We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.
3DS

Nintendo Explains Why Smaller New 3DS Isn't Coming to NA

by Alex Osborn - February 17, 2015, 12:09 pm EST
Total comments: 49 Source: Nintendo Life

Upsetting the core audience was expected.

Nintendo has finally explained why the company decided not to bring the smaller, standard model of New 3DS that supports swappable face plates to North America.

Damon Baker, the Senior Manager in Marketing and Licensing at NoA, told Nintendo Life that it came down to making things as clear as possible for consumers in the North American market.

"Look, the face plates are super cool, but we're a different market. And now we have clear differentiation between those three systems," he explained. "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."

Naturally the company knew it would upset hardcore Nintendo fans, but that was a sacrifice the company was willing to make. "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."

Are you disappointed the smaller model isn't available in North America or are you more than happy with the XL? Let us know in the comments below!

Talkback

KhushrenadaFebruary 17, 2015

Interesting. So, the smaller unit isn't coming at all.


I'll survive.

PhilPhillip Stortzum, February 17, 2015

A better, clearer message for consumers would be to not name your darned systems so stupidly that it confuses them-- and gamers, too.

KhushrenadaFebruary 17, 2015

Quote from: Phil

A better, clearer message for consumers would be to not name your darned systems so stupidly that it confuses them-- and gamers, too.

If they did that, then marketing wouldn't have a job. By having to explain and make clear to consumers what the differences are between all these similar sounding products, then they are able to stay employed and have a large marketing budget to accomplish this difficult task. C'mon Phil. Think of the marketers.

VahneFebruary 17, 2015

In other words they're saying that the sales in America aren't worth the effort of bringing more options over. Instead they'll just reduce options until only the New XL and 2DS are left.
It's just NoA getting ready to abandon their current platforms prematurely yet again.

PhilPhillip Stortzum, February 17, 2015

Quote from: Khushrenada

Quote from: Phil

A better, clearer message for consumers would be to not name your darned systems so stupidly that it confuses them-- and gamers, too.

If they did that, then marketing wouldn't have a job. By having to explain and make clear to consumers what the differences are between all these similar sounding products, then they are able to stay employed and have a large marketing budget to accomplish this difficult task. C'mon Phil. Think of the marketers.

That's true. I'm not always thinking about those kinds of things. That's why I'm really happy you're there to help me out, Khush.

PhilPhillip Stortzum, February 17, 2015

Also, upsetting the core isn't a very bright idea, as that's the segment that is keeping the Wii U "afloat." (Had to put quotations since it's more treading water than anything else.)

ClexYoshiFebruary 17, 2015

James Jones can rest easy now.

Triforce HermitFebruary 17, 2015

Nice way of saying "We are just going to force people to buy the New XL that has a bigger audience and fuck the smaller audience, they will buy the New XL in the end anyways."

NES_RPG_NERDFebruary 17, 2015

Only thing I want explained is why they released so few units at launch so that non-preorder people got the purple shaft...

nickmitchFebruary 17, 2015

I guess they knew there'd be no chance of keeping a satisfactory supply of face-plates in stock, so they can avoid that headache.

But saying the new 3DS and new 3DS XL aren't different enough for a clear message to consumers is a bit insulting. They've had the regular and "XL" dynamic since the DSi.  I think the message is clear and that bigger screens is enough of a differentiator.  And I'm not sure how you push the regular, launch 3DS model next to the new 3DS XL.  People are only going to care about the new model and if you come with one new model, the old ones are pointless.

nickmitchFebruary 17, 2015

Further, weren't 3DS sales down?  Do you really need to sell that thing anymore?  I could understand if the system were actually new, but the damn thing is (nearly) 4 years old.  How many potential buyers are you looking at that don't already own one version of the hardware at this point?  And how many of those people wouldn't just get the new 3DS model because of it being the clearly better version?

Going back to face plates, I think you could just sell 2-3 versions in stores and set up some more online.  Maybe even do exclusives on Club Nin- oh wait, nevermind.

