Until the defining question of "Will you Wii U," is answered after Nintendo's latest console, that was debuted this year at E3, hits store shelves it will be up to the 3DS and remnant Wii console sales to keep all the yen Nintendo is burning up in losses from creating a financial black hole from which even Mario can't escape.
You may remember back in August, the 3DS price was slashed from $249.99 to $169.99 after Nintendo revisited their 2010 sales forecast and re-evaluated at a 82% decrease which put Nintendo at $257 million for this year. Even for a company like them, a number that low needs no translation as to what it could mean if the 3DS sales don't start spin-dashing in the opposite direction. The good news there is that Satoru Iwata expects to make it rain 3DS's in Japan with 4 million units sold by March 2012 and he recently said that the device had regained it's momentum in an interview with the Nikkei Business Daily. The bad news is that everywhere else in the world that matters, sales were about the same as those for a mediocre Mario game.
This month Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo America, told Reuters that maintaining the momentum captured by the 3DS from Black Friday sales in the US was his main focus. From March through September, US sales had only made up 34% of all 3DS sales worldwide, just behind Europe at 37%. The major reason attributed to this is the slouching economy is both the US and Europe, but the Xbox 360 had record sales of 960,000 units for the week of Black Friday so that may not be entirely true. Lucky for them, Sony won't be getting their new PS Vita handheld on store shelves until February 22nd, 2012 but if things aren't really happening for the 3DS by then, the only hope Nintendo has of seeing gold coin showers again is if they manage to find some star power.