Nintendo's President Satoru Iwata said a couple days ago that the 3ds's momentum has slowed more than they expected for the U.S. and European markets. Just a few months ago Iwata said the 3DS picked up quite well after Christmas, and wasn't expected to slow for a long while. Well now apparently that hope is out of sight, and this spells a big problem for Nintendo's approach to mobile. Some say the naysayers come around every 5 years and spell doom for the company, and it is true. Every launch of a Nintendo console incites more skepticism than excitement for a vocal minority, but with the slow growth of a huge part of Nintendo's business, paired with the less than exciting new console this year, it's all lining up in Nintendo's dilemma. But what about ending the hardware section entirely and license out the classic Nintendo games?
Some strategists have said doing that (releasing Nintendo properties to multiple platforms) will do more harm than good. Nintendo sells you an ecosystem with their hardware, and the brand/message with that hardware is something of a high class production in their eyes. Many people actually believe that, this experience of Nintendo can only be sold with hardware, all or nothing. In short, if they license out their stuff, the brand is tarnished. Look at Sega, they used to be a really cutting edge company that made systems called the Saturn and Dreamcast, slick, beautiful speed was the brand. What are they now? Nothing, ceasing many European offices and looking stale on the IP front. Nintendo simply cannot risk that, they want to be iconic, and many fans do too. So what now? What is Nintendo's future that will keep them a high class brand, while still making huge profits? Because right now, it's not happening, and this dry spell with sales is only going to get worse. I honestly think they should move towards mobile/phones. Maybe not immediately, but gradually. I've said this before, but making a gaming system first, with a decent radio inside for calling certainly could impress the mass U.S./European market. Japan is not a problem for them right now, but we all know Japan is a much smaller market compared to Europe. What do you guys think? Is this slow growth of the 3DS a more serious concern to the business model of Nintendo, or a minor setback until the 3DS XL?