Nintendo strategically holding back 3DS games

Nintendo's 3DS slate has been fairly light since launch, but heavy hitters, such as Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7, should help bolster the library this holiday season. While Nintendo could release more games on the platform this year, company president Satoru Iwata says they've strategically kept some games out of 2011 to maximize their sales potential.

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"Some of them may be held for a certain amount of time so that there will be a short interval between when they are completed and when they are launched," Iwata said in a fiscal Q&A (via CVG). However he notes that "video games need to stay fresh, so it is not practical for us to put them on hold for too long."

"We are taking this sort of challenge for the Nintendo 3DS. For example, when we look at the software lineup for the year-end sales season, it is so dense that, if we added any more software, the total sales would not increase. Accordingly, we have intentionally delayed the launch of some software titles to early next year."

Or, to put it another way, Nintendo feels Luigi's Mansion 2 and Kid Icarus: Uprising would perform better in 2012 than up against this year's glut of holiday releases, not to mention the potential for Nintendo's own 3DS slate to compete with itself.

This doesn't mean that Nintendo meant to leave huge gaps over the last several months, though. "We failed to offer strong software titles without long intervals in the first half of this year, but it was not because we did not place importance on offering them one after another. Even when we understand the significance of this, we are sometimes unable to do so." He says that first-party delays and fizzling third-party titles were unexpected, but concedes that "we should have prepared a more thorough backup plan."