Consumer interest in Nintendo's 3DS handheld dropped dramatically between its announcement in 2010 and its release this past March.
That's according to a new report from market research firm Interpret, which says that consumer purchase intent went down 27 percent between its initial announcement and its retail debut.
According to Interpret analyst Michael Cai, Nintendo "put the cart before the horse; that is, they released the hardware without the necessary software to engender robust sales."
Cai says that the company's research, based on online surveys, shows that consumers lost interest due to the lack of major Nintendo franchise games at launch, adding that "without them, the 3DS will continue to flounder."
This data comes as part of the firm's 3D Entertainment Study
, which measures consumer awareness and perception of 3D entertainment. Cai is quick to point out that the declining interest in the 3DS "does not reflect the overall interest in 3D gaming." Indeed, according to the firm, consumers who own a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 are "much more likely" to purchase a 3D-enabled television in the next twelve months.
Interpret's research is based on surveys conducated in the late March to early April periods of 2010 and 2011. When the 2011 survey was conducted, Nintendo had not yet released The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
, and had only hinted at a new Super Mario
game for the system, which was shown at E3
this month, alongside 3DS installments of many of its other major franchises.