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Nintendo's 3DS Announcement Wasn't Supposed to Happen Like That

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

Analyst: early reveal was meant to prevent further leaks

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.

[via cnbc.com]

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User Comments (30)

Cipher

#1

Cipher said:

If this is true, I can't say I'm surprised. That said, I still think this has worked very well in Nintendo's favour. It's created a great amount of hype and it'll keep people talking until the revelation at E3. It's unfortunate for those who wanted to get an XL or have recently bought a DS or DSi, but hey, nobody's forcing you to buy the 3DS as soon as it comes out.

Roopa132

#2

Roopa132 said:

It would have been nice if the DS would have been a great surprise at E3 but the stupid press always has to ruin everything :(

Token_Girl

#4

Token_Girl said:

Sort of fail. However, I think the target demographic the XL is going for (older gamers, casual gamers who play at home with the family, etc.) isn't necessarily going to be the type who has to buy the newest piece of hardware when it first comes out. They also probably aren't the type to trawl game sites for new info (though we do have some XL fans here, but many of them bought it anyways). They'll see it at a store, think hey, I can see that better than my kid's one. Maybe I'll get that and play sudoku and brain age on it. Oh it comes with brain age? Yay!

/sticks regular DSi in purse for plane trip to spring break and is happy that it fits, and she doesn't need to put it in her carryon for the overhead bin.

@NintendoFTW
The Nintendo DS Phat actually came out Nov. 21, 2004 in NA and on Dec. 4, 2004 in JP. The days of waiting a year for a new console are over.

Nintendoftw

#5

Nintendoftw said:

Anyone who lays off the XL for this is stupid. It's coming out in 2011 in JAPAN.. And Nintendo always takes a YEAR translate the system for the USA... So we get it in 2012... So you would rather hold off the DSi XL and wait TWO years? Failure.

the_shpydar

#6

the_shpydar said:

@TG
Agreed. The XL seem to me to be more of a niche release, much like the GBMicro was.

Caliko

#7

Caliko said:

@cipher I don't think you understand how hype works, its not as elementary as you say. This very much went against Nintendos favor and we'll hear whining like crazy this E3 with "Nothing new" being the descriptive phrase amongst disappointed Nintendo extremists.

V8_Ninja

#8

V8_Ninja said:

Not really surprised. It makes perfect sense from a manufacturer prospective; they don't want info on the new hardware early so they announce it and say "wait until (insert popular consumer show here)". It's almost genius except for the fact that it's the successor to the Nintendo DS, one of the most popular consoles of all time.

Maxsh

#9

Maxsh said:

For some reason, I laughed hard at "The Land of Not Japan". Maybe I'm crazy.

Shugo

#10

Shugo said:

@Nintendoftw
A year between Japanese and US Nintendo console releases hasn't happened since the SNES, and has never happened with their handhelds. Even the original Game Boy was released in the US just four months after the Japanese release. The DSi was released in November 2008 in Japan and April 2009 in the US, and that's just a redesign of the DS with extra features. The original DS, a totally new console, came out in the US barely ten days after it hit Japan. Given that the 3DS is being touted as a new console with more powerful graphical capabilities, I'd say the 3DS is important enough for them to attempt a close US release.

AVahne

#12

AVahne said:

Well if people are thinking about there being no point in getting the DSi XL since the 3DS is coming, note that if the system comes out next year, It'll be coming out for Japan. We in the west would probably have to wait a year and a half or something

Kimiko

#13

Kimiko said:

Why do you still use the blue/red DS image for news about the upcoming successor? It will have parallax-barrier 3D, not the old blue/red 3D.

odd69

#15

odd69 said:

Im gonna get the XL anyways. I still haven't upgraded to the dsi yet. I hardly play my DS anymore but i really like the XL for some reason

RowdyRodimus

#16

RowdyRodimus said:

The big question is if the XL underpreforms in other terretories because of the release of the info for the 3DS, how will Nintendo of Japan react? Since they are so big on "honor" there will they force the heads of the underpreforming terretories to resign even though it's NOJ's fault? I mean, NOJ could release a statement that Nintendo kills six babies for every system sold and people in NA quit buying them, they wouldn't see it as their fault.

JonWahlgrenAdmin

#18

JonWahlgren said:

@Shugo: "The original DS, a totally new console, came out in the US barely ten days after it hit Japan."
It was the other way around. US first.

@Kimiko: Because it looks cool.

@RowdyRodimus: That's a little overkill, no?

motang

#19

motang said:

Hey Nintendo, lemme tell you somethin' man, nothin' ever goes as planned. :D

bbb7002004

#20

bbb7002004 said:

The XL has a very specific market in mind. The people that were going to upgrade to it would likely do so anyway, or wouldn't care or even hear about the 3DS for a year or two.

aaronsullivan

#21

aaronsullivan said:

@Kimiko: Because Nintendo Life has the exclusive picture of the actual 3DS hardware, but they enjoy holding it back and laughing maniacally.

The XL was going to be niche from the start. I actually like the larger size and would much rather play DS games on the larger screen (or better yet output to a TV sometimes). If the 3DS has smaller screens than the XL -- let's be honest, here, price restraints dictate that it most likely will have smaller screens -- then the XL actually still holds that niche even after the 3DS comes out.

Sylverstone

#22

Sylverstone said:

I had a feeling the DSi XL was just a time-filler for some people until the 3DS came around. I'd get the XL on a collector's basis only, but then again Nintendo has done well with the leak. Just peep some ideas and leave us wanting more. They have a sureshot plan of ruling E3 this year.

As far as I'm concerned, Project Natal and PlayStation Move can suck it because Nintendo has their army geared up for intense battle.

Since E3 2006, the next one (2007) was full of bragging rights. 2008 was a major/minor setback to accommodate the casuals. 2009 was a slight return to form and finally 2010 will be the conference that people will waiting for and that it shall be the true successor to the 2006 victory they scored.

Nintendo will win back their people at E3. I'm gearing up to see a massive conversion of people to Nintendo.

Kirk

#24

Kirk said:

I don't think it will matter too much.

The DSi XL will still do well enough to justify it's existence in US/Europe and then the 3DS will pick up the slack anyway.

JimLad

#25

JimLad said:

Oh well, it makes E3 more exciting to look forward to.
Assuming it actually makes an appearance. :/

JulioMorataya

#26

JulioMorataya said:

I can't seem to figure out if ti was planned or it was leaked, anyway I have an original DS and a DSi, and the 3DS announcement revived the excitement in the system...

meppi

#27

meppi said:

My money is is firmly on a planned announcement since Nintendo of Japan seems to always announce these kinds of things the 23th of the month, and this one was no exception.

Capt_N

#28

Capt_N said:

So many questions. I sincerely hope N will reveal @ E3 this year, if the 3DS has the bc(backwards-compatibility) w/ the DS/DSiware. If it shows this year, @ all.

Nintendoftw

#29

Nintendoftw said:

You do know that 1 month is a long time right? So 2010 JUST BEGAN so your STILL going to waste one year waiting? Thats just FAIL. if you already have a DSi that's fine, but if you have the OUTDATED DS Lite then you would have to be an idiot to not have wanted to upgrade by now.

Tri4ceHolder

#30

Tri4ceHolder said:

God stop making new stuff right after the old one was released Nintendo! You JUST released the DSi!!!! God....

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