Not too long ago, rumors were flying around that the 3DS would launch during 2010. Then, Nintendo announced its price point and release date of February 26, 2011 in Japan and soon after elsewhere. As with most rumors, after hearing news to the contrary we simply assumed the 2010 launch rumor was unfounded. However, in this case it turns out the rumor was true. During a recent Q & A Session, Nintendo’s president, Satoru Iwata, revealed their original plans, and why they decided to delay the 3DS launch.
“When we made the original financial forecasts for this fiscal year, we thought that it would be desirable to launch Nintendo 3DS by the end of this calendar year and, with that as the premise, we made the financial forecasts and the plans . . . However, we have come to understand that, if we launched it this calendar year, it would be difficult to produce a sufficient amount. Also, in terms of the completion level of the product, we believe that it will reach the most satisfactory level by our standards if we will launch it on the date we just announced.”
More and more often, those in the video game industry are having to answer the question, “to delay or not delay?” In most cases, the developer utilizes the extra time to fine tune their game, but sometimes (as with the Gears of War 3 delay) it is simply a matter of timing. Such delays generally cause an uproar in the gaming community, but from a business perspective they make perfect sense. With the 3DS, Nintendo is not worried about improving the hardware, they simply want to make sure they can meet the demand.
“The most important thing is to provide a healthy launch for a new platform because, as part of Nintendo's core business, such platform will need to be able to support Nintendo’s business performance for the years to come.”
The 3DS is shaping up to be Nintendo’s most successful (profitable) launch ever. Nintendo plans to sell four million 3DSs in the first month, and while I think that may be an ambitious goal, I’m sure the system will sell like hotcakes. Considering the high sales predictions and the somewhat controversial price point, the 3DS is sure to be a goldmine for Nintendo.
Do you wish Nintendo was releasing the 3DS this holiday season? Are you going to buy a 3DS on launch day?
The 3DS will release in Japan on February 26, 2011 for 25,000 Yen. The North American release is expected to follow soon after with a price close to $300.