Analyst: 3DS faces competition from smartphones

3ds-thumb-2On Friday, February 25, Nintendo finally unleashed their new 3DS handheld video game platform onto the Japanese masses. The initial enthusiasm that greeted the Nintendo 3DS mirrored other successful Nintendo platform launches in the past, but according to a few analysts the new handheld might not have the same impact or staying power that the DS had. Their reason? There are just too many smartphones around today.

 

On Friday, February 25, Nintendo finally unleashed their new 3DS handheld video game platform onto the Japanese masses. The handheld's launch was greeted by long lines of people but thanks to Nintendo's decision to limit the number of launch units, a lot of people who did line up ended up disappointed when most of the stock ended up being already set aside for those who placed pre-orders.

 

The initial enthusiasm that greeted the Nintendo 3DS mirrored other successful Nintendo platform launches in the past, but according to a few analysts the new handheld might not have the same impact or staying power that the DS had. Their reason? There are just too many smartphones around today.

 

3ds-launch

Image from Andriasang

 

"Nintendo's competitive advantage is that they develop both hardware and software. I don't think you will see a change to Nintendo strategy longer term, but because of smartphones they will not see the same growth they once had," David Gibson, head of equity research at Macquarie Securities in Tokyo, told Reuters.

 

Analyst Shun Tanaka of SMBC Friend Research Center, however, believes that Nintendo faces an uphill battle if they try to push the 3DS to reach higher sales numbers in developed countries than the DS, which as of December has already sold over 145 million units all over the world.

 

"Of course it will be difficult to sell more than the DS in Japan or other developed countries," said the analyst. Nintendo expects that the 3DS will sell at least 3 million units from launch until the end of March. "But if they market it in regions like South America and Asia, it may eventually sell even more than the DS," he added.

 

Nintendo plans to launch the 3DS handheld in Europe on March 25 for € 250. The handheld will then become available in North America on March 27 at a US$ 249.99 price point.

 

Via [Reuters]