Why is Nintendo only bringing the NEW 3DS XL model to the North American market?

UPDATE: article corrected to reflect that the New 3DS XL does not have coloured buttons like the Famicom, only coloured lettering on grey buttons

During today's Nintendo Direct, Reggie Fils-Aime came on camera to introduce the New 3DS XL hardware. And only the New 3DS XL.

Not the smaller size New 3DS, the one with interchangeable faceplates. Not the one with the coloured Famicom buttons.

Many were disappointed with this news, myself included. My reasons for wanting the smaller New 3DS are many, besides the faceplates, I just prefer the smaller size. It fits into my life better. I also am not a big fan of how jaggy everything looks on the larger 3DS XL screen, a byproduct of making the screen larger without increasing the pixel resolution.

What makes this decision more vexing is that Europe is getting both sizes. So that leaves North America as the odd market out, so to speak.

Nintendo of America's statement on the matter is typically guarded:

"Different territories make their own business decisions regarding individual products and timing. We think New Nintendo 3DS XL makes the most sense for our market. Nintendo makes different systems at different price points for a whole range of consumers, and New Nintendo 3DS XL simply expands those choices even further."

Uh, ok. That's not an explanation, it just says that you made the decision, but not why you made it. "Just because" isn't really an answer. I'm sure they have actual reasons, but until they divulge those secrets to us, we'll never really know.

Speculation time:

  • Nintendo has difficulty with shelf space at retail, and since the introduction of amiibo now they require even more. To introduce a whole line of faceplates to the mix simply exacerbates the problem.
  • Nintendo believes that North Americans only like big things, so bigger is better.
  • Nintendo feeling the sting from amiibo shortages and collectors buying up 'rare' characters wanted to avoid another situation where certain faceplates would become rare and unavailable.
  • Nintendo wants to make more money, so by only offering a higher priced XL model and no mid-priced regular size, they stand to bring in more revenue (although not necessarily more profit, unless we're assuming that the profit margin is higher on the XL)

These are just theories, I don't really know why there will only be the New 3DS XL in North America. All I know is that since I can't get a regular size one with the faceplate I was set on (the Monster Hunter Blue Stripes of the Poggie, if you must know) I will wait it out. Seeing as my current 3DS is a Fire Emblem Edition, perhaps I'll bide my time and see if there will be a Fire Emblem New 3DS XL.

A man can dream, can't he?

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let me know! And please hit the Like button if you like this post. Thanks!

via polygon

Posted on January 14, 2015 and filed under Article.