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Editorial: Will 'New' Be Enough To Make A Difference - Pure Nintendo

Editorial: Will ‘New’ Be Enough To Make A Difference
Justin 'J Money' Hinton

Many Nintendo fans are likely very excited for the ‘New 3DS’.  Some of the owners of the original are probably glad that they have put off upgrading to a 3DS XL in light of the ‘New’ announcement.  The staff at Pure Nintendo is definitely excited for this new hardware but Nintendo may be in trouble when it comes to the ‘New’ device’s branding.  Nintendo has always extended the life of their handheld gaming hardware by releasing improved versions or entirely different experiences under the same name.


This has been Nintendo’s business strategy since the Game Boy.  Their branding of the various iterations of Game Boy models was executed quite well and each name, Color, Micro, etc., was unique enough to avoid ‘consumer confusion’ but this doesn’t seem to be the case in recent history.  For example, the DS and DSi make it very difficult to distinguish one from the other, at least for an average consumer who may not know any better.  The same is the case for 3DS and the names 3DS and 3DS XL make it quite clear that there is a difference; one is bigger than the other.  But when it comes to 3DS and ‘New’ 3DS, Nintendo might run into some problems when it comes to relaying that this is new hardware, even though they did add prefix ‘New’.


Nintendo is no stranger to this issue because many fans and media outlets critiqued Nintendo for naming the successor to the Wii as Wii U.  Nintendo seems to be doing it again rather in this case adding ‘New’ to the name does indicate the hardware is new but the 3DS isn’t new.  It is difficult to say what Nintendo could do to the moniker to make it less confusing but we’re sure the adding ‘New’ is not going to cut it.  It was probably a wise move to add the amiibo brand styling to the ‘New’ 3DS hardware brand to unify the hardware’s marketing with the upcoming release of their NFC figures, amiibo.  We wouldn’t be surprised if the next home console uses the same styling but that will have to wait for another day.

amiibo new 3ds


Hopefully, Nintendo has a game plan or else the ‘New’ 3DS branding could be very confusing to the everyday consumer.  The hardcore Nintendo fans that follow gaming news or the company’s announcements will know exactly what to look for when the ‘New’ hardware releases but others may have trouble understanding the difference.  Surely the new hardware will do fine initially as many Nintendo fans will flock to stores to get their hands on this upgrade but it will be interesting to see how sales trend after launch.

  • Miguel SGTC Monteiro

    I think 3DSi wouldn’t have been a bad name. better than New…

    • kajimi

      Agreed. And it would make sense, as it keeps in line with their previous model iterations. People like consistency, I guess.

  • Haku

    With Nintendo’s “family friendly” image, they continue to attract a younger audience who tend to be less savvy when it comes to picking up on hardware iterations. For instance, the Wal-Mart in my neighborhood STILL has a sign on their game case stating that 3DS games will not work on a DS system. So what is the solution? I’m not sure. Branding New 3DS as an entirely new system is somewhat misleading, so it wouldn’t really be fair to drop the 3DS moniker (nor would Nintendo really want to with the reputation the 3DS has built). It seems that the simplest (and most boring) answer is to give them a number. I bet the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 as well as the Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 are seldom confused (or at least Wal-Mart does not have a sign warning consumers)..

  • Erwin234

    Nintendo Next – a evolution of the revolution

  • kajimi

    Hmm I think it’s ok, not great mind you. It kind of makes sense because they’ve floated the whole “new” in front of games like Mario Bros. and Yoshi’s Island in the last few years. Having said that, it seems uncreative for the team behind such gloriously creative games. It’s also silly in terms of whatever is called “new” at a point in time will not always be new, it will be replaced eventually. So then the next iteration is the “newer” 3DS? “Newest”? “New 2″? Doesn’t work.

    But what else could it be? Someone on Twitter mentioned Super Nintendo 3DS, which I absolutely love – even just “Super 3DS’ would work. So catchy! S3DS! The new colors remind me of the SNES control pad anyway, really ties it in. Also the SNES system was mega-popular in the day, so it couldn’t hurt sales – only make them better from a nostalgia point of view.

    Also, IMO, I like Wii U as a name, thought it was more creative than adding a “2” after Wii – but I do understand there was confusion, mainly from bad marketing. The Wii was so popular, so keeping Wii in the name was a smart move, but maybe it needed more than another letter – again, like “Super” was added to NES to make SNES, there was no confusion there.

    Really, that combined system we are all hoping for in the future,- a console that we can take with us too – now, that would be SUPER.

  • Sunnyleafs

    I’m just thinking about the eBay nightmares in a few years. You can just picture the listings and the misunderstandings that will follow: Used New 3DS, New New 3DS, Pre-owned Used New 3DS, etc.
    Nintendo should have called it the 3DS Advance.

    • Haku

      I am sure the LAST thing on Nintendo’s list of concerns is how it will affect eBay sellers :) It is an interesting thought though.