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Iwata claims 3DS delay was to ensure stock levels

Nintendo president hopes to avoid shortages which plagued Wii launch

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has claimed that the delay in launching the 3DS, which has been pushed back to a date of February 26, 2011 in Japan and March in Europe and the US, was a conscious decision to avoid stock shortages.

During the first few months of the Wii being on sale, suppliers experienced repeated shortages of the console, forcing Nintendo America president Reggie Fils-Aime to respond to accusations that the shortage may have been engineered by Nintendo to increase publicity and demand.

"At first we thought it would be desirable to launch the 3DS within the year, so we made our forecasts on that basis. At this point it is clear that if we launch within the year, we will not be able to supply enough units," said Iwata to a conference of analysts yesterday.

During the conference, Iwata also reassured investors that Nintendo would be focusing more on third-party support for 3DS than it has for previous consoles, a position supported by the large range of third-party launch titles planned for the machine.

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Latest comments (8)

Junior Enwright Writer - novelist, comic book scripts, game narrative, article writer 9 years ago
I do not know why so many articles are saying this is disappointing.
it is an obvious tactic to ensure that they have enough units to keep up with demand. I was not excepting a release within thisa year, so i do not mind. I think that too many people are impatient, you will have the system in good time.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.9 years ago
Junior, I think the disappointment stems from the numerous rumors that suggested a 2010 release date which psychologically upped our expectations from the originally expected 2011 release into 2010.

We kind of inadvertently disappointed ourselves.
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Junior Enwright Writer - novelist, comic book scripts, game narrative, article writer 9 years ago
Ahh! Now i get it! Thank you for clearing that up for me jimmy.
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games9 years ago
On the other hand, i think it is good when people want to buy it and can't get their hands on it due to extreme demand. Creates even higher anticipation. I would still want to buy it a month later hehe. However now it is perceived as "disappointment" and that usually scales down anticipation and excitement.

I also feel that one of the reasons was that it would overshadow wii\ds software sales on Christmas. Perhaps they wanted to avoid their own crater as they have some nice games coming up around that time? :) Oh well; the wait is going to be long.. and "disappointed" as i am i might play some other games till the time comes to forget my sorrows. :)
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Charley Wang Studying Engineering, University of Toronto9 years ago
I'm not familiar with this aspect of the industry -- is it actually beneficial for a company to defer sales until after the Christmas season? As far as I remember, no real harm was done by accusations of 'manufactured shortage' for the Wii...

I'd believe that they were deferring the release in order to shift the sales onto their 1Q earnings to balance some planned spending, or because of technology-related difficulties, or because of internal competition like Yiannis said, but 'not enough units' seems a little flimsy. If someone more familiar with the economics could explain, I'd be grateful for the learning :)
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.9 years ago
Charley, they've actually pushed it back to give their software partners more time to produce content.
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Junior Enwright Writer - novelist, comic book scripts, game narrative, article writer 9 years ago
I am just happy that Europe do not have to wait too long for the release, in fact i am happy it is released next year because that gives me time to save and priortise my money

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Junior Enwright on 1st October 2010 9:14am

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Tony Johns9 years ago
I knew that a November 2010 release for the 3DS was a little too much to expect, but thankfully that Nintendo have learned their lesson from the Wii's sales shortage in the first few years that to be able to release a console that has a potential to be picked up by the masses on launch day, without any technical faults and RED RING OF DEATH issues, it was best to release it at a later time AFTER the Christmas holiday period where the sales and demand won't be so redicouasly high.
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