Iwata Issues Written Apology to 3DS Owners

Nintendo's head honcho tells early adopters that he is sorry for slighting them with the dramatic price drop.

After thoroughly annihilating the handheld gaming competition for 22 years and even “printing money” with the DS, Nintendo recently suffered an extremely humbling reality check. With the 3DS adoption rate reflecting the astounding dearth of quality software currently available on the platform and the Big N’s profit forecast falling off the top of Mt. Everest, they went all in and made the aggressive announcement that the 3DS’ will receive a price drop.

Any drop at all at this early juncture in its life cycle (closing in on five months) would have been shocking. But the fact that they decided to slash the Master Sword through its current $249.99 price and cut it down to $179.99 as of August 12th is stupefying to all and outrageous to some. That latter emotion is reserved for those of us who foolishly plunked down 250 smackeroos on the little handheld that couldn’t. We all did knowing all to well that the system would one day gain more features and repeatedly drop in price. Nobody thought a price cut would come anytime in calendar year 2011, though.

In a rare break from the company’s life on the isolated Super Happy Nintendo Island, the house that Mario built actually connected with what its hardcore, early adopter fans are feeling. In response, Satoru Iwata has issued a written public apology. Giant Bomb had nearly the entire thing translated from Japanese to English, and that version can be read in its entirety down below. Make of it what you will, but it largely comes off as sincere. He also talked up the Ambassador Program that will give 20 free downloadable games to any 3DS owner who jumps on the e-Shop prior to midnight on August 12th.

Curiously, the North American branch of Nintendo – which hasn’t exactly been winning any popularity contests lately – initially remained completely silent on these matters. Normally animated fan favorite corporate executive Reggie Fils-Aime has vanished from the public eye during this time of transition and difficult decisions. That being said, they eventually did get in on the action by releasing this emotionless statement.

Across the Atlantic, Nintendo of Europe (Whom many fans and industry talking heads believe has surpassed NoA on the Nintendo depth chart.) put out their own pseudo-apology in regards to the swift price drop. It’s not quite as personal – like the NoA statement, no one’s name is attached to it – but it certainly feels more like an apology and less like their American counterpart’s: “Hey, Nintendo still cool! Look at all these N64 remakes we have for you!”

If any of our readers took something different away from the statements, definitely fire off a comment about it. MTB is all ears, er, eyes, rather.

To Those Customers Who Bought A Nintendo 3DS Before The Price Change

Greetings, everyone. This is Satoru Iwata from Nintendo.

Thank you very much for purchasing a Nintendo 3DS.

We have just announced a price drop for the Nintendo 3DS system effective on August 11 [August 12 in North America].

In the past, there have been price drops for video game systems some time after their release in order to broaden the user base further. However, never before has Nintendo chosen to issue such a dramatic price drop less than 6 months after a system release.

We are all too keenly aware that those of you who supported us by purchasing the 3DS in the beginning may feel betrayed and criticize this decision.

This unprecedented timing for a price cut is because the situation has changed greatly since we originally launched the 3DS. We decided it was necessary to take this drastic step in order to ensure that large numbers of users will continue to enjoy the 3DS in the future.

If the software creators and those on the retail side are not confident that the Nintendo 3DS is a worthy successor to the DS and will achieve a similarly broad (user) base, it will be impossible for the 3DS to gain popularity, acquire a wide range of software, and eventually create the product cycle necessary for everyone to be satisfied with the system.

Those customers who purchased the 3DS at the very beginning are extremely important to us. We know that there is nothing we can do to completely make up for the feeling that you are being punished for buying the system early. Still, we would like to offer the following as a sign of our appreciation to you.

[3DS Ambassador program details]

We feel a strong responsibility to develop the 3DS as a platform — to ensure that, in the end, everyone is satisfied; we will make every effort to do so.

Additionally, we know everyone is waiting for Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7. They are scheduled for release in November and December, respectively, so we ask for your patience until then.

Thank you again, and we look forward to your continued support.

[Source: Giant Bomb]

[Image via Lazy Tech Guys.]

Nick Santangelo
Nick Santangelo
Nick Santangelo

MASH Veteran

Nick has been a gamer since the 8-bit days and a member of the MTB editorial team since January of 2011. He is not to be interrupted while questing his way through an RPG or desperately clinging to hope against all reason that his Philly sports teams will win any given game he may be watching. Seriously folks, reading this acknowledges that you relieve MTB of any and all legal liability for his actions.

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