The 3DS XL remains a bit of an oddity, if an interesting one. It’s 90% larger than the original 3DS, yet contains no second circle pad. The fidelity of the 3D is said to be much higher than in its older counterpart, yet Nintendo is shifting their focus away from 3D. It’s a new iteration of a system that isn’t truly necessary - and apparently, it’s not going to make that much money.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has assured the Japanese press that the 3DS XL won’t sell at a loss, but that the actual sales margin won’t be that high either.
There is some real sense here. At the moment, the 3DS is still being sold at a loss (which certainly won’t be the case within the year), so the 3DS XL - being slightly more expensive - could help to close this sales gap. It doesn’t need to be a massive money-maker; it just needs to add a little extra onto the line.
When the 3DS launched last Spring, it sold very nicely for the initial release - and then quickly dropped off. The first truly major title for the system, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, didn’t launch until June - leaving a multiple-month long period where there was little incentive to buy the machine. This led to Nintendo’s slashing of the sales price.
Of course, that in turn led to the system being sold at a loss - a loss that assured its safety and success in the long-term. This necessary monetary sacrifice did lead to Nintendo’s first overall operating loss this year, but it truly saved the 3DS system. However…it would be nice to close off that loss, and the 3DS XL can help to do that.
It stands as a slightly more expensive (and slightly better) version of the original 3DS for those who wish to pay a little more. It doesn’t sound like it would be much, but this little extra cash flow could be a huge boon that leads directly to the 3DS selling at a real profit.
Are you interested in the 3DS XL? Do you plan on buying one? Comment away!