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.
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.