3 Ways Nintendo Can Better Market The New Nintendo 3DS
A couple of weeks ago, Nintendo surprised the gaming world with its sudden announcement of yet another update to their 3DS handheld. Dubbed The New Nintendo 3DS, this model represents the most significant changes to the handheld to date. It features an extra analog nub, two additional back triggers, greater processing power, bigger screens, and a longer battery life, among other improvements. Like the original 3DS, the New 3DS will come in standard and XL (dubbed LL) sizes. While the device sounds great, Nintendo’s approach to marketing this device thus far has been odd and frustrating for those of us interested. Here are a few ways to fix that.
Treat the Device as the 3DS Successor
Nintendo has been weird in its classification the New 3DS. They’ve basically said the device is an in-between of a full-on successor and an incremental update. I don’t know about you, but additions such as new buttons, better graphics, and its own exclusive games are far too radical for just a mere upgrade. Advertise it as the 3DS successor (even if it technically isn't’) and save everyone the confusion. Some people already have trouble differentiating the three existing 3DS models (especially the 2DS), so elevating the New 3DS above that mess would be best for all involved.
Changing the system’s perception may also help placate existing 3DS owner who feel slighted that New 3DS-exclusive games, such as the upcoming port of Xenoblade Chronicles, won’t be playable on their old handhelds despite technically belonging in the same family. As more New 3DS games roll out, this sentiment could grow, so stop treating the handhelds as the same when, on paper, they really aren’t. Sure, doing so may or may not be lying but, for the sake of clarity, I think it can be forgiven.
Change the Name
In addition to sounding bland, The New Nintendo 3DS is too ambiguous of a title. It sounds like the general name people would refer to the device if they didn’t know the actual title. Let’s not even get into the potential confusion when it’s eventually traded in to retailer like Gamestop and sold as a “pre-owned New 3DS.” What about the handheld that will inevitably follow the New 3DS? Will it be the “Newer” 3DS? Probably not, but you get the idea. The name stinks.
I’ve heard and read numerous suggestions for alternative names, from the 3DS Plus to the 3DSi, but the one that struck a chord was the Super 3DS. That’s perfect. The “Super” prefix is a clear and easy indicator of the system’s superiority, it sounds cool, and even evokes a bit of nostalgia. If that’s too difficult, just toss a "2" at then end and call it a day – it’s worked for Sony for years.
Don't Wait. Release it Worldwide this Holiday (Preferably October)
The New 3DS is slated to arrive next month in Japan and its arrival in other territories is scheduled for the always-annoying date of “eventually” next year. In fact, the device hasn’t been officially announced for west at all. This is a mistake.
Let’s take Super Smash Bros. for 3DS for example. That game releases October 3rd and the New 3DS’ extra analog stick and triggers make it sound like the ideal platform to play the game on, so why not release it on or around the same time? Run that point home further by bundling Smash with the New 3DS and watch it fly off store shelves.
I can’t help but think that delaying a stateside release will only engender feelings of anxiety towards standard 3DS purchases going further. Should I take the plunge on a 3DS to get Smash now knowing that a better version of the handheld is on the horizon? Can I really hold off on playing Smash until some undetermined point in the future? Save us from enduring an existential crisis and release the system sooner than later. That way we don't have to think about it.
I have no idea why Nintendo would drag their feet in discussing a western New 3DS release. People are already going bananas over the thing so just say when we can trade in our old handhelds for your shiny new one already. Why Nintendo would also choose to miss out the lucrative holiday season in favor of a potential spring release is beyond me.
How would you go about marketing the New 3DS? Let me know in the comments below.