Nintendo 3DS To Have “Significant Harvest Year” Says Iwata

By Ishaan . May 7, 2014 . 9:02pm

“Posting an operating loss for the fourth fiscal year running is something unacceptable,” Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said to analysts and investors during a financial results briefing today. “We see this fiscal year as a time to prioritize restoration of the balance of revenue and expenses.”


Part of Nintendo’s strategy to work their way back up to profitability is to release a steady stream of Nintendo 3DS games to sustain that platform. Iwata pointed out that the 3DS has sold over 43 million units worldwide, and that overseas sales of Nintendo 3DS titles have grown by 20-40%. Games such as Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire will further contribute to its success, he stated.


“By leveraging upon its large installed base, we are aiming to make this fiscal year a significant harvest year,” Iwata said.


Additionally, Iwata pointed to Tomodachi Life as a game that Nintendo would like to succeed with overseas. Iwata feels that Tomodachi Life has a chance of gaining popularity the same way Animal Crossing did, and that he’s personally been reading comments from overseas gamers regarding the title.


“Fans have responded favorably to the [Nintendo Direct] footage by saying, ‘Once again, Nintendo will bring us another weird software title!’,” Iwata said. “I personally have been hearing their reactions, and while some people still do not know what kind of game Tomodachi Life is, it appears that a number of them want to play it anyway.”


Iwata pointed to Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate as a game that will play a key role in the Nintendo 3DS business, both in Japan and the West. He also made mention of Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, the new Taiko Drum Master game for 3DS and Yo-kai Watch 2 as titles that will contribute to the platform’s growth in Japan.


He went on to mention that “many more titles” from third-party publishers are in development for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan. Iwata added that Nintendo will continue to work with these companies to help make their games a success outside Japan, similar to Professor Layton, Inazuma Eleven and Bravely Default.

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  • Xmas Lopez

    Well, he’s not wrong. But they should really do something about the WiiU and improve its marketing.

    • Anthony Hadow

      Having monster hunter 4 on wii u would help i dont want the 3ds version it means i have to buy the circle pad pro

  • Franggio Hogland

    Well at least PoC exist in this game but apparently it took a weird alternate world for it and the offing of LGBTQ.

    Yeah weird as hell doesn’t cover it.

    Well hope it goes well for them. Even if Nintendo has failed with the U I’m enjoying it.

  • logginsmessina

    a handheld outperforms a console

    • NeptuniasBeard

      Wouldn’t be the first time. The DS was the best selling 7th gen system after all

      • Haganeren

        Not counting Game Boy Advance and Game Boy…. All of them in fact…

  • Eder García

    the 3DS is getting Japanese support… that’s good news… but what about the west? are they still going to ignore potential good sales?

    • Enzo

      Just wondering, are there actually that many western developers that develop for handheld systems and not simply port home console games to handhelds?

      • There have never been very many. Not that I would mind having more.

        • David García Abril

          Yeap, pretty much.

          The thing is, traditionally, Western developers have never been into handhelds. Or at least, not to the same extent as Japanese developers have.

          Hopefully, now that there are more development tools for N3DS, including Unity compatibility, things may change with indie developers.

          N3DS has a very good health. It’s the Wii U what’s making Nintendo to drag their feet. :(

    • Click through to their investor page. He talked about western stuff a bit. Mostly kids’ games being developed by western devs and indie stuff.

  • Christopher Nunes

    I’m glad the 3DS is getting lots a love, but what about the Wii U? They really need to do something about it instead of hanging it out to dry.

    I would love to see what they plan for the Wii U regarding games, Nintendo needs to focus on that a bit more. As much as Smash Bros. will help a lot having the Wii U version delayed to Winter and the 3DS version releasing this Summer isn’t going to help a lot with the Wii U a lot even if the Wii U has better graphics and internet connection.

