Nintendo Explains New 3DS Absence in the West

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Share this page

Libra Sale!

We are proudly a Play-Asia Partner


Ads support the website by covering server and domain costs. We're just a group of gamers here, like you, doing what we love to do: playing video games and bringing y'all niche goodness. So, if you like what we do and want to help us out, make an exception by turning off AdBlock for our website. In return, we promise to keep intrusive ads, such as pop-ups, off oprainfall. Thanks, everyone!


New Nintendo 3DS | Nintendo Explains New 3DS Absence in The West

With the announcement of the New 3DS last August for the Japanese market, most expected a Western release announcement to be forthcoming. We have yet to receive one, and it is looking unlikely to be released before the end of the year. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata explained their strategy in the company’s recent financial briefing. In short, Japan needed the sales bump.

“In Japan,” Iwata said in his presentation (translated), “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 LL to the market this year.”

Outside of Japan, the “cumulative sales” have not reached the same numbers. Nintendo concludes that the 3DS has yet to reach the same “stage of popularization” in the foreign markets. Meaning, the old 3DS still has room for more growth and presenting an alternative would stymie that growth. Once Nintendo feels like the Western markets have reached that magic stage of popularization, they’ll most likely release it then to spur more growth.

The New 3DS is an improved and more powerful version of the current 3DS with more shoulder buttons and an additional analog stick on the right side. It is backwards compatible with the entire 3DS library, but future titles that tap into the improved processing power of the New 3DS will not be playable on the old 3DS. The recently announced port of Xenoblade Chronicles for the New 3DS is one such title.


About Karli Winata

Karli Winata is an avid gamer with a taste for a little bit of everything. Except for sports games. And racing sims. And definitely not hidden object games! I guess everything is too broad a term. Suffice it to say that he has been known to play hours of Call of Duty multiplayer in between bouts of Persona fusing and Star Coin collecting while saving the world/galaxy through sensibly bald space marines or plucky teenagers with impossible hairstyles. Where does he find the time to write about them?

  • critHITjace

    I don’t really understand what Iwata’s trying to say. Wouldn’t phasing out the current model for the new one actually spur growth, especially if you emphasize the new features and sell it for the same price as the previous incarnation? I think another translation is in order. 🙁

    • herpaderp

      Or Iwata needs to retire already and give someone else a turn

    • Lord Ackercocke


  • Another_Unknown

    So, Iwata wants the westerns buy the old model, even they knowing the new model is about to be launched?

    • Pyrotek85

      Most people don’t know though, people like us who read these sites are a small minority. Nintendo wants to sell all the 3DS and 2DS units they made this holiday first. They don’t want people holding off, especially if they gave us a hard release date.

  • Discomaster

    I take this to essentially mean that he thinks the current models should sell well during the holidays, then he’ll release it (n3DS) in Q4 to boost sales before the end of the fiscal year. Seems like a rational approach, to be quite honest.

  • Thanatos2k

    What a crock. People saw that you’re going to release a new one that invalidates the old hardware and they’re waiting.

    The Japanese are content to buy the same thing over and over, but not over here. The moment people heard the new one would be backwards compatible anyone interested in a 3DS decided to wait.

  • Brian Stevenson

    Translation: “You haven’t bought enough of the old one yet! Buy an old one for $200, THEN we’ll give you the chance to buy the upgrade. For another $200. Thanks!”

  • Eric Irving

    They believe the growth will be there after parents buy their kids the 2DS/3DS current model for Christmas. Way to not bring it out for the Holidays, Nintendo.

  • Ernie

    Soooo why is Australia getting it? Did they project they will only sell 100 units and they meet there quota there?

  • Go2hell66

    But australia has reached that “magic stage of popularization”!? What a load of bs

  • Gian

    This is dumb.Nintendo seriously expects us to buy outdated hardware when you have already announced this model?
    Might as well buy a jap N3DS and a Sky3DS to bypass the region lock.

  • Razorfall

    Damn it Iwata…why not tell them that the launch titles are still in the localization process? That’s what’s going to matter the most.