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Smartphones not behind 3DS sales woes, Nintendo boss insists

Iwata says the platfom holder needs more high quality software to drive hardware sales

The growing smartphone gaming market isn't having a significant effect on Nintendo's business, according to president Satoru Iwata.


Discussing how the rise of cheap games on mobiles is impacting the company's business, the executive told shareholders: "It has been said very often that Nintendo's business is not as good as people had expected due to the influence of smartphones.

"We have repeatedly investigated whether social games, as well as smartphones, are actually affecting our business. We got the same results in our latest research that there are no causal correlations."

Iwata went on to say that mobile games will only steal customers away from Nintendo if the platform holder fails to deliver quality software of real value.

"On the other hand, it is the fact that a great variety of games are available at very low prices for smartphones. Naturally, consumers will choose more affordable ones if the video games we provide do not have much more value than those available for smartphones.

"However," he insisted, "no causal correlations have been confirmed because we think there are consumers who acknowledge that the value of what we offer does not equal to that of those available for smartphones and that what we offer holds unique value.

"The biggest reason of the sluggish sales in this first quarter is that there were no big hit software titles in this period."

Another reason was the system's price point. Having sold only 700,000 3DS units in the three months ended June 30, Nintendo announced aggressive global price cut plans for the system last week.

"With the just-announced markdown," Iwata added, "we intend to drastically change the situation toward the end of this calendar year, to realise a situation that a number of you cannot imagine today and to have many people acknowledge that there are no causal relationships between our business and either smartphones or social games."