C'mon man. You have a 3DS? If not, buy one and play some of those eShop games and Super Mario 3D Land. It will cure that faith.
Also, let me show you two Q&A's with Iwata from a recent Nintendo Fiscal Meeting that made me feel better about the future of the 3DS and the Wii U:
Q4. [snip] And, my question is, in my opinion, the factor which has the biggest impact on hardware sales expansion is the existence of killer titles, such as “SUPER MARIO 3D LAND,” “Mario Kart 7” and “Monster Hunter 3 (Tri) G,” rather than a hardware system’s 3D viewing capabilities or tablet-like controller. Are you intending to launch the Wii U hardware together with some killer titles from day one in order to drive the hardware sales? How have you allocated your managerial resources in order to successfully launch the Wii U?
A4. I would like to share with you our philosophy in the game business. This is one of the remarks made by our former president, Hiroshi Yamauchi, and is widely known in the video game industry: “Our consumers do not want to purchase the game systems themselves but want to play with the game software.” To take this idea to the extreme, consumers reluctantly purchase a hardware system simply to play with the game software. Of course, the video game hardware systems of today embody a variety of functionalities within them and offer a lot of experiences to the consumers. As the company has already included a variety of built-in software that our consumers can enjoy as soon as they purchase the hardware even before purchasing any software, the environment is a bit different from when Mr. Yamauchi made such a remark. Having said that, however, even today, I do not think the consumers are purchasing our hardware just in order to enjoy the built-in applications. The actual situation is that our consumers happen to find out how fun the built-in applications are as a result of purchasing the game hardware system. So, the primary purpose of consumers purchasing our hardware is to play with the very well-made purchased game software that they really want to play with for themselves. As we look back, when we launched the Nintendo 3DS, we failed to prepare a software lineup which could satisfy our consumers in addition to other factors, and the Nintendo 3DS could not initially increase the sales as we had originally expected. This is why the company needed to carry out such a drastic markdown measure by sacrificing the profitability. As a result, and supported by a strong software lineup, the Nintendo 3DS was able to regain momentum during the year-end sales season of 2011. We laid out such a drastic measure by understanding that regaining the momentum which had been once lost, is much harder than trying to create momentum from scratch. Without it, the Nintendo 3DS could not have realized positive results at the end of last year or the current sales pace in Japan. It did hurt our financial results, but it was a necessary measure. So, how will we be able to use this lesson for the Wii U? There is always a limit to our internal resources. The company now has to develop software for the Nintendo 3DS, has to prepare for the Wii U launch and has to finalize the hardware functionalities. With these circumstances in mind, if I said that an overwhelmingly rich software lineup would be prepared from day one, it would be too much of a promise to make. On the other hand, we are making efforts so that we will be able to make several proposals even from the launch period that can eventually become evergreen titles for the Wii U. We have learned the lesson that we have to make that kind of preparation for the Wii U, or the Wii U will not gain enough momentum to expand its sales. We would like to share additional information at the E3 show in June this year.
Q7. My question may sound antithetic, but let me ask you this regardless of whether my idea may fit Nintendo or not. Nintendo’s basic strategy for revitalizing the financial performance has long been “the expansion of the gaming population.” I said my question may sound antithetic because I am going to ask “Is it appropriate to pursue this goal?” In my view, the index of “the number of users per family,” which is something Nintendo management has prioritized as one of the important indices, does not necessarily have a strong relationship with a single year or multiple year profits. The expansion of the gaming population is, so to speak, something Nintendo should carry on eternally. Therefore, for the purpose of the revitalization from now, is it necessary to establish more specific goals to which progress can be confirmed?
A7. However, if you ask us whether everything Nintendo has done was right or whether we would use the same tactics if the company’s policy or strategy remains the same, there are issues to overcome. For example, the Wii was able to reach a large number of new consumers who had never played games before by bringing hands-on experiences with its “Wii Sports” and “Wii Fit.” However, we could not adequately create the situation that such new consumers played games frequently or for long, consistent periods. As a result, we could not sustain a good level of profit. Moreover, regrettably, what we prioritized in order to reach out to the new audience was a bit too far from what we prioritized for those who play games as their hobby. Consequently, we presume some people felt that the Wii was not a game system for them or they were not willing to play with the Wii even though some compelling games had been released. In comparison with what we did with the Nintendo DS and the Wii, with respect to your view this time that the introduction of the software that contributes to expanding the user base for the Nintendo 3DS platform is delayed, we are doing along the lines of what we intended to do to a certain extent. Once consumers have a notion that “this system is not for us,” we have learned that it is extremely difficult to change their perceptions later. Therefore, in promoting the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U, we have announced that we would like “width” and “depth” to coexist. With the Nintendo DS and the Wii, the approach of “width” was well accepted by many people; however, what we did in terms of “depth” was not satisfactory for some consumers. This time, we would like consumers to be satisfied in both aspects. In order to do so, we started to work on the “depth” aspect first, and the current and existing software you can see for the Nintendo 3DS is based on that idea. In the future, the approach will evolve. By exploring the development both from width and depth standpoints, it is our intention to satisfy a wider audience with one gaming platform. Our approach for the Wii U is basically the same. By doing so continuously, we are expecting that the number of game users per household will increase and as the gaming population increases, we believe we can create a sustainable video game market. We would like to materialize what I have said for both the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U in the future.
I have said this before, and I'll say it again: Iwata and Nintendo as a whole aren't as dumb as some people make them out to be. They are one of the only companies I know of that put out reports of investor/fiscal meetings online. And in them, Iwata especially seems to usually be very blunt and straight to the point. There is a reason they became sucessfull with the Wii. Call it luck or playing into the market demand, (I think it's a combination of both) they understand their craft.
Especially the 'width' and 'depth' comment makes me think he understands that what they did with some of the Wii software stuff wasn't sufficient in the slightest. The embodiment of this realization, I think, is Super Mario 3D Land, which is both accesible and yet deep. Maybe a bit easy, but that might just be because I've played a bajillion Mario games.
HAVE FAITH BROTHER!