In the general consensus that we've seen online, the latest Nintendo Direct broadcasts went down rather well. Coming in it at over 40 minutes each, they were packed with details; yet, as we acknowledged in our reaction to events, the North American presentation was somewhat overshadowed by the surprising revelation that only the New Nintendo 3DS XL will be released in the region.
Unlike in Japan, Australia / New Zealand and Europe, the smaller model - which incorporates interchangeable cover plates - won't be available at launch in North America. The region will have a unique XL model, with a Red iteration taking the place of the Metallic Blue that'll be available elsewhere. Nevertheless, it's a decision that's baffling many.
As we suggested yesterday, there's undoubtedly business logic - based on sales, focus groups etc - that's driven this decision, even if we feel stripping away the consumer's choice isn't the best move. Nintendo was asked about this by Kotaku, but unfortunately a non-statement was served up.
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.
We're used to this kind of corporate language from the amiibo stock problems of the past weeks, though that doesn't make it any less frustrating. There's always the hope that the smaller models will come to North America in the future, of course, but when pressed on that the only reply was that there's "nothing to announce at this time".
How surprised are you by this situation with the New Nintendo 3DS in North America, and do you feel it's a big issue? Sound off in the comments below.