    It’s the same game basically (though I plan to get both) so having such a steep release gap between the two might harm the Wii U in the long run and with the lack of new titles releasing this year or games announced but with no release date isn’t sparking much confidence for the consumers to get a Wii U anytime soon.

    • Tiredman

      I think the broadcast during E3 will be big for the Wii U. In the mean time, the advance games are a lot of fun, assuming you are like me and never had an advance before.

      • Christopher Nunes

        I really hope so… I want to hear about more Wii U stuff during this E3. They need something to turn it around.

        And Advance games? You mean the Gameboy Advance? I had that and I did play a lot of great games on it, would be nice to see more of it on the Wii U via Virtual Console.

    • xPhoenixMoon

      I decided I am not waiting for the Wii U version and I feel the same way, some think it is a good idea but I honestly think they should have released the Wii U version first to drive sales.

      So many people would have bought a Wii U for Smash and Mario Kart, now there is a very huge chance they won’t for Smash as most people like myself will be completely happy with the 3DS version. About all the Wii U version has is better graphics at the moment, both versions have online multiplayer and currently the 3DS version has more content but I am sure they will announce more for the Wii U later.

      Honestly Mario Kart does better than Smash in terms of sales, so I feel if Mario Kart 8 can’t help the Wii U surely Smash won’t make a difference either sadly.

      • Christopher Nunes

        Yeah, that is a bit of problem. If they were released roughly the same time if wouldn’t be such an issue and I know that the Wii U and 3DS have different content like stages and trophies to have and the Wii U will most likely have more features than the 3DS and exclusively ones at that but having their release dates so far apart is putting the Wii U at a disadvantage.

        The way I see it I already have the 3DS version by then and most likely played and unlocked everything by then and just then having the Wii U version at that time… I would lose a bit of interest and not want to go through everything again (my little brother accidentally erase my Melee file with everything unlocked TWICE! Was not happy about that) even with the added content on it.

        I just hope the “Winter” release for the Wii U is more closer to November and the “Summer” release for the 3DS is August so it isn’t TOO far apart.

        I plan on getting Mario Kart 8 as I haven’t played a Mario Kart game in a long time and wouldn’t mind playing a racing game after such a long time.

      • darke

        It wouldn’t be such a problem if they went the Sony way and had cross-buy for it. I only ended up getting a Vita because I had cross-bought a couple of games, and along with the games I had on PS+ it seemed like a no-brainer. I think Nintendo’s internet infrastructure (and tiny storage on the Wii U) is holding them back though.

  • AuraGuyChris

    ‘Once again, Nintendo will bring us another weird software title!’


    • darke

      It appears it didn’t quite take them as long as Square Enix to realise that we like Weird Japanese Games because they are weird, not just because they’re Made in Japan. :P

      • Ban The Jackass

        Japan is a weird, weird place. Weird games, weird social trends. There is this one time licking eye balls is an IN thing for teenagers. *goosebumps*

        At least Nintendo listens while Square Enix counts their mobile game profits.

        • darke

          To be honest, it’s more that the way society in Japan works that tends to make odd things stick out. The pressure to be ‘normal’ like everyone else is much higher so people who stick out just a little tend to be hammered down; but people who stick out a lot tend to, well, stick out a lot. :)

          That and the higher density of people tends to result in people-sticking-out grouping together much easier, which also exacerbates the ‘weird’ since there’s large clumps of it.

          Honestly, from what I’ve seen, Japan is pretty boring like everywhere else. ;)

  • planetofthemage

    “By leveraging upon its large installed base, we are aiming to make this fiscal year a significant harvest year,”
    Are they going to take us hostage?

  • bananaking123

    The key to success lies in not making the west green eyed at those delicious jap exclusive titles. Share the wealth!

  • I REALLY hope we get more substantial games on 3DS from Japan, not just localizing what’s there but ALL-NEW core games.

