Here’s why Nintendo’s 3DS target is off by a whopping 75%

Just how bad is 3DS performing? In case it wasn’t obvious, let the numbers do the talking.

According to Reuters, Nintendo is hoping to sell 16 million 3DS units by the end of the year. After selling more than 3 million units in the first month, sales tapered to just 700k additional units for the entire following quarter ending in June. That’s just over 4 million; 75% short of their 16 million target so far.

Granted, a few hundred thousand additional owners picked up the thing after the price drop. And Nintendo will move a few more during the holidays. But the way it’s trending, it’s unlikely the 3DS will sell more than 6 million (if that) by year’s end, which would still be more than 60% below target expectations.

For context, the original DS has sold more 140 million worldwide and counting. It too, like the 3DS, started slow. But not this slow.

And six months after its release, it had lots of gameplay that was only capable on DS, unlike 3DS, which is predominately stocked with re-releases or gameplay that doesn’t benefit from stereoscopic 3D at all.

In other words, without original games, the 3DS will continue to struggle. And although reassuring, I’m not sure these games are original enough. They are certainly not as innovative as Prime Hunters, Kirby Canvas Curse, Nintendogs 1.0, or Wii Sports. Not by a long shot.

Those are the kinds of games 3DS will need if it hopes to catch on.

RELEASE DATE UPDATE AND CLARIFICATION: Metroid Prime Hunters demo came out in 2004. I bought my DS Phat in Jan 2005 because of it. That demo alone did more to justify the gameplay enhancements of the DS than anything on the 3DS so far or even within the next 6-8 months.

Canvas Curse, a mind-blowing game only made possible by stylus control, released seven months after the DS’s Nov. 2004 release. Nintendogs released nine months after the DS, when things skyrockted.

Are those with their panties in a bunch really suggesting the 3DS will have similar demos or “made better by 3D” games by month 0 (last march), month 7 (this oct) or month 9 (this dec)? From what I have played, Super Mario Land 3D and Mario Kart 7 do not benefit at all from 3D, nor do the titles the company is prepping for early 2012 (Kid Icarus).

Furthermore, do those with their panties in a bunch really disagree with the article’s takeaway that “Those are the kinds of games 3DS will need if it hopes to catch on.”?

If you do, please show me the innovative, must-have, can only play on 3DS titles. Yes the system has updated versions of gameplay I’ve already played. But where are the surprises that made DS, Wii, GBA (i.e. WarioWare), N64, SNES, and NES so memorable and must-have?

Sorry, but “Nintendo” + “same old” just doesn’t do it for me. If they ain’t gonna innovate like they normally do, I’m gonna hate. Always have always will. You’ve been warned.