Nintendo Rep Explains Why Smaller New Nintendo 3DS Wasn't Released in US
Nintendo of America's Damon Baker says company wanted to make the distinction between existing models absolutely clear.
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When Nintendo announced last month that the New Nintendo 3DS XL would be coming to the United States, but not the smaller-sized New Nintendo 3DS, some scratched their heads and wondered why that might be. Now, Nintendo of America senior manager Damon Baker has offered an explanation.
At Indiecade East, Baker told Nintendo Life that Nintendo of America wanted to make the distinction between the existing Nintendo 3DS models absolutely clear. If Nintendo were to have released the smaller New Nintendo 3DS in the US, it might have caused confusion, he said.
"We're a different market," Baker said. "And now we have clear differentiation between those three systems. 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," he added. "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."
While the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL feature the same technical specifications, the regular-sized model supports custom faceplates, meaning gamers in the US will miss out on that feature. Baker admitted that the faceplates are "super cool," but not enough of a reason to bring the model to the US.
The New Nintendo 3DS is currently available in Japan and Europe. Nintendo has not ruled out a release for the New Nintendo 3DS in the US sometime down the road, though no plans to do that have been announced yet.
Released last Friday, February 13, the New Nintendo 3DS is already selling better than its predecessor, the Nintendo 3DS XL. For everything you need to know about the New Nintendo 3DS, check out GameSpot's comprehensive launch guide, which features a review of the system itself, detailed data transfer instructions, and more.