Tag Archives: 3ds

Nintendo FY18 Q3 Earnings

A blockbuster holiday. Lowered expectations. Three pillars of business. Nintendo’s recent earnings report was interesting if nothing else.

Brian Crecente at Variety gave a tight business side recap:

Despite a strong holiday, Nintendo on Thursday lowered how many Nintendo Switch it believes it can sell for the fiscal year, dropping the goal by three million, down to a new target of 17 million, the company announced in its latest earnings report.

The company also increased its Nintendo Switch game sales forecast by 10 million, saying it will sell 110 million copies of games for the system in the fiscal year, which ends in March. Finally, the company nearly halved its estimates for the sales of the portable 3DS systems, down from 4 million to 2.6 million.

The following are pulled from the presentation:

On Switch sales:

And cumulative global sell-through, including sales outside of the major markets you saw on the previous slides, has surpassed 30 million units as of the end of January, and the Nintendo Switch business is on a trajectory for further growth. Also, all of the new titles released in succession during the holiday season also showed exceptional sales.

Comparison to PS4 and Xbox One sell-through looks like this:


Comparison to the Nintendo 3DS looks like this:


On games:

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has achieved a sell-through of over 10 million units. The title has continued to show explosive growth after its release, with the fastest start for any title on any Nintendo home console ever.

Right in-line with NPD’s numbers.



This chart shows the combined sell-through in Japan, the US, and Europe since April of 2018 for the four titles you see here. All four were released in the year before last, 2017. Sell-through of each title continued at a reasonable pace, then spiked upward toward the end of the year. As the spread of Nintendo Switch progresses, the number of new consumers is increasing. And to consumers who just purchased Nintendo Switch hardware, every existing title seems new.

One of Nintendo’s strengths is how easy it is for consumers with past experience playing Nintendo games to become interested in new Nintendo-brand titles. And if the steady sales of our evergreen titles can reliably support our overall software sales, we believe that will help fill any gaps between releases of new titles.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the top selling title for the Nintendo Switch at 15.02 million units. Super Mario Odyssey is second at 13.76 million units. I still wouldn’t call Mario Kart 8 Deluxe a system seller, but certainly a must-have. Electrodome Boogaloo, indeed.

On third-party titles:

Titles from other software publishers are also seeing a steady rise alongside Nintendo Switch. Nintendo’s revenue related to software from other software publishers was more than twofold during April through December of 2018.

The idea that Microsoft would put games on Switch doesn’t seem so crazy.

On strategy:

Based on our basic strategy, we’ve organized the company’s initiatives into three pillars of business. The three pillars are the dedicated video game platform business, the mobile business, and the IP expansion business.

Each pillar has a different purpose and a different scale. They are each considered critical to the company, and we intend to grow them according to their unique traits and potential for growth. Let me explain each of these businesses in order.

Executives have made mention of IP expansion, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it as core a pillar spelled out next to “video games”.

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The Nintendo 3DS and the Importance of Ports

Viewers of Nintendo’s 9.13.2018 Direct were witness to a treasure trove of future Switch titles. To name a few:

  • Animal Crossing
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3
  • Mega Man 11
  • Final Fantasy VII, IX, X, X-2, XII ports
  • Yoshi’s Crafted World
  • New Super Mario Bros. U port
  • Diablo III
  • Civilization VI

But the one announcement I keep coming back to is the 3DS port of Kirby’s Epic Yarn — a 2010 Wii title — in the form of Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn.

This is not the first Nintendo home console port to the 7-year-old portable console — Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii), Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii), most recently Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Wii U), to name a few — but it was the first during this Nintendo Direct. Shortly after, a port of the GameCube launch title Luigi’s Mansion (2001) was announced as a marketing tactic fix to hold fans over for Luigi’s Mansion 3 on the Switch.

Current sales numbers of the Switch reflect that of the hugely popular PS4. But even with that success, it’s fascinating to see Nintendo port back-catalog console titles to it’s aged handheld. The telling reason is the 3DS’s continued sales numbers, continuing to post 6.4 million units sold during Nintendo’s fiscal year 2018 ending March 31, 2018 alone.

