Publicly traded companies have the best info nodes around! We're used to hearing companies like Activision, EA, and Square-Enix as they variously lament their failures and announce new products, all in the name of keeping those stocks high. Today, Japanese sites are reporting on an investor call by Nintendo regarding their last quarter and plans for the future, and there are some really juicy pieces among the financial fluff.
The biggest one in my mind is a free game: Excitebike, but in 3D! Arriving with the feature-heavy system update in late May, everyone's favorite NES track-building game will pave the way and pique interest in other 3D titles that will be part of the 3DS' Virtual Console, which will include Super Mario Land and Zelda: Link's Awakening. No pricing scheme has been announced, but Nintendo did say they're also looking into rereleasing games for platforms other than the Game Boy and GBA.
In addition, a bit of good news for fans of the bizarre music genre: Rhythm Heaven, announced for Wii last September, will be coming out in Japan this summer, and it's set to use button controls instead of the imprecise waggle. Iwata has already said he expects the series to become a more social experience on the big screen, so we'll be waiting with tapping toes to see if they announced it for a wider release!
Not all is sunshine and mushrooms in the world of Nintendo, however: their President noted on the call that the Nintendo 3DS didn't quite meet their sales expectations through the end of March, which was 4 million units. The actual numbers ended up at 3.61m, which included the 1.32m sold in North America. Perhaps a crushing datapoint in their fiscal-year-plan, but when you consider that it was only out for five days in the US and we still don't have a launch title like Professor Layton, Nintendo's detractors still shouldn't sit comfortably in this news.
Overall, this is looking like another good year for Nintendo, especially if they can bring out some of the must-have 3DS titles like Mario and Star Fox before holidays. Here's looking toward a brighter star in their lineup!