This is a “Golden Age” for the Nintendo 3DS handheld console. The company sold 15 million units in 2014 and the library for the console grows year after year. Top that off with the introduction of the New Nintendo 3DS XL -- a console that reads and utilizes the latest craze, Amiibo -- and you have a juggernaut on your hands.
iDigitalTimes sat down with executive vice president of sales and marketing at Nintendo of America, Scott Moffitt at E3 2015 to talk about the success of the Nintendo 3DS.
“The 3DS for us has been, I wouldn’t call it a quiet success but it’s been a steady performer year in and year out for years now,” Moffitt said. “We have 15 million units sold and really on that platform there is something for everyone.”
At E3 2015, Nintendo showcased “something” with six titles will be gracing the Nintendo 3DS screen by the end of the year. These include games like Yo-kai Watch, Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon and Metroid Prime: Federation Force. It’s because of this diverse lineup of games that the 3DS has succeeded, according to Moffitt.
“Our sales were up 50 percent from the hardware, software side heading into the holiday season and again, it’s a range of content,” Moffitt said. “If you’re a core gamer or someone who is more of an avid gamer you have Zelda Triforce Hero to look forward to. People are interested in Chibi Robo. If you are more of a casual gamer you have Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, which will introduce a whole new way to play with all of the new Amiibo cards.”
Bringing in the New 3DS XL not only gave gamers a better 3D screen and the C stick option, but also allowed for Amiibo to be used in 3DS games, which Moffitt alluded to.
While at the time of its release, Super Smash Bros. and later Codename STEAM were the few titles that could utilize this feature. Nintendo now seems to have begun rolling out more titles to take full advantage of what Amiibos can offer.
But while games like the aforementioned Chibi Robo and Animal Crossing: Heavy Home Designer seem to warrant a move to the New 3DS XL, Moffitt explains why the older models still have a place today.
“With our 3DS family, we want to make different units of 3DS available for different gamers at different price points," Moffitt said. "We want to open up the availability of the world of 3DS to as many people as possible.”
Moffitt said the 2DS, for example, is for the youngest members of the family or those who are more value conscious while the old 3DS XL are for gamers who want to play on a larger screen but in a more affordable way. And of course, the New 3DS XL is the flagship console with all the bells and whistles. This allows for gamers to choose how they jump into the 3DS platform and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.
But a hot topic button among the 3DS community is how the New 3DS (the non-XL version) has not been made available in North America, and in turn the removable faceplates that allow gamers to customize their New 3DS.
“With Nintendo, every market and every region makes their own choice of what their hardware lineup ought to be for their market and makes the best guess they can for what will satisfy the needs of gamers in that market,” Moffitt said. “So I’ll never say never, but if we see a consumer need for that and fill out our portfolio of hardware offerings on the portable side we will consider bringing them in. But right now our lineup, we believe, satisfies the needs of the widest variety of gamers in our territory.”
So keep your hopes alive, 3DS fans. And we have to agree with Moffitt when he said, “there’s never been a better time to own a 3DS.”