It’s one thing that Wii U titles are seeing new life on the Switch — Mario Kart 8, Hyrule Warriors, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker — but it’s even more interesting the see the same tactic for a device that third-party support has all but dried up.

Nintendo sees continued life in the 3DS — a 2017 version in the New Nintendo 2DS XL is probably one clue — and seems to have found a method to maintaining the growth of an already stellar catalog with it’s own IP.

Short of the minority who still own a Gamecube or Wii, there is no other place to play Nintendo titles like Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Luigi’s Mansion, Donkey Kong Country Returns, or Xenoblade Chronicles — all of which have or will have a Switch sequel. If you don’t have a 3DS/2DS, these games may be attractive enough to pick one up on the opportunity to play or replay alone. But even for existing owners of the 3DS/2DS, this stable of first-party ports are certain to whet appetites for their Switch sequels.

The 3DS is a brilliant promotional tool for the Nintendo Switch.

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Polygon: Captain Toad feels like “Nintendo experimenting within the Mario Universe”

Polygon’s Michael McWhertor on the Quality Control podcast with host Dave Tach:

For a few years now, I have promoted and evangelized Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. To the point where I think even people at Nintendo are like, “hey, send this guy the Captain Toad review code first.”

I love the game. I love the character. It’s a great little puzzle game. It was one of those things that was released on the Wii U — which didn’t have a ton of great games, but this was a real standout in my opinion — and not a lot of people owned the Wii U. [Captain Toad] was something that was overlooked by a lot of people. It’s a fun little package. Now that it’s out on Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS, people have no excuse not to go play Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.

In 2013, Nintendo released Super Mario 3D World, and excellent platformer for the Wii U. In that game, there were a handful of levels featuring Captain Toad. You gave up control of Mario, Peach, Luigi, etc., and you played as Captain Toad in these tiny little diorama-style levels where Toad would walk around with a headlamp and a heavy backpack.

He couldn’t run and jump. He could basically just walk around levels. He could fall down things. There were switches you could pull to raise him up on platforms. But each one was just this cute, clever little puzzle level that felt like Nintendo experimenting within the Mario Universe.

Mike and I share similar feelings about Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. The game itself is a charming, clever, puzzle game. But beyond that, it’s a wonderful expansion on a more realized Mushroom Kingdom. And it was great to see the character return in Super Mario Odyssey.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Captain Toad is genius.

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Club Nintendo Experiencing Heavy Traffic

Club Nintendo:

We’re experiencing heavy traffic at the moment, so accessing your account may take a little longer than usual and you may see display issues with your account when logged in. Please note that you’ll have until 6/30/15 to redeem your rewards. Thank you for your patience.

Yesterday, Club Nintendo announced a massive sale in conjunction with the discontinuation of the loyalty program, offering physical goods as well as Wii U, Wii, and 3DS downloadable titles at discounted redemption rates. I have since experienced issues a) accessing the page or b) signing in.

In May 2014, Club Nintendo experienced similar server strain due to heavy traffic generated by the Mario Kart 8 free game offer.

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Nintendo Direct Play-by-Play

What began as a review of the 1/14/15 Nintendo Direct turned into a play-by-play reaction piece.

From the top:

Puzzle & Dragons Z + Super Mario Bros. Edition (3DS)

The presentation kicks off with a Bejeweled clone. It seems completely unnecessary to create a “Super Mario Bros. Edition” of a game that is not focused on IP. I’ve always felt the same way with Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. (More commonly known as Puzzle Fighter.) The first sight of the characters catch my eye, but I am no more apt to play once I see the style of game. It’s a cheap trick. To challenge myself, I recently tested Marvel Puzzle Quest. Same Bejeweled experience in a IP wrapper.

How about a new Super Mario RPG?

