Report: Nintendo's Abrupt 3DS Announcement Due to Leaks to Japanese Press

By Brian Leahy, Mar 31, 2010 7:30pm PDT Announced in the middle of the night with a simple press release, the Nintendo 3DS was revealed five days before the DSi XL went on sale in North America. CNBC reports (via Gamasutra) this could have been done to avoid a press leak of the 3DS.

The 3DS represents the next-generation of Nintendo's handheld line, incorporating 3D technology and a host of other rumored features set to be revealed at 2010's Electronics Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. The DSi XL is a revision of the DSi that sports a larger screen and bigger battery life.

The timing could hurt DSi XL sales in the US. "This is just the corporate parent in Japan maybe not acting in the best interest of Nintendo of America," said analyst Billy Pigeon, senior analyst with M2 Research, in an interview with CNBC. "The XL is old news, however, in Japan - and Nintendo is a very Japan-centric organization."

So why the sudden announcement? Pigeon speculates, in the same interview, that "the Japanese press was all over [the 3DS] and talked with suppliers there and Nintendo just wanted to get out ahead by breaking the news to prevent a leak."

Time will tell if sales of the DSi XL suffer due to this announcement. The 3DS is slated to be released sometime before March 2011 in Japan, putting it in Nintendo's 2010 fiscal year.

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