3DS colours limited by western retail approach

Wednesday, 19th June 2013 02:30 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime has blamed North American retail practices for the relative lack of variety in 3DS and 3DS XL colours.

“It really comes down to the nuts and bolts of how we manage our SKUs at retail, and how we do it in a way that’s effective for us and effective for our business partners,” Fils-Aime told IGN.

“You’ve visited retail in Japan. One of the key differences in Japan is that the hardware is that it’s behind the counter. It’s not out and about. So in that type of construct, you can have a lot of inventory behind the counter. It’s a lot easier to support multiple colors.

“In our [North American] market, it’s all out there on the shelf. When you visit our retail, if I had to try to have 25 different SKUs out there, Wal-Mart would kill me. So what that means is that we have to be more selective and more knowledgeable in how we handle different SKUs.”

There are currently only three colours of 3DS available in the US and Canada and three of 3DS XL, but many more in Europe, Australiasia and Japan. Fils-Aime said Nintendo of America is introducing more variety to its range by backing limited editions.

“We are taking a page out of the Japanese playbook with these very limited-edition unique hardware options,” he said.

“We started with Fire Emblem. We did Pikachu. Now, obviously, Animal Crossing. What we’re seeing is that if we do this right, we can have a more limited quantity, have it sell through in a fairly short period of time, and use that as a way to satisfy the consumer’s desires to have a range of different SKUs and some special hardware.”



  1. hitnrun

    Anyone who works in, well, anything related to major retailers can vouch for him there.

    Those merchants consider every cubic inch of their stores to be real estate and consistency is king (and since The Store is duplicated thousands of times, they’re pretty much right). They want all the SKU data to be uniform and meticulously detailed for the product, the product packaging in eaches, packs if applc., cases, pallets, on shelf. That’s the dimensions, the UPCs, colors, materials, contents, product packaging information, etc etc etc for each class of inventory. Basically, it means a hundred fields of data to be researched for each permutation of a product (usually by me).

    To have more than 2 or 3 colors would mean that each color would be need to be pulling its own weight to justify its existence. That never happens with high-end gadgets. They can, however, have limited edition “special buys” that run through their quantity and that the retailers would be glad to support.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Buran

    Really only care about limited edition 3DSXL w/ MH4

    #2 2 years ago
  3. NocturnalB

    @1 I totally agree with you and do understand as I and I’m sure plenty of folks here have worked retail once or twice in their life. I especially understand what he means in regards to Walmart because I’ve actually worked at one.

    They keep literally next to nothing in stock. Just about anything you purchase at Walmart, if it’s on the shelf, that’s what they have, and once again I do mean literally.

    Example: If You head to your local Walmart’s electronics department, and they only have say 1 type and/or color of a console or handheld in the display left, 99 times out of 100, that 1 piece of hardware is literally all they’ve got until another shipment. Nothing in the storeroom.

    Now granted, most Walmarts do receive weekly and sometimes daily supply shipments, it’s almost always going straight to the shelves. What’s worse, my old boss there used to wouldn’t order more of an item until it was out of stock.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. KFrosty3

    @#1 I fully agree with your last bullet about special editions. Have one or two of them share the same SKU and have the same set of SKUs apply to the next limited edition.

    With how many 3ds’ they have in Japan, there’s no way they couldn’t just have released any of those over here for the same amount of time.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. silkvg247

    I don’t see how this stops anyone having online only deals and a full range of colours / styles.

    #5 1 year ago

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