Pokemon Shuffle (3DS)

I don’t see how this is any different than Puzzle & Dragons Z. These types of games seem entirely based on luck. I was quick to counter my own point with Tetris but a) in Tetris, the player can see their next piece, and b) Tetris focuses on single piece placement, not masses of unordered chaos falling from the top of the screen. “In-game purchases” for more lives? Terrible. It all feels too much like a slot machine.

Regarding the life meter hearts, does zero count? (I had to do it.)

Wii Games on Wii U

With the new Wii Games on Wii U, eShop purchased Wii games are displayed on the Wii U menu. However, launching an eShop purchased Wii game simply launches the software in the existing Wii emulator. This means Wiimotes are expected.

Satoru Iwata, 8:36:

There are some Wii software icons on the Wii U menu. These icons are for Wii disc titles that been reproduced as downloadable software for Wii U. And you can start each game directly from the Wii U menu without first going into Wii Mode. Wii U’s backwards compatibility with Wii was developed by switching the hardware function to Wii Mode. Because of this, in the past, we couldn’t distribute Wii disc software for download on Wii U. Now that we can reproduce Wii disc software on Wii U, we can make these titles available to download. And some of the Wii games that were compatible with Wii Classic controller can be played using only the Wii U GamePad too.

The Wii console has an extensive software catalog, but Wii U owners may not have had the chance to play some Wii games even if they were interested in playing them when those titles were first released. We hope these new possibilities will allow Wii U owners to enjoy these Wii games more easily.

Prior to watching the Nintendo Direct, and without any discretion, I jumped at the chance to purchase Super Mario Galaxy 2. I was fairly disappointed when I realized that the eShop Wii Games were not Wii U ports, rather downloadable titles with shortcuts to the Wii Mode.

I only play my Wii U with the GamePad. I have a few Wiimotes lying around from my Wii days but only break them out if additional controllers are needed for local multiplayer. If Nintendo is expecting new Wii Game players to purchase these titles on Wii U, wouldn’t complete GamePad functionality make sense? Instead they are expecting Wiimotes at the ready. To my knowledge, there is no Wii U bundle that includes Wiimotes.1

On a positive note, I am very happy to see that the Metroid Prime Trilogy will be making it’s way to the eShop. I played through Prime 3 and loved the experience.

Kirby & the Rainbow Curse (Wii U)

This game looks gorgeous. The textures and animations take me back to ClayFighter, albeit with more polish and charm.

I still don’t understand how games requiring touch input benefit during TV + GamePad gameplay. The prime mechanic of this game looks to be drawing on the GamePad. I’m not sure how players will avoid a purely GamePad experience. I’m all for the Off-TV Play feature of Wii U. I use it all the time when my wife is watching TV. However, when a game requires GamePad touch input, I have trouble adapting (Pikmin 3) or I simply play through the experience on GamePad alone. The gameplay of Kirby & the Rainbow Curse seems better suited for the head-down, (sorta) focused nature of the 3DS.

Pretty neat Amiibo support assuming the special unlocked abilities are completely optional.

Spring amiibo

Can’t wait for my Mega Man Amiibo.

Mario Party 10 (Wii U)

I remember spending countless nights playing the N64 and GameCube editions of Mario Party. I really hope this iteration brings the series back to its glory days. (Mainly because my wife will join in.) But I’m already a bit turned off when 1/3 of the modes are locked to Amiibo only support. I know I’m not going to win this battle, especially with a company that thrives on accessory purchases + the new trend of NFC figurines, but when I say Amiibo support should be completely optional, pieces of a game should not be missing/locked to Amiibos. Cosmetic additives, customizations on the go, and save data sure. But entire chunks of pre-built game? Mario Amiibo Bundle aside, selling 2/3 of a game at full price is lousy business.

But there’s more…

Bill Trinen:

If you decide to use your Super Smash Bros. Amiibo in Mario Party 10, you will need to erase that figure’s Smash Bros. Amiibo data.

You will need to erase the save data from one of the highest rated, most popular Wii U games out there. Nightmare.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker amiibo Functionality

Okay. Forget everything I said about Amiibo. I’m in!

