What I Want From Tomorrow’s Nintendo Direct

New Nintendo 3DS

A brand-new Nintendo Direct right before the holiday season makes for an exciting time to follow Nintendo. After all, we haven’t had a traditional Direct since this past February (E3’s Digital Event doesn’t count). In a year chock-full of Smash Bros-centric broadcasts, we now have one that will focus on “Wii U and 3DS titles releasing by the end of 2014, and beyond”. However, beyond games, there’s one only one thing on my mind…

Where is that newfangled New 3DS?

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When you talk to die-hard, super fans of Nintendo 3DS these days, that’s the one thing that inevitably creeps up. The latest refresh has already hit Japan last month, and is due in Australia this very month. There’s good reason to be excited about the New 3DS: the handheld sports additional controls, improved RAM speed, and upgraded stereo 3D. All this and more truly set to enhance an already great portable. So why is NoA holding out on us?

Both North America and Europe are missing out on the system this year, but that doesn’t preclude the upcoming Nintendo Direct from divulging an all-important announcement for a western release. And with the western announcement could come another detail: the release date. The sooner the entire world gets their hands on the New 3DS, the better. And with good reason: Nintendo’s balance book depends on it.

See, back when Nintendo’s current fiscal year started, the company bullishly forcast 12 million 3DS units sold worldwide in the fiscal year 2015. That’s a bold claim, and one that’s not close to happening yet. So far this year, the 3DS has only totaled up to 2.09 million units worldwide. The only reason the New 3DS is even happening has to do with pushing sales once again. But judging by Satoru Iwata’s recent comments about the limited release in 2014, it seems he cares more about Japan than everyone else. This is typical Nintendo: cater to its home market, then hand off their inventions to other branches to figure out how to sell them.

The stage of popularization of Nintendo 3DS means the degree to which we have turned potential purchasing power into actual sales of the product in a market. In Japan, the total number of sales of Nintendo 3DS has reached nearly 17 million in the three and a half years since its launch. It is almost the same as the lifetime sales of Game Boy Advance released in 2001, which implies that it is reasonable that the sales of Nintendo 3DS have been temporarily slow moving in the Japanese market. This is one of the reasons we needed to bring New Nintendo 3DS/3DS XL to the market this year. To the contrary, neither of the cumulative sales figures of Nintendo 3DS in the U.S. nor Europe is more than that in Japan despite, based on the historical performance, bigger sales potential. In short, Nintendo 3DS is still at an earlier stage of popularization in these two markets.

Well, what if the rest of us want a piece of the New 3DS pie? Are we in the west not entitled to anything Nintendo makes? The problem with the above mindset is that, if sales in Japan have slowed down. wouldn’t the sales of 3DS hardware slow down everywhere else knowing that this new thing exists? At least, among the all-knowing crowd it would. And they are an influential crowd, at that.

A lot has gone into the production and marketing of the New 3DS in Japan, so that could partly be holding back the portable from everywhere outside of the eastern hemisphere. But 12 million units as an estimated sell-through for this fiscal year is a lot to live up to, and Nintendo needs to excite everyone about the 3DS platform. The New 3DS is the best kind of refresh, and any mention at all during tomorrow’s Nintendo Direct would make my day, time, and money.

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About The Author

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.