    So many gaps left unfilled. 3DS is really lacking in JRPGs that’s not by Atlus and Bravely Default. Where are games by Falcom? Compile Heart? Gust? Nippon Ichi? More core RPGs by Bandai Namco? Sega? I could go on!

    Not to mention the sheer lack of MH-clones. Why did PSP have MH and was flooded by clones, yet when 3DS got MH, all the clones went to Vita? The PSP clones did super well because the core audience followed MH.

    And how the hell is there not a Final Fantasy to speak of on 3DS? No ports, remakes, nothing. They had a thing going with FF3 and FF4 on DS, but alas, no FF5. :(

    Yeah there’s mobile sucking all the support from the 3DS, but Vita’s flooded with so much support despite being leagues behind 3DS. All you see nowadays on 3DS are anime-licensed games (and hardly any are that good) and games aimed at kids.

    I don’t get the logic sometimes, I truly don’t. :(

    • Chris Evan Jonance Ingeniero

      because the 3ds only needs 1 Monster Hunter. the PS are getting clones due to the fact that they are not getting a Monster hunter game anymore

      • Earthjolly

        Stop calling them clones for fucks sakes. Its a genre now

        • Chris Evan Jonance Ingeniero

          dont tell me that~ tell that to the topic starter.. plus they are still clones

          • Earthjolly

            They can’t be “Clones ” if don’t even play the same. (Except Toukiden, that Want’s to be a clone)
            That;s the point of genre

            You might as well call every single FPS game a Doom Clone

            Every realistic life racing game a F1 clone and so on

          • darke

            Amusingly I was going to retort the same thing about ‘doom clones’, but figured I’d already posted enough in this thread. :)

    • There are a couple of answers to this question.

      The first is the question of demographics. Asking why RPGs from NIS and Compile Heart aren’t on 3DS is like asking why Harvest Moon and Dragon Quest aren’t on Vita. They target different demographics. 3DS gets games that are aimed at a broader audience, while the Vita gets support from publishers that target the otaku and anime markets.

      Look at Atlus, for instance. Atlus Japan aren’t normally in the habit of targeting the otaku niche in Japan, but that audience is so prevalent on Vita that they’re doing Persona 4 Dancing for that platform. Given the number of Miku games on Vita and the higher resolution of the screen—which that audience is fond of—it just makes sense.

      Moving on… the hunting games. This one is really simple. The Vita doesn’t have Monster Hunter, so Sony are actively pursuing every other hunting game they can, in order to make up for its absence. They provide marketing support for these games, and that gives publishers incentive to put them on Vita.

      Next, you mentioned Final Fantasy in the same vein as these other titles. The two aren’t connected. Final Fantasy is going through a phase of its own where Square is trying to figure out what to do with that brand. No platform, outside of PS4 and XB1, is getting brand new Final Fantasy games. Final Fantasy X was an HD Remaster and while Theatrhythm “technically” counts as a new game, it’s obviously being developed under a very controlled budget.

      Whether or not entirely new FF games will be developed for either of the two portables remains to be seen, but for the past couple of years, Square have been dedicating resources to resurrecting FFXIV and getting FFXV back on track. That has taken away from the development of new FF games for other systems.

      The 3DS does have RPGs, just not ones that you personally like, perhaps. It has a lot of Atlus support, it has Bravely Default, Dragon Quests, it has Fantasy Life, it has the Harvest Moons and Rune Factories and it has Yo-kai Watch (which is a huge deal). There are probably others on the way as well. All of the games it gets are based on the demographics it caters to.

      If you’re looking for the more niche stuff, then you should probably invest in a Vita, since that is the platform for more niche, lower-budget games from smaller publishers. You’re never going to get those on 3DS because it’s more cost-effective to develop them for Vita for a variety of reasons, including demographics, audience tastes and more.

      • darke

        As far as monster-hunting games go, there’s no point in releasing anything else on 3ds unless you’re confident you can beat MH.

