Pachter compares DS to 3DS sales, shows how the impact overall status of Nintendo

Many of you point out that the 3DS is selling better than the DS at a similar point. That's true, but the DS was always profitable, and the 3DS is not. Also, the DS saw sales go from 8.8 million units in its first four quarters to 18.0 million its next four, to 20.2 million in its third full year; I'm pretty confident that the 3DS will not get to 20 million units, but even if it did, it would generate little profit from hardware. Keep in mind that the DS redesign to a lite version boosted sales, and there was little competition for 12 year-old and older from smart phones and tablets. Now, parents who can afford it are opting for Kindles, iPads, and smart phones for their teenagers, and the more casual of those are perfectly happy playing Angry Birds and putting their DS or 3DS into a drawer.

The important point is that if 3DS sales level off at 15 million and Wii U sales level off at 8 - 10 million, software sales will be much lower than they were in the past. If Nintendo doesn't make a profit on hardware, they can't afford to cut prices further. If they do cut price, it will likely occur as their manufacturing costs come down, but I don't expect big hardware profits in the foreseeable future. They are stuck with software profits, and at current sales levels, they are unlikely to make an overall profit from software. - Michael Pachter
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Tags: ds, dsi, 3ds, wii-u, pachter

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