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Divnich: Nintendo learned "expensive lessons" with 3DS

With Nintendo poised to release 3DS XL in Europe this weekend, VG247 was curious as to what compelled the firm to release a console revision just over a year after release. According to EEDAR VP Jesse Divnich, it's because the firm learned some "expensive lessons" the first time out.

Speaking with VG247′s Dave Cook, Divnich said Nintendo quickly learned you can't release a $250 consoles in a "shifting" handheld market where tablets and mobile are the dominant form factors.

"The handheld console market is shifting and there is no doubt that competition from mobile and tablet games are stealing playtime and consumer wallet share," he said. "It's a tough environment and I have no doubt that expensive lessons were learned.

"Nintendo has always turned to changing form factors, both physically and aesthetically, as a strategy to increase both visibility and purchase intent. Nintendo has sold over 150 million Nintendo DS and I doubt that was to 150 million unique consumers.

"Our data shows that well over 20% of Nintendo DS purchases were to multiple users either replacing or upgrading their DS. It's an excellent strategy and one that can realize incremental revenue from their loyal install base."

Nintendo reported yesterday 3DS had sold 19 million units to date, with 52.81 million games sold since the handheld released in March 2011. The following August, Ninetndo dropped the price of the handheld from $250 to $170.

3DS XL releases in Europe on Saturday, in Japan on Sunday and in the US on August 19. It will run consumers £159.99/€179.99/$189.99, depending on the retailer.

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