|Notice the Wi-Fi Logo. Official box art, or fake box art? Maybe officially fake?|
"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.
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.|
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!|
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.
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: