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Nintendo admits 3DS sales are 'weak' again in the west

Iwata: We have not created a solid sales momentum across Europe and the US

The commercial performance of the 3DS handheld across Europe and the US is once again tracking below expectations, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has said.

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Discussing the matter at Nintendo's annual general shareholder meeting, Iwata said that significantly reducing the 3DS retail price in 2011 had triggered a sales surge, yet he admitted that such drive has not been maintained.

"What we should say first is that, while the Nintendo 3DS has a certain degree of sales momentum in Japan, the momentum in the US and Europe is currently weak," he began.

Iwata claimed that the 3DS was nevertheless exceeding internal sales expectations in Japan, and that the handheld makes up more than half the nation's total hardware market.

"On the other hand, sales momentum in the US and Europe is not so good," he added.

"Considering that the US and European markets are larger than the Japanese market in terms of the size of the population, sales in the US and Europe are supposed to be larger.

"At the year end of 2011 the sales momentum in those markets increased in the same way as in Japan; however, the sales pace went down after the beginning of 2012. As a result, the sales proportion of the Nintendo 3DS is now about 20% of the total video game sales in those markets. Thus, solid sales momentum has not been created."

Iwata assured investors that the upcoming Nintendo 3DS XL, as well as key software such as New Super Mario Bros 2, would be able to stimulate sales in the west again.

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