        It’s like WoW and MMO’s. Unless you can somehow beat the amount of content as WoW, or have gameplay that’s accessible as it but completely different, no one will care since all the people who want to play ‘MMO’s like WoW’ are playing WoW.

        MH has defined hunter-like gameplay enough that you can’t really change the gameplay much without it becoming a non-hunter-like game; so all you can do is “something other then generic fantasy” or “more content”. The former tends to sell less, thus you don’t have a sufficiently large critical mass of players, and the latter is hard since MH has many more years of development.

        • IxisNaugus

          In fairness, the viability of other hunting action games on the 3DS remains to be seen. Back when Monster Hunter was still releasing games on the PSP, other hunting action games became part of the library, and I believe most performed very well. No other alternative could “beat” Monster Hunter, but many performed very well and could stand alongside it as successful software nonetheless. God Eater and Phantasy Star portable immediately come to mind as successful alternative software on the PSP.

          Whether alternatives to Monster Hunter would perform better on 3DS than Vita is uncertain, but those chances become smaller as more alternate games are released on the Vita, I think. Still, it would be interesting to see more hunting action games release on the 3DS, just to see how the market responds.

        • I’m not sure I agree with that. For example, look at the life-sim genre. That’s arguably the most popular genre on 3DS and is populated by Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, Rune Factory, Tomodachi Life, Fantasy Life, Disney Magical World and Magician Quest.

          All of those games have not only been selling well, but actually growing over the years, and they’ve always co-existed. So, I do think hunting games could be viable on 3DS, but there’s no reason for publishers to put them there because Sony are going out of their way to gather up the remaining hunting titles, since those are among the few games capable of actually moving Vita hardware.

          • darke

            But none of those are really social right? Hunting games in Japan seem to be defined with the social multiplayer aspect of it, especially since the focus tends to be on ‘in person’ rather then ‘online’, so the more people who have it the more chance they’ll be someone nearby to play with.

            It’s the whole non-linear network effect; double the people playing has a more-than-double effect on the benefit of owning a copy. So if all you’ve got is “it’s like MH” there’s no reason to buy it since you’ll have significantly more chance of finding a partner with MH. It’s the same as WoW; if all you’re doing is playing a fantasy MMO, you might as well play WoW because your friends are more then likely already playing it, and there’s simply more people to party up with.

    • Ethan_Twain

      Well you’ve got the expert opinion from the site managing editor but I think I have a nice rule of thumb about your JRPG question:

      The more anime a game is the more likely it is to show up on the Vita. Compile Heart is way way into the scantily clad anime girl thing, but even the other companies you listed develop games with a little more otaku appeal. Gust games have weird titles that nobody understands, Falcom games barely even get localized, Nippon Ichi exists in that anime state of mind as well. Tales of games are THE modern vehicles for anime character tropes.

      The weird exception to this rule is Senran Kagura, but that was made specifically to make jiggly anime girl boobs in 3D. That franchise branched out to the Vita super quickly and just the other day there was a story about maybe moving to the PS4. Senran Kagura fits the Vita audience.

      I’m also bummed that the 3DS RPG crop doesn’t match up to the DS RPG crop, but I think that’s just a reflection of the direction the genre has been headed. I’m sure if there were more JRPGs that didn’t aim at the otaku space there would be more JRPGs on the 3DS.

      As for Sega… do they even make JRPGs anymore? They had stuff like Valkyria Chronicles and 7th Dragon a few years ago, but they aren’t following up on any of that. I feel like they’re just letting Atlus be their JRPG division.

      Basically: The reason the 3DS isn’t getting so many JRPGs is the reason I’m down on JRPGs in general. There are too few JRPGs getting made with broad/international appeal. Too much otaku. I love storytelling in games, but so many modern JRPGs are just so BAD at story that I’ve found myself regressing to narrative light JRPGs like Pokemon and Etrian Odyssey.

