Limited Stock Ultimately Delayed the Release of the New 3DS in NA

If you’re wondering why Nintendo is taking so long to bring the New 3DS to Europe and America, there is finally an answer to your question. The answer is pretty simple, there was limited stock for the machines, so that gave Nintendo a shortage problem, meaning that they needed to wait in order to have enough consoles to ship out.

Limited stock isn’t really anything new for Nintendo, in fact, this is a pretty standard problem for the company. Now in terms of the New 3DS, I can’t really say that it hurt them to delay the release, since the original model and XL were still doing adequate and there really wasn’t a demand for a new handheld model just yet. The decision wasn’t an easy one for Nintendo but this is what Satoru Iwata had to say during an investor Q&A session:

“Regarding New Nintendo 3DS, the quantity that was produced before the end of last year or the amount that was delivered to consumers was limited. “Hence, we had to make a difficult decision on whether it was acceptable or not to cause a worldwide shortage of New Nintendo 3DS. As a result, (based on the different diffusion levels of the preceding models), we made the decision to launch it in 2015 in Europe and the U.S.”

While the decision seems like it was made on good judgment, Iwata seems to have some regret because the sales may have been even better if the platforms could have been out in America and Europe during the 2014 holiday season:

“In hindsight, the actual results and the reactions to the launch of New Nintendo 3DS tell me that you are absolutely correct in assuming that the results would have been different if it were launched within 2014.”

Iwata also brought attention to the fact that the New 3DS essentially provided even more competition for their Wii U. While this is probably the best competition they could ask for since they are competing against themselves in Japan, Iwata still wishes that the Wii U could emerge as a stronger force. He does however, acknowledge that Nintendo has to adjust to the times:

“In addition, the fact that putting effort into attracting attention to New Nintendo 3DS became an obstacle to selling Wii U in Japan has made us once again understand the difficulty in staggering the sales peaks.”

“We have many issues to reflect on, and I think we could have tried harder. However, beyond that, I believe that although the traditional practice of selling things and the belief that products will sell well if you advertise broadly and make attractive discount offers, worked five or ten years ago, it is no longer applicable in this present day.”

It will be interesting to see if Nintendo changes up their approach next generation. How will they handle their handheld and console division? Perhaps it will lead them to the conclusion that the two might not better separate.

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