When a company announces new hardware, especially the successor to a massively popular one, it's usually done with much more pomp than what happened with Nintendo's recent 3DS announcement. The fanfare of the two-sentence press release was only slightly less than if Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata mumbled it to a half-empty room, shrugged and ambled on out of there.
These types of announcements also don't typically happen when said company is launching a different piece of hardware in North America that very same week, rendering the piece obsolete before it even hits shelves. So what gives? Speaking to CNBC, M2 Research senior analyst Billy Pigeon claims snoopy Japanese press types were the reason.
Apparently, the Japanese press was all over it and talked with suppliers there and Nintendo just wanted to get out ahead by breaking the news to prevent a leak.
Before the announcement, the new device's feature set was quickly becoming one of the worst-kept secrets of the industry. Rumors that the new device would include an accelerometer and possibly some sort of haptic feedback had started to spread in the past few weeks, so the no-glasses 3D feature would surely have leaked before Nintendo was primed for a likely reveal at E3.
Nintendo of Not Japan seems to have gotten the short end of the stick considering the DSi XL just began to roll out in other territories, and the promise of a truly new handheld on the horizon would likely cause consumers to hold off on another handheld until the 3DS is out. This is particularly biting for Nintendo of America, considering the 3DS reveal was within mere days of the XL launch. It's also not terribly surprising, said Pigeon:
The XL is old news, however, in Japan – and Nintendo is a very Japan-centric organization. This is just the corporate parent in Japan maybe not acting in the best interest of Nintendo of America.