Breaking Down Why North America Shouldn’t Miss the New 3DS

Nintendo of America has been having a bit of a communications problem when it comes to their fans. Not only with ongoing problems with amiibo in North America, but with the New Nintendo 3DS, or lack thereof. When the New 3DS XL was announced but its smaller counterpart wasn’t, Nintendo said that “We think New Nintendo 3DS XL makes the most sense for our market.” Further adding to the frustration was a recent quote from NoA’s Damon Baker, who said that despite the protests of core fans, expanding the user base with the New 3DS XL only was more important.

Yeah (laughs). Look, the face plates are super cool, but we’re a different market. And now we have clear differentiation between those three systems. Before, there was a very limited difference between the 3DS and 3DS XL: other than size. It was the same resolution, same functionality… now, there’s the 2DS, 3DS, and New 3DS XL, all of which have their own functionality and features. The different price points give it a clear message for consumers. The core audience… we weren’t going to win with them on that decision. But we had to think about expanding the user base, we had to be able to market it and make it easy to pick up for consumers.

Sigh…

With regards to this quote, Damon was probably referring to the 3DS XL when he mentioned the “three choices” available to North American players: 2DS, 3DS XL, and now New Nintendo 3DS XL. However, even this has flawed logic. The regular 3DS XL is still officially priced at $199.99, with a few retailers issuing soft price drops to clear stock of an outdated portable nobody wants. The New 3DS XL, launched this past Friday, retails at the exact same price: $199.99. With no official price drop announced for the older model, Nintendo is serving only to create further confusion for consumers. Who would buy the older model when a superior version of it is now on the market?

If Damon is concerned that there is little difference between the New 3DS and New 3DS XL, then Nintendo of America is, once again, making things hard on themselves. The regular and large dynamic has existed with Nintendo handhelds since the DSi era, and no one complained then. The New 3DS arguably has more selling points than its bigger brother, what with the face plates, colorful buttons, and smaller form factor for portability. How Nintendo expects to push the standard 3DS XL now becomes a concern. Or maybe it doesn’t: as of now, Nintendo’s official website doesn’t mention the regular 3DS XL at all.

Also note he knew that the “core” would be upset at their decision regarding the New 3DS. So it comes down to making things clear to consumers. Well then Mr. Baker: why are Nintendo of Europe and Nintendo of Australia not worried about confusing consumers? This is just more ire for North American fans to feel alienated and upset at a company that does not get their fans’ desires. The core market is largely who they have left, the same core market that is buying up more amiibo than the company anticipated.

What Nintendo of America continues to fail addressing is the real reason they aren’t bringing the small New 3DS over. If it really has to do with the scale of North America, or that retailers don’t want to carry the face plates, all the company has to do is be honest. If Damon Baker wishes the company to communicate better with the community, that’d be a good start. A little transparency never hurt anyone, even if it takes a while for things to change.

Do you agree or not agree with Damon Baker’s comments? If you’re in North America, are you holding onto hope for the standard New 3DS? Let us know in the comments, and hold onto hope.

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Editor-in-Chief (Former)

A man with a plan. My favorite video game franchise is Pokemon, but his favorite video game is Resident Evil 4. I can also tell you trivial cartoon factoids.