Sunday, May 27, 2012

New 3DS Model & U.S. Monster Hunter Tri 3G at E3?

Notice the Wi-Fi Logo. Official box art, or fake box art? Maybe officially fake?
Coffee Beans
     "Would a 3DS redesigned with two circle pads make you more likely to purchase the system...or perhaps trade your current 3DS system in for an 'upgrade'?", was a question I asked last year in my April Fools post.
     In the last few weeks there have been a few events with Nintendo's handheld lineup, and a current situation with the Nintendo 3DS at one major retailer, that leads me to believe Nintendo will be revealing a new 3DS system at/before E3 this year.
     Is the evidence clearly pointing to a new Nintendo 3DS design soon to be unveiled? Or, is it too much analyzing and perhaps not enough coffee on my part? Let's take a look!

The Brew - 3DS Lite
     Earlier this month on May the 10th, Nintendo announced that the Nintendo DSi and Nintendo DSi XL would both be getting price drops effective May 20. The Nintendo DSi XL dropped from a MSRP of $169.99, down to a MSRP for $129.99, while the Nintendo DSi system dropped from a MSRP of $129.99, down to just $99.99.
     Then last Sunday, May 20, coinciding with the DSi and DSi XL's price drops, major retailers such as Best Buy, Target, and Toys "R" US started offering $20 gift cards with the purchase of new Nintendo 3DS systems.

     While those retailers are not offering a $20 gift card with the purchase of a 3DS this week, another major retailer, the largest online retailer to be specific, has not had the Nintendo 3DS system in stock for the last 2 weeks that I have been checking.
     Amazon.com only has the Nintendo 3DS available for sale only from third party vendors, and all of them have the 3DS listed for more than the MSRP of $169.99. When I contacted Amazon about the inventory issue, they could not state whether the item was discontinued, or if they were just waiting for more shipments of the 3DS to arrive. I was told to "Just keep checking the site."
     So Amazon.com, the world's largest online retailer, does not have in its stock what is supposed to be Nintendo's flagship handheld now, and hasn't for at least the last 2 weeks?
Shows only fulfilled by Amazon, not being sold by Amazon.com.
     So why would Nintendo cut the prices of the DSi and DSi XL, and then three major retailers offer $20 gift cards with the purchase of new 3DS systems the same week? I think it signals a "fire sale", and perhaps a clearing of inventory. I am really thinking that perhaps Nintendo will be making a surprise announcement of a newly designed 3DS at E3. Two circle pads and additional shoulder buttons are a given, and I also think there will be higher resolution cameras on it. Perhaps I'm incorrect, but we will find out soon enough.

The Brew - Monster Hunter Tri 3G
     Now, why do I think the U.S. will be getting Monster Hunter Tri 3G? Well, when Monster Hunter Tri was released on the Wii, you might remember how Capcom and Nintendo worked together, and Capcom even had input on the design of the Classic Controller Pro. When was the Classic Controller Pro first released in the U.S.? The day Monster Hunter Tri was released. It was bundled with the game for $59.99, and sold separately with a MSRP of $19.99.
     Last year Nintendo announced the Circle Pad Pro, which adds additional shoulder buttons and a second circle pad to the 3DS, was being released in Japan the same day Monster Hunter Tri 3G released. They even had a Monster Hunter Tri 3G Slide Pad bundle released in Japan, and Nintendo has since released the Circle Pad Pro in the U.S., though only through Game Stop. You can still find the 3DS Circle Pad Pro for $19.99 at GameStop.com.
     What hasn't seen a release in the U.S. though? Monster Hunter Tri 3G.
     Based on the history of Monster Hunter Tri and the Classic Controller Pro on the Wii, and with Nintendo releasing the 3DS Slide Pad in Japan for Monster Hunter Tri 3G, I am really thinking that perhaps at E3 Nintendo could be making the new 3DS Lite announcement, along with announcing that Monster Hunter Tri 3G will be releasing in the U.S with online WiFi multiplayer support (the Japanese game does not have online multiplayer). I believe this would help show Nintendo is serious about the 3DS' online service and multiplayer moving forward.
Two is better than one? For monster hunting it is!
     In short, the original Classic Controller was redesigned to the Classic Controller Pro with input from Capcom for Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii, and I believe this makes a 3DS redesigned to 3DS "Lite", with a second circle pad and additional buttons, with input from Capcom for Monster Hunter Tri 3G is not that far of a stretch.

Caffeinated Thoughts
     Let's do a quick list recap of the points above:

  • Nintendo cut the DSi and DSi XL prices on May 20
  • Best Buy, Target, & Toys "R" US offered $20 gift cards with 3DS purchases the week of May 20
  • Amazon.com has only been shipping 3DS systems from 3rd Party Vendors, not selling it directly themselves, for at least the last 2 weeks
  • Monster Hunter Tri released in the U.S. the same day as the newly designed Classic Controller Pro, while Monster Hunter Tri 3G released in Japan the same day as the newly designed Circle Pad Pro/Slide Pad 3DS accessory.
  • Monster Hunter Tri 3G has not been released or announced for a U.S. release yet.
  • The original Nintendo DS had been released for 1 year, 2 months, 5 days before Nintendo announced they would be releasing the Nintendo DS Lite model. The Nintendo 3DS released in North America last March, and from its release date to Nintendo's E3 press conference next week, it will be 1 year, 2 months, 9 days.

Questions
     Do you think, based the information provided above, that Nintendo is preparing a new 3DS design soon to be released and perhaps announced at their E3 2012 conference? Do you think that Monster Hunter Tri 3G will be released in the U.S. the same day as the new 3DS system, if my speculations above are correct?
     If you are a current Nintendo 3DS owner, have you purchased the Circle Pad Pro for it? If so, would you recommend the Circle Pad Pro to other 3DS owners?

If you are interested in the Circle Pad Pro attachment, you can purchase it from GameStop by clicking its image below, and you can also see that Amazon.com is still not directly offering the current 3DS models by clicking the images below:
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9 comments:

  1. Tough to know for sure. It seems the 3DS was still selling well without a new redesign and they just release a new color (purple) a month ago. I'm not sure if Nintendo would do this for Monster Hunter unless they found out that Japan were demanding it. I woeuld be more apt to see them do it with a Western Game COD 3DS?

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  2. "It seems the 3DS was still selling well without a new redesign and they just release a new color (purple) a month ago."
    In Japan, it is selling well. The UK is selling slower than the DS was though I believe, and I'm not sure if Nintendo has announced how it is tracking in the US compared to same-time DS sales.

    I do know though, that I could walk in our Best Buy and Wal-Mart stores, and see them just sitting on the shelves...unlike with the Wii where for nearly 2 years it was a ghost.
    Also, if they release a new model with Monster Hunter Tri 3G in the U.S., that would already have them prepared for a COD 3DS, which I am guessing will be happening this November (looking a n-Space!).
    As for the sales ranks of the 3DS on Amazon.com, they are HORRENDOUS compared to what the Wii and DS were. Sure, there are many more models now, but even with the Wii being sold out for so long, it was in the "Top 100" forever, even when only available from 3rd Party Vendors...that's why something here isn't making sense.

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  3. I think a redesign might be offensive, but they may be angling for Wii U Tablet + 3DS functionality which would essentially alow them to release a Wii U tablet in retail with 3DS functionality, including a game card slot, and dodge the full redesign issue for a while longer.

    This is of course dependent on how the multiple tablet support situation looks, but Nintendo did openly discuss using the 3DS as a tablet substitute, and no doubt the vanilla models will get an app to do just that. But why not take it a step further and release a tablet/3DS hybrid.

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  4. I've seen similar sales before christmas so while I'm sure Nintendo has redesign plans, I don't base that off the current rebate situations. Maybe nintendo has also learned how to properly keep up with demand unlike the Wii. (yeah, I had to get a friend to snatch one off the shelf at walmart before they were gone in later 2008)

    But who knows, a redesign is not out of the question especially if they are wanting to support more games like COD/MTH/etc. that could use another pad. Putting a 3DS/DS card slot in the U tablet though seems like it may cannibalize sales for certain segments.

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  5. The 3DS is making Nintendo lose money on every system sold, so I don't understand why a new model would come out unless it got Nintendo money for every new model sold. Nintendo said the current 3DS would be profitable in the fall, so I don't understand why they would do that.

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  6. Only time will tell, but it does seem odd that every color is out on Amazon. (just 3rd parties or 3rd's being fulfilled by amazon) I believe they were completely out last summer as well along with a temporary shortage of Flame Red when I wanted to purchase.

    So, the big question is: are you prepared to jump on a 3DS 2/lite/whatever if they do redesign over the summer? :)

    Having the U's tablet output 3D would be cool and could lead to some interesting control schemes if implemented well. Doing non-game content there also seems interesting. (eg: use the TV for other things while the kids watch a movie on the tablet)

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  7. I don't they would redesign it that much because with the ds to the dsi the most drastic change was dsiware. If they added a second analog stick and made games dependent on it that would make everyone who currently owns a 3ds have to buy the Circle Pad Pro. If games aren't dependent on it that would be great but I personally would be upset because I would have to buy the ugly Circle Pad Pro attachment to be up to "status quo" to speak. But that might just be me. And personally, I don't want to have to use batteries on my handhelds anymore. Just saying.

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  8. "So, the big question is: are you prepared to jump on a 3DS 2/lite/whatever if they do redesign over the summer? :)"
    Depends on if they can convince me with anything at E3. If they do announce the new 3DS like I'm expecting/hoping, I'm more likely to get one. You may remember how I had originally pre-ordered the 3DS before it released, then canceled my pre-order on it.
    Last year after the crazy price drop, I was tempted to buy on then...but with the 3DS Circle Pad Pro announcement/leak last year, I decided to hold off.
    If they can show at E3 an improved online (communication), and perhaps cross functionality with the Wii U, I'll more than likely pick one up if there is a redesign. If not, I'll hold onto the cash for now.

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  9. "If they added a second analog stick and made games dependent on it that would make everyone who currently owns a 3ds have to buy the Circle Pad Pro."
    That could be solved very easily by having a development requirement to have both touch screen and Dual Circle Pad controls. If Microsoft can have requirements for Achievements, and online, I don't see why an additional control option would hurt...and if anything, we may hear at E3 that developers were telling Nintendo it needed to be done for certain types of games now, to make them easier to play (Monster Hunter Tri 3G being one maybe, and Call of Duty 3DS maybe another).

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