Ian SaneFebruary 17, 2015

So expanding the userbase is more important than pleasing the core audience.  I get why a company would think that but I feel like Nintendo has had that attitude since the launches of the DS and Wii and it really turned me off of the company.  When you read between the lines it says "we now YOU will still buy our shit so we can take you for granted and focus on a different audience".  It's the same reason why Xenoblade took a fan campaign and a partnership with a retailer to get released here - it wasn't a mass market game and thus in the eyes of NOA did not matter.  The fans that wanted that game were still going to buy Mario and Zelda even if NOA pissed them off.  They're assuming that the fans that want the smaller model will still buy a New 3DS XL, even if they're annoyed at NOA while doing it.

Though the assumption that your core audience can be taken for granted is a foolish one.  If it worked that way would the Wii U have flopped so hard at launch?  Would the 3DS have had to have a major price drop so soon after release?

tonoxtonoFebruary 17, 2015

Soooo..expanding the user base is fine and all but, uh, why isn't there a charging cable included then? Maybe I'm misunderstanding something. Feel free to let me know.

broodwarsFebruary 17, 2015

Quote from: tonoxtono

Soooo..expanding the user base is fine and all but, uh, why isn't there a charging cable included then? Maybe I'm misunderstanding something. Feel free to let me know.

Yeah, it's amusing that the device that's supposed to "expand their user base" doesn't include a charging cable that the audience they're appealing to...doesn't have.

KhushrenadaFebruary 17, 2015

I think I know what the problem is. Nintendo's been making videogames so long that they've started using videogame logic in real life now. They can no longer separate the two and so that is why we are seeing all these fun choices from Nintendo lately.

kokumakerFebruary 17, 2015

Meh. The interchangeable faceplates are no substitute for the XL's larger screens, anyway, so I continue to be unbothered by this decision.

Ian SaneFebruary 17, 2015

No "small" New 3DS - NOA's decision based on this "expanding the audience" nonsense.

No charger - Likely NCL's penny pinching decision since North America was the last market to have that.

NOA can and will make their own baffling decisions but NCL's baffling decisions override all.  Yes it makes no sense to talk about expanding the audience while not including a charger but NOA might not have wanted it to be that way.  NCL has decreed that ripping off the customers with this stupid charger nonsense is the priority.  NOA's priorities are secondary.

You know that shitty take out restaurant in your town where the owner thinks that charging for ketchup packets is the key to success?  That's Nintendo.

MythtendoFebruary 17, 2015

I don't want the XL, it's not that portable to me and I have no plans to get it. So this is one less sale they will get (I didn't buy the DSi XL or 3DS XL for the same reason).

SorenFebruary 17, 2015

NOA is rudderless at the moment. Do you want a larger user base or do you want to appeal to your core market?

Also, this is hilarious coming from the same division that has no problem fragmenting the user base with retail-exclusive Amiibo.

broodwarsFebruary 17, 2015

Quote from: Soren

NOA is rudderless at the moment. Do you want a larger user base or do you want to appeal to your core market?

Also, this is hilarious coming from the same division that has no problem fragmenting the user base with retail-exclusive Amiibo.

And considering the same guy is the head of both NoA and Nintendo Japan (Iwata), to me it shines a spotlight on Iwata not really knowing what he wants to do with the North American market when the company's entire focus is on saving the 3DS in Japan.

marvel_moviefan_2012February 17, 2015

Remember when Sega made stupid asinine decisions that cost them North America while they were busy chasing after Japan? Sounds like Nintendo is on the same path and yet they continue to not see the signs. Sega still had their arcades to keep them afloat while the rest of the ship sunk into hell and Nintendo has Pokemon keeping them afloat and now Amiibo as a life raft but they are still sinking straight to hell. I am honesty at the point where I no longer feel sad for them I am at the point where I kind of regret buying a Wii U because I want to see them fail they deserve to fail.

All that hate aside, if I do get any 3DS at all it will only be an XL model so this never really affected me any.

AdrockFebruary 17, 2015

This is weird. Wouldn't Nintendo better its chances of expanding the user base with more options? Technically, that reaches the most amount of people if "expanding the user base" is the entire reasoning behind this decision. And if it wanted to better differentiate the models, calling it almost anything except "New 3DS" would have been a better choice. Then again, New 3DS XL makes the original 3DS look even worse than the original XL did so people are more likely to pick the New 3DS XL which is what Nintendo wants.

Ultimately, the subset of fence-sitters who both want the regular New 3DS and won't settle for New 3DS XL is the smallest group of 3DS-interested people. If Nintendo absolutely had to disappoint any subset of its own fans, that would be the one to pick. Makes sense even if it's kind of a shitty thing to do.

In any case, I still think this choice has everything to do with Nintendo of America not wanting another smaller model that would sell modestly at best and ultimately far worse than the larger model. I get it. I don't entirely agree with it because I support options, but I get it.

chilenozoFebruary 17, 2015

I hope they are making their research accurate enough. I'M NOT BUYING.

I've been waiting for years to get a 3DS, I wanted all this years the smaller model, with better 3D and better battery life, and now with a decent library. I'm all about portability, and I travel a lot due to my work.

I have money to spend in lots of games, I would have bought 10 brand new games initially.

But I won't....good luck Nintendo


Cheers
A very disappointed costumer

KhushrenadaFebruary 17, 2015

Quote from: chilenozo

I hope they are making their research accurate enough. I'M NOT BUYING.

I've been waiting for years to get a 3DS, I wanted all this years the smaller model, with better 3D and better battery life, and now with a decent library. I'm all about portability, and I travel a lot due to my work.

I have money to spend in lots of games, I would have bought 10 brand new games initially.

But I won't....good luck Nintendo


Cheers
A very disappointed costumer

You're only hurting yourself. Good games are good games and they work just as well on the old 3DS as the new. I haven't played the NEW 3DS yet but I've had plenty of fun and enjoyment from my launch day 3DS up to now.

chilenozoFebruary 17, 2015

Quote from: Khushrenada

Quote from: chilenozo

I hope they are making their research accurate enough. I'M NOT BUYING.

I've been waiting for years to get a 3DS, I wanted all this years the smaller model, with better 3D and better battery life, and now with a decent library. I'm all about portability, and I travel a lot due to my work.

I have money to spend in lots of games, I would have bought 10 brand new games initially.

But I won't....good luck Nintendo


Cheers
A very disappointed costumer

You're only hurting yourself. Good games are good games and they work just as well on the old 3DS as the new. I haven't played the NEW 3DS yet but I've had plenty of fun and enjoyment from my launch day 3DS up to now.

I forgot to say that I like most of Nintendo novelties, including the wii-remote. I don't consider myself a conservative gamer, am always willing to try something new...so I love the no-3D-glasses idea, but I also make my research before buying. At launch, too many ppl complained about the 3D effect losing it's strength at very minor shake. If I buy a 3DS I would play mostly with 3D on....so there you go, I want a portable clam-shell no-3D-glasses handheld that play amazing games and who also has a decent processing/loading speeds. The New 3DS XL doesn't do the portable with me, also I heard comments from "perfectionists" that the pixels are more noticeable on the XL, which makes sense.

Did I say 10 games?, I just counted my WiiU games. I have 15 full-priced hard-copies!!, 5 digital retail, 15 VC, 6 indies....sorry Nintendo, it seems you don't want my money!....maybe one of my travels will take me to Japan....maybe region lock will be gone before the small New 3DS comes, who knows....only then I will consider to buy.....oh and I also find cool the plates!

azekeFebruary 18, 2015

I have 3DS XL and it fits my pocket just fine.  It's kinda like smartphone, but more bulky. Sure it might get uncomfortable to walk with it all the time but i say my wallet i a bigger nuisance than that.

I myself not really interested in buying n3DS (yet), but i would have preferred smaller version as well.

I say wait a bit more (you've already many years late, so no hurry) to see if small n3DS will be coming in NA and if not -- well, i guess live on with your life.

Either way you shouldn't waste more nerve energy on it than it's worth.

KhushrenadaFebruary 18, 2015

Quote from: chilenozo

I forgot to say that I like most of Nintendo novelties, including the wii-remote. I don't consider myself a conservative gamer, am always willing to try something new...so I love the no-3D-glasses idea, but I also make my research before buying. At launch, too many ppl complained about the 3D effect losing it's strength at very minor shake. If I buy a 3DS I would play mostly with 3D on....so there you go, I want a portable clam-shell no-3D-glasses handheld that play amazing games and who also has a decent processing/loading speeds. The New 3DS XL doesn't do the portable with me, also I heard comments from "perfectionists" that the pixels are more noticeable on the XL, which makes sense.

I've played every game that I could in 3D. Obviously, older DS titles and VC games can't but if it is a 3DS game, I play it in 3D even when the effect is negligible like NSMB 2. You say you've researched the device but have you actually played one for awhile? It took a little bit for me to adjust and learn how to look at the screen for the 3D effect. The slider helps because light can affect your vision and the distance you look at it. I've played it on planes and trains and it doesn't lose its strength from a minor shake. People complain about everything. These forums can be proof of that sometimes.

The other day, I was thinking of buying a Dyson vacuum cleaner so I looked up what the reviews were on them to find the best model. It doesn't matter which one I choose. There were people who swore up and down it was the best vacuum ever and gave it 5 stars and others who gave detailed problems of all the things wrong with it and why it was the worst thing they bought in 1 star reviews. This happened with every single model. In the end, I was no better off then before I looked up reviews. However, some friends of mine had bought one so I asked to borrow and test it out at my place. The thing worked great. I took a lint roller to the carpet afterwards and it was picking up nothing compared to when I checked the carpet before vacuuming. It worked great on tile as well. So I picked up that model for myself. I don't know what the story is with the 1-star review people. I get that some people might end up with a defect or bad experience but it just seems like some people were trying to find things to complain about or perhaps just too dumb to even know how to use.

For me, I want the NEW 3DS XL as I'd like to have the bigger screens having never gotten a DS XL or 3DS XL and the faster load times will be nice also. That said, I'm still not in a hurry to buy one. I stopped at a couple stores on the weekend as I was willing to perhaps pick one up if they had them in stock but they were out. However, there was a display model of one set-up so I took the chance to play with it a little and see what it was like. I was curious about what the picture would be like since the reviewer on this site also mentioned pixels being noticeable. It beats me what that's supposed to mean as the video quality didn't appear blocky or stand out as "pixely" to me. I had a hard time telling if the 3D effect was on at first from the opening cinematic I watched but adjusting it a little and waiting for an area to move and play it let me see it the 3D effect. It took some getting used to I think because I was used to a smaller screen so it was weird scanning a bigger area at first. I was going to test the 3D movement effect but forgot about it since I was more focused on the video quality and just making sure the 3D effect was working. I guess maybe I was hoping for more but walking away from the demo unit, I wasn't that wowed by it since the 3D effect still feels the same to me as my normal 3DS unit. But again, I've only had a taste of the NEW 3DS so maybe that will change when I get it. Rather than just read comments about it, I really think you should see if you can't borrow or try out the two devices, a regular 3DS and a NEW 3DS, and see what you think of them in action. You might come to see that the negatives are being blown out of proportion about it.

Quote:

Did I say 10 games?, I just counted my WiiU games. I have 15 full-priced hard-copies!!, 5 digital retail, 15 VC, 6 indies....sorry Nintendo, it seems you don't want my money!....maybe one of my travels will take me to Japan....maybe region lock will be gone before the small New 3DS comes, who knows....only then I will consider to buy.....oh and I also find cool the plates!

