Why Isn’t the 3DS Selling Like Hotcakes?

A recent poll tries to make sense of it all.

Erik Norrisby Erik Norris


The launch of the Nintendo 3DS was not what Nintendo expected. Nintendo was prepping the system as the second coming, but sales have fallen far below expectations. What gives?

That very question was asked by Goo Ranking (via Andriasang), who conducted a survey in Japan to find out exactly why people aren’t snatching up Nintendo’s latest 3D handheld. The answers will probably not shock you, as they’re complaints we’ve addressed here on our weekly podcast, Next Gen News, or in various write-ups of the 3DS littered around this very website.

To conduct their investigation, Goo polled 1,110 people (39.5% male, 60.5% female) and asked them why they haven’t picked up a 3DS yet. Below are the top 20 results.

  • 1. Price is high/waiting for a price drop
  • 2. Satisfied by DS/DSi
  • 3. Worried about eye strain
  • 4. Worried about getting sick from the screen
  • 5. Few launch titles
  • 6. Will buy once a game I want is released
  • 7. Satisfied by cell phone and smartphone games
  • 8. Satisfied by PSP
  • 9. The battery is weak
  • 10. It's heavy and I don't feel like carrying it with me
  • 11. Can't play Game Boy Advance games
  • 12. The color I want isn't available
  • 13. Can't play Game Boy games
  • 14. I'll save my money for NGP, thank you very much
  • 15. Waiting for a version with a larger screen
  • 16. Because you can't move your DSi Points over
  • 17. The buttons layout looks hard to use
  • 18. No Famicom/NES in the Virtual Console
  • 19. The zoom view for DS games is hard on the eyes
  • 20. Waiting until my friend buys it

Even though this poll was conducted specifically in the Japan, a lot of the complaints filed are universal. I know numbers 5 and 6 speak to me, personally. I’m interested in a 3DS, but the lack of interesting games has turned me away at launch. The insufficient battery life is another major concern, something our own Joey Davidson has complained about ad nauseam on our podcast. It looks like it's going to take a hefty price drop to get people to give up their current commuting consoles, be it the PSP, a smartphone or Nintendo's own DS/DSi. Or, you know, some games to play on it.

So, if you’re yet to own a Nintendo 3DS, why? Are the complaints registered above the same reasons you've been turned away? What will it take to get you to jump on the bandwagon of Nintendo’s latest handheld? Sound off in the comments below!