While rumors of a redesigned 3DS didn't pan out, Nintendo had plenty to say about the future of its latest handheld system at a pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference on Tuesday.
Super Mario 3D Land (Nintendo)The Kyoto-based company is going all-in with the 3DS this November and early December, offering a system update that will add several new features (including video recording) as well as two major titles to help boost holiday sales. But analysts still think the company will fall short of its goals.
The games, while previously announced, are big ones. Super Mario 3D Land, put together by the same team who made Super Mario Galaxy, will hit store shelves Nov. 13. Three weeks later, on Dec. 4, the 3DS-enabled Mario Kart 7 will go on sale.
At some point in November, Nintendo will also offer a system update that will allow gamers to use the 3DS to capture 3D video with their device. Upgrades to the Street Pass Mii Plaza and eShop will also be included with that update.
The company's not slowing down next year, either. Kid Icarus: Uprising, which many believed would be a launch title for the 3DS, is now slated to release sometime in early 2012, and both a new Paper Mario and a new Mario Tennis for the system are on next year's calendar as well. Japanese gamers, meanwhile, were surprised to learn that not just one, but two installments in the popular Monster Hunter franchise were in development.
While that second control stick peripheral that had gamers buzzing last week didn't make an appearance at the press conference, Nintendo did confirm later that it's coming to Japan for Monster Hunter Tri-G, with a price of about $19. As of now, the company hasn't announced plans to release it in the U.S.
The press conference did little to calm nervous investors. Nintendo's stock fell 5 percent after the announcements, as shareholders weren't reassured that the new games would spur system sales.
Analysts weren't impressed, either.
"Today's announcements were disappointing relative to what the market was hoping for," Mitsushige Akino, a Tokyo-based analyst for Ichiyoshi Investment Management Co. told Bloomberg. "The new Mario titles and the additional movie-camera function aren't enough for the company to meet its targets during the Christmas shopping season."
Worse still, while the 3DS did see sales jump 260 percent last month due to an aggressive price cut, analysts watching the trends in Japan (where sales figures are tallied weekly) say the boost from that cut seems to be wearing off.