Yeah and I've got 12 retail Wii U games and 1 VC game. I've also got 26 retail 3DS games, 3 3DS eShop games and 20 3DS Virtual Console games. So, if I tell Nintendo not to bother to release a small NEW 3DS, does that mean my opinion means more since I've given more sales? The amount of software one buys or owns generally doesn't impress anyone but young kids who don't have the income to spend on games. There's plenty of people who own more software than me. That's fine. I'm not in a competition. I'm just buying games I want to play and enjoying those titles.

That's why I say that if there are 10 games you want to buy and play or are interested in, you're just hurting yourself because those are 10 titles you are keeping yourself from playing when they will work well on any of the 3DS hardware. I still enjoy SNES titles despite the fact they are 16-bit and the SNES tech is outdated. There are GameCube games I still like to play despite the fact they were in Standard Definition. I've liked a lot of 3DS games even if the video quality isn't the same as a Vita or iPhone 6. I can enjoy what I've got and not be grumpy over what something is not. If a reviewer wants to complain that the system is lacking this or that or doesn't compare well because of this or that, that's their opinion and their right but you may just find that their personal opinion doesn't match yours.

NeoThunderFebruary 18, 2015

Simple, it's basically a 3DS with a built in circle pad pro. Ya call it a "3DS Pro". How friggin hard is that Nintendo?

AdrockFebruary 18, 2015

From the same company that named a console "Wii U" and made it look strikingly similar to the console's predecessor, pretty damn hard apparently...

Bman87301February 18, 2015

If the idea is to keep it less complicated for the consumer, why keep "XL" in the name if you're not going to also have an non-XL version, like that's not going to confuse people? If you look at the quote, he's actually talking about the FACE PLATES not coming here, not necessarily the smaller system itself. So, I'm still confident it WILL be here by year's end-- they just won't be selling the alternate face plates for it.

When Nintendo said before that 3DS's maturation isn't as far along in all markets, they made it sound like it wouldn't be ready here for a whole other year... of course, they couldn't get away with waiting that long, so the way I see it, they had to appease the hardcore fans by giving the XL an early release in limited numbers (try looking for them, in stores they're already sold out everywhere), and without an AC adapter because the hardcore fans would already have them. The full release will happen later and in the year along with the standard model which WILL include the AC adapter. Mark my words.

To avoid confusion, when they do release the standard New 3DS here it's going to be called the New 3DS XL Micro.

AdrockFebruary 18, 2015

Nah, Nintendo is just going to call it 3DS.

marvel_moviefan_2012February 18, 2015

Does it really matter, though, their handheld naming has never made any kind of sense to begin with so that is clearly not the problem.

I dunno, I thought the DS name was pretty straightforward. Then Nintendo decided to get cute and call the next one 3DS, then got really meta with the 2DS, and now straight-up cribbing from Apple (and not for the first time) with New 3DS.

EDIT: Okay, new theory: Satoru Iwata doesn't understand the concept of sarcasm, and people were suggesting these names as jokes and were too afraid to correct him.

Bman87301February 18, 2015

You guys really need to update the headline, because he didn't directly say the smaller model wasn't coming, just that the customizable face plates weren't. The part about the core audience really wouldn't make sense about the smaller system itself since the core audience is statisticly more drawn to the XL anyway.

Mop it upFebruary 18, 2015

This explanation doesn't really make sense. There's probably a piece missing here that they don't want to talk about.

I still think the normal new 3DS will be released at some point, I'm just not sure when.

Bman87301February 18, 2015

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

To avoid confusion, when they do release the standard New 3DS here it's going to be called the New 3DS XL Micro.

No, no, no... that's too confusing. They'll have to go with "New 3DS XL Pocket Lite SP".

"New 3DS" is a bad, bad name.  That said, Nintendo couldn't win in naming this thing.  No matter what, it had to have "3DS" in it, because it's an upgrade, not a whole new system.

buttleFebruary 19, 2015

What if there were face plates and cool buttons on the xl. 

