A representative for Nintendo has attempted to explain why both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U have had slow starts in Japan. The Nintendo 3DS was released in Japan on February 26th, 2011 – approximately two weeks before the Great East Japan Earthquake had struck the country. According to the representative, initial sales of the Nintendo 3DS were strong until the high-impact earthquake hit.
Throughout the rest of 2011, Nintendo slashed the price of the handheld and increased development of Nintendo 3DS software. Because Nintendo was mainly focusing on its newly released hand-held console at the time, the company had fewer developers working on software for Wii U. Read what the Nintendo representative had to say below:
We launched the Nintendo 3DS on February 2011 and sales were strong. Two weeks later we were hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake and that stopped the momentum. In August of the same year we lowered the price from the initial 25,000 Yen to 15,000 Yen, and enhanced software development at the same time, to enrich the game line-up.
That paid off and we regained momentum in Japan, but due to that we could not spare many developers for the Wii U (released in November 2012), and that led to the slow start of the console.