Nintendo recently shared plenty of info in their financial results briefing for fiscal year ended March 2016. Here’s some data on their 3DS software and hardware sales.
The worldwide sell-through for Nintendo 3DS systems has surpassed 56 million, reaching an installed base that is sufficient to provide profits for the software business.
There is some variation by region, but we have seen an increase in the percentage of young consumers and female users in Japan, North America, Europe, and other regions.
As for our recent situation, we have been seeing positive signs in Nintendo 3DS software sales in all regions since the start of the calendar year.
This graph shows the Nintendo 3DS software sell-through in Japan from the start of the year through last week, compared with the same period over the last two years.
The sell-through since the start of the calendar year has been lower than in the past two years, but titles that have launched in March and April, such as Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 3 from Square Enix and Yo-kai Watch Sangokushi (Japanese title) from Level-5, have increased play activity for young consumers over the spring break and the start of the new school year, leading to a rise in sales.
This is the ranking of video game software sales over the fiscal year ended March 2016 in Japan. Nintendo platform titles hold the top nine spots, including two Wii U titles and seven Nintendo 3DS titles. This proves that the Nintendo 3DS platform continues to hold a prominent position in the Japanese video game market.
Also of note, the top 50 titles make up more than half the sales for the entire market. As I have mentioned in past financial briefings, this represents a continuing polarization of the market between titles that sell well and titles that do not.
This graph shows the Nintendo 3DS first-party software sell-through in the U.S., compared with the same period over the last two years.
Fire Emblem Fates was launched in America in February this year, building momentum for 3DS software sales.
The discount versions of four titles introduced under the Nintendo Selects banner in March have also provided a positive impact.
With respect to Fire Emblem Fates released in February, this graph shows a comparison between the total sell-through in the U.S. market and the total sell-through in the Japanese market, where the title launched earlier. The week of each launch is counted as Week 1.
Sales surpassed the 500,000 mark in the U.S. in Week 6 and have continued without losing momentum. Recently, sales caught up to Japan and are even maintaining a pace slightly higher than in the Japanese market.
This graph adds a comparison with the previous entry in the series, Fire Emblem Awakening. As you can see, there are major differences in the trends in the Japanese and American markets.
In Japan, most of the demand is filled within the first few weeks after launch, but the Fire Emblem series continues to perform well over a long period in the U.S.
In the past, the Fire Emblem series did not sell as well in the U.S. as it did in Japan. However, Fire Emblem Awakening greatly expanded the user base for the series, and the current entry, Fire Emblem Fates, has been popular abroad as well since launch.
This graph shows the Nintendo 3DS first-party software sell-through in Europe, compared with the same period over the last two years.
In Europe, Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon was released in February, and Nintendo Selects was kicked off last October. These titles continue to perform well, but the sales trends for first-party software as a whole remain slightly under the trends for 2014. We plan to release Fire Emblem Fates in Europe in May.
Tomodachi Life has been a major title that recently surpassed two million sales in Japan. In the European market, this title was localized into various languages, and was launched in June 2014.
Since then, we have seen excellent long-term performance from this title, and it has gradually closed the gap over the last two years, recently surpassing the sales in Japan.
There are few titles competing in this space within the industry, and we believe that bringing out the full potential of this kind of title, which appeals to female consumers, will help our products be enjoyed by wider consumer demographics.
At the last financial briefing, we discussed the strong performance of the Nintendo Selects discount titles, which were launched in October in the European market. This sales performance has not seen much impact from seasonal variation, as these titles have continued to sell well since the start of the calendar year.
The red bar in the graph shows the total sell-through for the eight Nintendo Selects titles, while the gray bar represents the total sell-through for the same titles over the same period one year before.
The Nintendo Selects titles have achieved total sell-through of over 700,000 units. By changing the value prospects for the consumer, we have been able to reach a wider audience, even for titles that had seen a lull in sales.
We have also launched similar promotions in Japan and the U.S. In Japan, the title is “Happy Price Selection.” Compared to the sell-through for the same period in the prior year, sales have increased greatly and the ratio of female and young consumers has risen, expanding the audience for these titles.
Nintendo feels it is important to provide good value to our consumers without devaluing the overall price of our software. Therefore, we will not overuse these types of promotions, but we do feel these discounts can provide an excellent chance for consumers to find fresh discoveries among our rich back catalog. These promotions will be part of our efforts to maintain the popularity of the Nintendo 3DS platform in 2016 and beyond.
This slide shows the major Nintendo 3DS titles and the total units shipped worldwide. The amounts shipped over the fiscal year ended March 2016 are indicated in the red boxes.
Even titles that were released quite a while ago have seen sales of around one million units this year. The Nintendo 3DS has a rich selection of evergreen titles that are popular with consumers, and we believe that the lineup offers plenty to enjoy for consumers who have purchased the hardware recently as well.