SorenFebruary 19, 2015

What if God was one us?

KhushrenadaFebruary 19, 2015

Hello! I'm still waiting for people to figure it out....

I for one am very disappointed. The black version of the standard New 3DS looks downright sexy. I preferred the multicolored SNES-style buttons and the sharper corners.

Not to mention, http://www.nintendo.co.jp/3ds/kisekae/index.html#/lineup/055

I was so looking forward to upgrading my standard 3DS to this model and grabbing some face plates for it... and there's absolutely no chance of getting any of the cooler models or limited versions without shelling out to the online scalpers.

Ian SaneFebruary 19, 2015

About the names, why does Nintendo name all the different models something distinct anyway?  Consoles don't really do that.  The second versions of the NES and SNES don't have a different name.  I can think of three significant variants of the PS3 but all three are just the PS3.  We end up coming up with our own nicknames like Slim to differentiate it but Sony doesn't advertise as game as being for the "PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 3 Slim".

But with handhelds it's all different.  Why does the Game Boy Pocket need its own name?  It's a Game Boy and it plays the same games as a "normal" Game Boy.  The GBA SP is a GBA.  The DSi and New 3DS have some level of exclusive software that you can't play on the old version so a rename is needed to differentiate (even if "New 3DS" is a stupid name).  But the 3DS XL and 2DS?  Those are 3DS's.  The form factor may be different but it's all the same system that plays the same games.  Consoles will have multiple SKUs but they don't name then as different products.  The Xbox 360 launched with the Core SKU but everything was still called the Xbox 360.  It was one product, two SKUs.  The 3DS has been promoted in a way that it comes across as three products for the same thing.

AdrockFebruary 19, 2015

Renaming happens with consoles. Microsoft renamed Xbox 360 twice. The first revision was called "Xbox 360 S" and the second revision was called "Xbox 360 E." Nintendo named the Wii revision "Wii Mini" (yet it didn't rename Wii when it stripped Gamecube backwards compatibility). It does force consumers to inquire what the difference is (e.g. no accessing the Internet, notably locking out Wii Ware and Virtual Console). Similarly, Sony renamed the original Playstation with the first major overhaul: PSone. It had numerous revisions, but the PSone was the first that completely changed the size and shape.

I think issuing different names are especially necessary with handhelds for different sizes or when features are added or removed. Sony rebranded PSP with the third and most radical redesign: PSP Go which made sense as it was entirely digital (no UMD). It would be nice if Nintendo in particular took better care when naming these revisions. I think it also depends on what the changes are. Gameboy Pocket was essentially a relaunch of the original Gameboy line and the changes were very substantial at the time. Gameboy Advance SP introduced similarly substantial changes though Nintendo didn't change the name when it released the backlit model, it just made a big deal about it on the packaging.

Mop it upFebruary 19, 2015

To make matters worse, the "new" is often in all lowercase. "Introducing the new 3DS XL" makes it unclear what is new; almost sounds like the XL part is what's new.

LucarioFebruary 22, 2015

Suck it America!

nickmitchFebruary 24, 2015

It seems like Nintendo is really the only one who sells multiple variants of a console concurrently.  Sony stopped making the old PS2 when they introduced the "slim line" model, so there's no reason to call the new one anything different.

Mop it upFebruary 25, 2015

Quote from: nickmitch

It seems like Nintendo is really the only one who sells multiple variants of a console concurrently.  Sony stopped making the old PS2 when they introduced the "slim line" model, so there's no reason to call the new one anything different.

The thing is, the slim PS2 didn't offer new functionality in the way that the New 3DS does, and the DSi did. When Nintendo released the remodeled NES and SNES, they also didn't change the name since nothing new was added. I think it's a good idea to add something to the name to signify that there is new functionality and some new games that will only work on the new model.

marvel_moviefan_2012February 26, 2015

Not like Sega who actually removed functionality with each release and still had the nerve to rename each revision. Someone remind me why we were gullible and supported those clowns again?

Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement