It’s to avoid… brand confusion?
Nintendo of America has come forth and tried to explain, yet again, why the smaller, regular sized New Nintendo 3DS did not release in North America (presently, only the New Nintendo 3DS XL is available in the region, completely phasing out older XL models; the original Nintendo 3DS model, and Nintendo 2DS, however, are all still available in the country). And, in a response that ordinarily would have sounded sensible, it sounds like they did it to avoid brand confusion, and create distinct product tiers and categories.
“We’re a different market,” Nintendo’s Damon Baker told Nintendo Life. “And now we have clear differentiation between those three systems. Before, there was a very limited difference between the 3DS and 3DS XL: other than size. It was the same resolution, same functionality… now, there’s the 2DS, 3DS, and New 3DS XL, all of which have their own functionality and features.”
“The different price points give it a clear message for consumers,” he added. “The core audience… we weren’t going to win with them on that decision. But we had to think about expanding the user base, we had to be able to market it and make it easy to pick up for consumers.”
Which, like I said, would be a sensible response, if it weren’t for the fact that Nintendo is the king of brand confusion. They called the successor to the Wii the Wii U. The DS successor with 3D was called the 3DS, and to make it even more confusing, the 3D-less 3DS was called the 2DS. The new Super Smash Bros. games are literally called Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. The new 3DS revision is called the New 3DS. Nintendo could not give less of a shit about brand confusion if it tried. So why this sudden conscientiousness about it?