But seriously, adding a simple hide-and-seek feature to an existing game is a great way to implement this technology. The core game exists without Amiibo while adding the optional “hide-and-seek for Pixel Toad” is no different than coin collecting, diamond fetching, or golden mushroom digging. Good move.

Splatoon (Wii U)

The addition of a social hub-world and what appears to be deep character customization adds so much to this game. My question: Will the Inkling replace the Mii?

I am still very excited about Splatoon.

Hyrule Warriors DLC: Tingle and Young Link

Young Link looks awesome.

Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U)

Since it was known as X, I have been intrigued by this title. I have only ever dipped into Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht but have always been attracted to the series’ cool and atmospheric design. More compelling: The big and lush visuals coming from a Nintendo box. It looks like the Lord of the Rings Fellowship traversing Avatar’s Pandora. Less compelling: That pop-in at 19:58.

Mario Vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars (Wii U/3DS)

I’m a big fan of donating to my favorite creators. Likewise, I love the idea of tipping Level Creators with the stars you earn, helping them unlock new design pieces.

Also, very nice to see Nintendo build in cross-by support for the 3DS and Wii U versions of this game.

Project Treasure (Wii U)


Elliot Quest (Wii U)

Fun looking throwback title.

Blek (Wii U)

Painting-maze-pretty-shapes-cute-sounds… Did you say that this has been featured in museums? I’m in.

Citizens of Earth (Wii U/3DS)

A wacky RPG drawing heavy inspiration from Double Fine in which Mitt Romney looks to have been voted Vice President of Earth. Looks entertaining.

Gunman Clive 2 (3DS)

Love that art direction.

Moon Chronicles: Eps. 2, 3, 4 (3DS)

Was Episode 1 any good?

SEGA 3D Classics (3DS)

Get that After Burner II!

Etrian Mystery Dungeon (3DS)

I don’t get the whole “loot hunting” thing.

Story of Seasons (3DS)

Sort of a Harvest Moon reboot.

Fossil Fighters Frontier (3DS)

Archeology + Dinosaur Pokémon. Sounds addicting.

New Nintendo 3DS

I have been waiting for a redesigned standard, non-XL version of the 3DS before entering the 3DS market. I loved the portability of my DS Lite and have never been able to shake the feeling that I’m holding a Fisher-Price toy when using an XL. Not to mention it makes that terrible 800 x 240 pixel density look even worse.

The fact that Nintendo will not be releasing the new 3DS non-XL in the US was baffling until I saw this tweet:

Bingo. I had completely forgotten about the 2DS but it looks like the it’s push will be even stronger. One new feature of the New 3DS XL is NFC support.

Reggie Fils-Aimé:

You’ll be able to power up your Super Smash Bros. series Amiibo on the go with all of the gear you’ve already unlocked in the game.

Unless you’ve erased it to play Mario Party 10’s Amiibo Party mode. Also, no AC adapter. Here’s Nintendo’s comment to Polygon:

“Rather than raise cost of New Nintendo 3DS XL by charging consumers for a component they may already own, we are giving them the option to only buy if they need an AC adapter,” a Nintendo representative told Polygon. The spokesperson noted that the New 3DS XL is compatible with the same AC adapter used by all 2DS, 3DS, 3DS XL, DSi and DSi XL devices.

I’ve always appreciated having more than one power adapter around the house. Just this morning, I used my wife’s MacBook Pro power adapter as it was in a nearby room rather than fetching my own. Nintendo cannot assume their customer is upgrading just to save a few bucks. Poor, disappointing decision.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. (3DS)

Looks great. Ideal Amiibo support.


Think Street Fighter titles are bad?

I miss air combat games.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D (new 3DS)

A very impressive port of Xenoblade Chronicles X.

IronFall (3DS)

Looks like Gears of War for handheld.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (3DS)

Are these games worth playing?

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (3DS)

I have such fond memories of Ocarina of Time and will always regret not playing the original release of Majora’s Mask. My ears perked when they announced the Majora’s Mask edition of the new 3DS XL. However, no game (or power adapter) included. I am completely stumped at the decision to release a special edition model of the console without bundling in the game the design is inspired from. If this was bundled with Majora’s Mask, I would have put some serious thought into purchasing one of these, regardless of console size. Then again, I opted out of the Windwaker Wii U bundle. Those Zelda markings would have driven me nuts.


Consumers are, by no means, sold on Nintendo hardware. We are living in a world where far superior hardware runs rampant and on the cheap. It is more apparent than ever that Nintendo is putting their might behind precious IP and highlighting that they are world-class software developer. I will continue to wait for the New Nintendo 3DS non-XL, something that might feel a little less like toddlers toy. And hey, with that extra money I saved, I’ll get to buy an official charger!

Side note: I still find it intriguing that Nintendo is continuing development of 3D.

1Ben Thompson points out that the Mario Kart 8 Wii U Deluxe 32GB Bundle included a red Wii Remote (and Wii wheel accessory). This bundle is no longer available.

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The Verge Reviews the New Nintendo 3DS

Sam Byford, The Verge:

The 3DS is worth owning for the same reason the Wii U is: its software library is spearheaded by Nintendo, one of the most consistent and talented developers in the world. There’s no doubt that smartphones have taken a big chunk out of the DS’ user base, but all that proves is that a whole lot of people bought a DS because it was first to what we would now call smartphone-style games. In 2014, many smartphone games are fantastic; very few of the fantastic ones are traditional video games. And if you like traditional video games, you should absolutely own a 3DS.

I love my Wii U. Really looking forward to owning a New Nintendo 3DS.

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New Nintendo 3DS

Earlier today, Nintendo announced refreshed 3DS and 3DS XL units, simply called the New Nintendo 3DS. Kotaku has a great breakdown of the Nintendo Direct event including screens of important slides highlighting auto-brightness, the external build, viewing angles, swappable battery, retro button comparison, and more.

I have been eagerly awaiting (and anticipating) a standard 3DS refresh. While it doesn’t look to be trimmed down in size (these things look like Fisher-Price toys), I’ll take the new internal enhancements to the 3 1/2 year-old 3DS, gargantuan 3DS XL, or striped down 2DS.

In the days of the original DS, there were tons of games I felt I was missing out on but was not satisfied with the hardware. I was pleasantly surprised when the DS Lite was announced. I vividly remember racing out to pick up one up on launch day. This device rekindled my love for Nintendo and video games as a whole. I can’t say that it will offer the same life changing experience, but I will likely be racing out for the New Nintendo 3DS. Interesting name.

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Nintendo And The Future Of Kids’ Games

Jordan Shapiro, Forbes: E3 From A Father’s Perspective

A great run down of Nintendo’s E3 offerings. It sounds more and more like the Big N stole the show, and without a live press event mind you.

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Because, it’s Nintendo

Nintendo did not apologize or ignore; they listened. Playful jabs at current conversations (eerily close to the last IGN NVC) and admittance of shortcomings was a nice touch to the digital event. That said, the 46-minute presentation left something to be desired. A blowout of late 2014 Smash Bros. content will not be enough to whet the appetites of naysayers.

Nintendo is wise to focus and build out the Mushroom Kingdom with Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, more Yoshi, and Amiibo. Even wiser to remind audiences where their gaming experiences started.

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GameStop global sales hit $2.11 billion, store sales rise 20.5 percent

GameStop global sales hit $2.11 billion, store sales rise 20.5 percent

High hopes for video game retailers?

“New software sales for the quarter increased by 43.1, which the company attributed to the “strong performance” of recently-released games — using Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto 5 as its strongest example example. New hardware sales rose 15.3 percent due to sell-through of the Nintendo 2DS and 3DS handhelds. Conversely, pre-owned sales decreased by two percent.” [sic]

– Polygon

Keep in mind that Nintendo does not offer hardware sales directly through digital retailer Amazon.com. This also does not reflect sales of next-fen consoles Xbox One or PS4.

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