incredible games that Nintendo had been showing off for months? Where was the eShop? Internet browser? This was a perfect example of a botched console launch: poor launch library and missing key features.
Nintendo's eagerness to bring the 3DS to the market has put a damper what hype the 3DS was generating, and sales have fallen off dramatically. In stark contrast to first week sales of 400,000, the Nintendo 3DS managed to sell under half of that during the entire month of April, a lackluster 194,000 units.
It's not just the 3DS either that's suffering from poor Nintendo strategy. The little Wii that captivated consumers for nearly 4 years, has too few interesting or exciting games to draw in new console sales, and sales are in decline.
In April, the Nintendo Wii sold 172,000 units, down 38% year-over-year for the month. Granted, Nintendo just lowered the price of the Nintendo Wii, so that should help stir the pot a bit.
This may end up being a good thing for consumers. Hopefully Nintendo learns from the 3DS launch, and prepares a full line-up and feature set that's ready to go day one of the release of Nintendo's new console that they're debuting at E3.
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