One of my favorite Dilbert collections is called ‘Clues for the Clueless‘. In that book Dogbert takes the reader through a wide array of scenarios and shows you proper and improper ways of handling it.
Although not specifically addressed, I think Dogbert would NOT recommend addressing lagging sales of your new product like this (emphasis mine):
“The value of 3D images without the need for special glasses is hard to be understood through the existing media. However, we have found that people cannot feel it just by trying out a device, rather, some might even misestimate it when experiencing the images in an improper fashion,” Iwata said.
He also said:
“There is no easy road to making people understand the attraction of glassless 3D images and making Nintendo 3DS widespread. We would like to adhere to these patient efforts.”
When translated from ‘corporate marketing speak’ back to English, each of these basically says: it isn’t the product, it is the customer. We thought you would get it if you tried the device, but apparently even that isn’t enough to get through to you. So we will keep trying until you finally see the ways of our superior technology.
If this sounds familiar, it is because it is pretty much what Sony said a few years ago when they launched the PS3 for $600 at a time when Blu-Ray was a new and unproven technology. Except Sony more or less said … ‘read our specs, weep, and give us your money’. And when people didn’t line up with their credit cards, Sony basically said that $600 was ‘cheap’ for the amazing power they were offering and clearly people didn’t get it. Yet when Sony dropped the price to $300 people suddenly started ‘getting it’.
The Nintendo 3DS is a solid piece of hardware as Michael Siebenaler detailed. But we live in a different handheld world than when the DS, the DS Lite or the DSi launched. Mobile devices such as the iPhone, Android smartphones and the iPad are major forces that offer great gaming experiences, additional functionality and much cheaper game prices.
I have tried out the Nintendo 3DS, and while I thought the 3D effect was a nifty gimmick, it didn’t do anything that would sell me on a new handheld gaming device. My kids thought the same thing – fun but not worth buying a whole new DS system for $250.
Maybe someday the game or app or SOMETHING will come along to change that view, but for now I have sat out my first handheld game system release in more than 6 years and feel no remorse at having done so – while at the same time already planning to buy the Sony NGP. And that is something that should concern Nintendo … because it isn’t me, it is THEM.