The new 3DS will only arrive in 2015 because of different markets

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What's in the box

There’s a new, new, new Nintendo 3DS on the way. And seeing as how my first-gen version is starting to look tiny and the paint is literally peeling off of the D-pad, I want it. Like other suckers consumers, I’m going to have to wait a while to get my hands on it, as the triple-newDS is launching first in Japan before it heads West in 2015. And you can thank a slower hardware market for that.

Actual Nintendo 3DS hardware sales slowed down and decreased in the first half of 2014, according to the immortal highlander and Nintendo President Satoru Iwata during a financial results conference. According to Iwata, that’s because Nintendo “could not release any million-selling titles for the platform in the Japanese market.” But things are looking up right now for the console, as Yokai Watch and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate have sold over 2 million copies each in Japan. Super Smash Bros currently sits with around 1.88 million copies sold, with Iwata expecting it to cross the 2 million mark soon.

The new 3DS, Episode 3: Revenge of the Ninty hit the Japanese shores on October 11, and has so far sold through over 234 000 units, “which is the largest first-week sales of remodeled devices we have ever released,” Iwata revealed. We won’t see the newerer console until 2015, as Iwata explained that the markets were just too different right now:

In Japan, 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 GameBoy 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 XL to the market this year. To the contrary, neither of the cumulative sales figures of Nintendo 3DS in the U.S. nor Europe is more than that in Japan despite, based on the historical performance, bigger sales potential. In short, Nintendo 3DS is still at an earlier stage of popularization in these two markets.

According to Iwata, more hit games from Japan plus the new hardware will allow the 3DS: 3D Harder to “establish a presence in the market” and encourage developers to create new third-party titles for it. Meanwhile, I just need a new Pokémon machine, because as I mentioned, I may have overplayed with my one.

Last Updated: October 31, 2014

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