Last generation, Nintendo was a dominant source of entertainment for children around the world, with DS selling over 150 million units worldwide. With the rise of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, Nintendo's current handheld has not been as successful. Total 3DS sales are only at about half of what DS had sold at the same point in its life. Meanwhile, mobile sales have past up all combined dedicated console sales in Japan, and all handheld sales globally.
Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime was asked about the rise of mobile devices (in particular, whether or not Nintendo could lose their 3DS exclusive Yokai Watch to mobile devices), but he didn't seem too concerned. According to Reggie, the younger market is not using mobile.
Here’s the reality: There’s not a lot of five to seven year-olds walking around with smartphones. Even in the tablet space, mom and dad might hand over their tablet for short periods of time. But with this game, much like with any battle-trade-share type of game, the kid consumer is going to spend a lot of hours. The benefit of doing that on a dedicated device is very strong. — Reggie Fils-Aime
With a game like Yokai Watch, Nintendo hopes to attract kids in that five to seven year old group, hooking them on dedicated Nintendo hardware. Can they continue to attract younger audiences as smart devices continue to rise in popularity? Leave your thoughts in the comments!