IHS Forecasts 3DS Will Not Eclipse Original DS

Posted by at 7:58 pm on April 10, 2011

A new report from IHS Screen Digest predicts that Nintendo Corp.’s strategy of promoting the connectivity and local networking features of its 3DS will continue to drive sales in the future, but that the sales of the 3DS will not match the sales of its predecessor, the Nintendo DS, over the long term.

The company forecasts a global installed base of 11.6 million for the device by the end of 2011. While this represents strong performance, IHS speculates that growing competition from the iPod, iPhone and Android smart phone and tablets will prevent the 3DS from matching the sales of the previous-generation Nintendo handheld, the DS. By 2015, IHS forecasts a global installed base of 70 million 3DS devices. This compares to total sales of DS/DS Lite of 91 million at a comparable point in its sales cycle.

“Nintendo’s accent on network services in the key U.S. market represents an attempt to convince users to carry their 3DS systems with them at all times and to engage with the platform everyday and in every place,” said Piers Harding Rolls, lead games analyst at IHS. “This engagement strategy, alongside 3-D graphics, camera and video, is key to Nintendo competing with upcoming devices from Sony and also from non-specialist smart phones, entertainment devices and tablets, which offer a legitimate alternative to handheld consoles.”

Nintendo previously announced similar services in both Europe and Japan.

3DS Networking Features the report discusses include:

  • StreetPass – a local networking function that enables players to interact with each other through their devices. Players can send new challenges and content to other users as they pass by.
  • SpotPass – is a 3DS WiFi feature.  It allows the 3DS to connect with local area networks and Wifi.  Content can be sent to the 3DS this way even when the device is asleep.  Also, Nintendo announced a deal with AT&T to offer 3DS users to access more than 10,000 hotspots for free.

Netfilx on the 3DS

The report also spotlights Nintendo’s deal with Netflix to showcase the networked services of the 3DS for U.S. customers. The agreement will allow movies and 3DS trailers to be streamed to Netflix customers on the 3DS, extending Nintendo’s current arrangement with the  Nintendo Wii.  A Nintendo curated short-form-video service offering comedy and music videos also will be made available.

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