Sales of Nintendo 3DS get boost from Mario in Japan but US and Europe lag

City A.M. Reporter
SALES of Nintendo’s 3DS games device will hit 3m units in the Japanese market within days, but consumers in the US and Europe seem to be delaying holiday shopping due to poor economic conditions, the company said.

Nintendo slashed the price of the 3DS by about 40 per cent in August and announced a flood of new software, including titles in the much loved Mario series, in a bid to prop up sales of the gadget, which had slumped after its February launch.

As a result, the Kyoto-based firm expects to sell 4m of the machines in Japan within the first year, compared with a worldwide target of 16m units by March 2012.

“It has regained its momentum,” company president Satoru Iwata told the Nikkei business daily in an interview, the content of which was confirmed by a company spokesman.

But slashing the price was a painful step for the games giant, resulting in losses on each 3DS unit it sells.

In the six months to September, Nintendo made about 34 per cent of its sales in the Americas and 37 per cent in Europe. It was hit hard by the yen’s rise against the dollar and euro.

That, along with the price cut, was one of the reasons why the company slashed its forecast to a ¥20bn (£1.6bn) net loss for the year to March 2012. Nintendo has now begun a small amount of euro-based procurement to try to offset foreign exchange losses.