Where’s the Regular New 3DS in North America?

New Nintendo 3DS Commercial Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

It’s no secret that Nintendo of America currently has plans to release only the XL model of the New 3DS. I feel people are more upset about the lack of choice, but there are definitely people, like me, who want the smaller version with the customizable plates. When it comes to portability, I like having size, but I also prefer it being able to fit inside my pocket. From the reports I’ve heard about the New 3DS, that is the case. The screens are slightly bigger, but the size of the overall handheld is pretty much the same.

3DS with Customizable Style

3DS with Customizable Style

However,  Nintendo of America appears to be looking at the current trend of consumers in purchasing the bigger models. However, it wasn’t too long ago where it was the exact opposite. Everything was getting smaller. This was when the hottest device was the iPod nano and Nintendo even tried the market with the Gameboy Micro. However, by the time Nintendo released their product, the fad was ending. Likewise, I think the current trend will see an end soon and people will be asking more for customization choices than for size. Really, with the amiibo seeing great success, Nintendo could really capitalize on the customization options for a large handheld.

If the XL really does sell the most units, it’s perhaps important to consider why. The XL’s bigger screens are certainly a major selling point, however, there were a few more factors such as longer battery life, a better D-pad, a rounded design and most importantly the limited edition models. How many regular 3DS limited editions are there? People flock to the XL since they have some neat designs while the 3DS just has colors. However, if the customizable model was released here, Nintendo might just see a great increase in sales in the US.

New Nintendo 3DS

I also prefer the lower price

Of course, there is always the shelf space issue in the US. It’s been many years since I’ve seen a retail model where games were actually located in a back room instead of out front. If the majority of chains were using that method, then it probably wouldn’t be difficult to release multiple versions of the same console. However, as it is now, Nintendo has to share the shelves with other products companies are trying to sell. There was an interview with IGN a while back where Nintendo did say that was why the US doesn’t get as many Limited Editions as Japan. As a recent Wired article points out, Nintendo already phased out the regular 3DS model as they only advertise the XL and 2DS. This could be due to the aforementioned shelf space issue. On the other hand, I feel like Nintendo is neglecting a huge trend in consumer activity these days: People shop online.

Thanks to the prevalence of online retailers such as Amazon, there’s no need to worry about shelf space. For all I care, Nintendo can release the regular sized model as an online exclusive and I’ll be content. After all, if I want to buy it at a store, it wouldn’t take long before Walmart or Gamestop would be selling used models. Besides, if they want to really be giving the consumers choices, why not take advantage of the online market? Considering that a limited edition was sold out before many stores on the West Coast even opened, that’s a huge market that must have pre-ordered online. Seriously, the market exists. Nintendo just needs to properly consider the number of models it can reasonably sell.

Personally, I predict Nintendo will eventually release the regular model in North America. My take is that it will come maybe around November as a method of advertising. Since Nintendo has already taken up so much shelf space with amiibo figurines, they are probably waiting for production and sales to calm down before they release this new “collectible” fad. They were smart to slowly roll out the amiibo figures, so they might be doing the same with the faceplate models. Either way, I’ll just wait. I can be content with my old-fashioned 3DS for a few extra months as much as I really want to pick up a new one. The real question is if Nintendo can afford to have potential consumers wait since the longer they wait, the more likely people won’t buy a product.

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About The Author

Feature Writer/Game Reviewer

Blogger in the IGN community and no longer for Always Nintendo. You can find him still blogging in the IGN community as FalconRise