Video game hardware maker and publisher Nintendo is getting ready to launch the XL, a new version of its 3DS handheld, and the company admits that the rise of smartphones has affected its own market and forced it to innovate in order to remain attractive to gamers.
Satoru Iwata, who is the leader of Nintendo
, has told The Independent that, “we can no longer offer some kinds of games experiences that couldn’t also easily be offered on a smartphone, so we need to differentiate and offer something exclusive.”
Despite the admission, Iwata believes that the growth of social and smartphone gaming was not directly responsible for the bad year that Nintendo has had, when it was forced to report the first full year financial loss in its history.
The Chief Executive Officer has reiterated the company line, which holds that the Nintendo 3DS was affected by the failure to launch important video games that can support the hardware, and said that it will not make the same mistake with the upcoming XL.
Iwata also talked about digital distribution, adding, “I think for a lot of consumers it’s still important that they can go to a store and in-store they have a presence of our products and this is where they can be informed and then purchase our products.
“For us it’s still quite important to have the traditional retailers as our partners and to see how we can work together with them and involve them in the distribution model – and also for digital products.”
Nintendo claims that the screen of the upcoming XL device is 90 percent bigger than that of the original 3DS and the new device also offers longer battery life and more storage space.
Gamers in Japan and Europe will be able to buy a 3DS XL
on July 28 while those in the United States will have to wait until August 19.