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.”