Nintendo's portable business has picked up since the 3DS' dramatic price drop, but the company was still forced to lower its earnings forecast last year because of lower-than-expected sales. The company wants to secure games to boost its popularity, and has now committed to assisting Japanese third-parties in bringing games to North America.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said in a results briefing that the move is being prompted by lower third-party support for portable devices in western markets like North America, while Japanese portable development continues to stay strong.
"Recently, third-party software developers overseas have been inclined to focus on mega-hit titles for home consoles and have had less of their development studios develop software for handheld devices," he said. "Some developers, which make game content suitable for children, work on titles for Nintendo 3DS, but they are not as active as the time of Nintendo DS.
"On the other hand, as the handheld devices occupy a large share of the video game market and software for handheld devices is important in the video game business in Japan, Japanese software developers are eagerly assigning their top teams to develop key titles for Nintendo 3DS. We therefore plan to more actively support the Japanese software developers in distributing their key titles overseas this year."
Iwata didn't address what form that support might take, but the mention of distribution implies the company could be interested in publishing arrangements.