The release of the newer model of the 3DS has been delayed in Western countries because of the lower market saturation compared to Japan, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata says.
The newer model of the 3DS released this month in Japan. In a post-earning briefing with investors today, it was revealed that the new model sold 234,000 units during launch week, the best relaunch of any Nintendo hardware.
Iwata says that in Japan, the original model of the 3DS has sold almost 17 million, meaning that in order to sell meaningful numbers, it was necessary to release a new model of the 3DS.
In contrast, sales in Europe and the US are much lower, Iwata says.
To the contrary, neither of the cumulative sales figures of Nintendo 3DS in the U.S. nor Europe is more than that in Japan.
In short, Nintendo 3DS is still at an earlier stage of popularization in these two markets.
Iwata also noted that only two games are set for release in the holiday season this year – Super Smash Bros. and the upcoming remakes of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire. Because of this, Iwata said that a newly released 3DS might struggle to sell.
Based on these observations, some might wonder if, apart from the domestic market, the sales of Nintendo 3DS will really be able to gain momentum in the overseas markets.
Last month, it was announced that the new 3DS would be releasing in Australia this year, separating it from the other Western regions, which are set to get the new model next year.