      • Yeah, that’s a good point, and one that applies to Japanese developers as a whole. More and more of them are settling into that otaku niche. Most of Japan seems to have forgotten how to make games that are aimed at a broader audience. The developers that still do are on PC/PS3/360 and 3DS.

        • Ethan_Twain

          This trend is why I am SO interested in Square Enix right now. There’s been a change in management and subsequent reorganization, but not much has been announced since. Square Enix development cycles are so long that most of what’s coming in the foreseeable future was begun before the management changed. But I have faith that the new management will lead to different products.

          And Square Enix products are exactly what the JRPG market lacks right now. Though the games are frequently nonsense, Square Enix doesn’t traffic in cheap otaku pandering. Maybe it’s because of their international brand appeal or maybe just because of pride, I’m not sure why.

          The last couple years have seen other developers moving more towards otaku pandering and Square Enix releasing fewer games. So these two factors together along with localization barriers and development costs have made the “mass market” JRPG (in so far as any JRPG is mass market) almost go extinct. It’s awful.

          So can Square Enix capitalize? If they can figure out a development pipeline that lets them output a decent quantity and quality of software I think that there’s a HUGE hole in the market they can fill. Bravely Default didn’t outsell Lightning Returns by accident.

          I also think this is why Atlus has been on the rise (baby steps, but brand growth is brand growth). They are at least releasing a decent quantity of decent quality JRPGs that nobody is gonna be ashamed of playing. Atlus and Nintendo are honestly maybe the only publishers doing that in the west right now.

          Edit: And no, I’m not being irresponsible. Siliconera comments are my only escape from all night organic chemistry cram.

          • darke

            Honestly as far as Final Fantasy single-player JRPGs go, they’re pretty much in the otaku-pandering mode. FF13 just seemed more and more cater to ‘just’ FF-otaku with every new release and I’ve no idea what demographic they’re trying to target FF15 at if they’re not targeting just FF players. :?

          • Ethan_Twain

            Oh yeah, that was definitely a problem with FF 13. The games were never very approachable in terms of mechanics or narrative, and they also had some pretty serious problems on top of that. So the only people who really got into them were hardcore enthusiasts.

            But I think that’s just an issue with FF 13 specifically, not so much the FF brand at large. FF XIV has managed to find an audience okay, and I don’t see any reason why FF XV won’t be able to as well. I mean, assuming it’s good and doesn’t put up any crazy high barriers to entry.

          • darke

            The problem is FF15’s development was running in parallel to the development of FF13’s more FF-otaku releases, so it’s likely to have similar failure modes to FF13. (Vaguely ironic that FF14’s failures were partially the result of not catering to the FF-otaku and outsourcing everything, “horse bird” anyone?)

            As far as FF15 goes, it doesn’t look like they’re catering to the pure ‘otaku’ market, if just due to the preponderance of pretty boys, (maybe they’re targeting the otaku and fujoshi market? :P ), but I haven’t seen anything that’s convinced me that they’ve learnt the lessons of FF13 yet…

          • Ethan_Twain

            Well have they even released any RPGs since Lightning Returns? I don’t think so. We won’t be able to tell if they’ve learned lessons from the FF XIII catastrophe until they get to releasing RPGs afterwards.

            I choose to be optimistic – Square Enix knows there’s a problem, the management has changed, and FF XIV gives some small reason for optimism.

            It’s possible that we won’t see evidence of course corrections until after FF XV because it was in development during the dark times. You make a good point.

            I think that FF XV will probably not be held back because of the extended development cycle. There is PLENTY of time to implement changes/fixes before release.

    • hng qtr

      “3DS is really lacking in JRPGs that’s not by Atlus and Bravely Default.”
      Don’t you mean localized JRPG’s?

  • Slickyslacker

    つ ◕_◕ ༽つ Give DRAGON QUEST

  • CozyAndWarm

    “while some people still do not know what kind of game Tomodachi Life is, it appears that a number of them want to play it anyway.”
    This describes me EXACTLY. Some Digimon and Dragon Quest localizations wouldn’t hurt either.

  • NimbusStev

    Kind of a weird way to word his plans. Could he be hinting at…. a new Harvest Moon game!? *rimshot*

    More games is good news though, so I can’t really complain.

  • PlatinumMad

    Harvest Moon confirmed

  • Anthony Hadow

    Dragon Quest and Ace Attorney games please

  • nonscpo

    We dont need more random games on the 3DS, what we need is more quality games on the 3DS; Variety wouldnt hurt either.
    P.S. As terrible as Pokemon X was, Im sooo looking foward to the remakes of Ruby and Saphire.

  • xPhoenixMoon

    ….and the Wii U? I love the 3DS to death but seriously, if they keep focusing so heavily on the 3DS the Wii U is never going to gain huge momentum. Then what are they going to do when the 3DS sales start declining? It can’t last forever as nothing does.

    With them actually losing money now, you think all this news would be about the Wii U.

    The 3DS sells itself nowadays, I just don’t understand why they focus on it so much especially when the Wii U is eating their revenue away. Meh I guess they have to smooth the investors over with that last finical report but still..

    • darke

      I thought they already had a bunch of stuff lined up for the Wii U, mario cart and so forth. I guess it’s possible they’ve decided they’ve done as much as they can to prop the Wii U up and they’re going to see if it’ll sink or swim?

    • pokeroi

      Relax, this is an article about their 3DS situation. Read other articles for Wii U

  • Milewide
  • brian


    • SetzerGabbiani

      Yes. This needs to be addressed by either Intelligent Systems or Atlus in the coming weeks/months. I doubt if it’s significant enough for E3, but it’s a big deal nonetheless. X as well.

    • Daniel Jeanbaptiste


  • Göran Isacson

    As someone who’s not very knowledgeable on economics and such, I’m kind of curious what is causing Nintendo’s losses when we just saw how much their games are selling, and how much the 3DS is selling. Is it that the production costs of the WiiU isn’t resulting in profits since not enough people are buying the produced consoles? Development costs for HD games that aren’t being returned because, again, not enough people are buying the games? Just general upkeep of their studios/company that isn’t rewarded with sales? I guess I’m just curious overall what Nintendo is using their money on that isn’t returning investments with profits. Is it the WiiU sucking them dry of money, or are there other factors behind these losses?

    • CozyAndWarm

      I’m not really educated to speak on the matter either, but I think a lot of big costs just came up in quick succession. They expanded with more buildings and employees, they’re developing or funding MANY console HD releases which all cost a ton in time/money (many of which don’t sell well and don’t have DLC for extra profits), and they initiated that huge stock buyback. That’s my optimistic guess, anyway – at least they’re priming themselves to do better in the coming years.

      • Göran Isacson

        That is true, they have been spending a lot lately on more things than just developing games and consoles. I suppose that would cut into your profits, no matter how many fancy, well-selling games you release. Might even be the case that they time all these expenses in a year with very good games dropping, so that any eventual bounce-back from this year will look extra super-impressive now that they don’t have to spend so much on stock buyback and office expansions.

  • Tarkovsky

    Watch sales of Yokai Watch 2 blow up like mad in Japan. Sales of it’s merchandise are already skyrocketing through the roof. It could potentially do Pokemon-like numbers.

    • J_Joestar

      yeah, the original is still sitting high and mighty on the top 10 charts in Japan.

      • Tarkovsky

        To think it was actually a flop when it first came out. I’m incredibly impressed.

  • linkenski

    So he points to MH4… which comes out as MH4 Ultimate… next year, right? How does that make THIS year a “harvest year” for 3DS?

    • J_Joestar

      well half and half since it comes out this year in Japan as 4G.

    • Adrián Alucard

      The “financial years” ends 31st March

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