Nintendo on 3DS: 'Our biggest launch ever'

Pt. 1: UK boss David Yarnton on launch, price and pre-orders

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So we're pretty close. In the next week or so we'll be able to say 'these are the exact launch titles'. We're close but not quite ready to get exact titles.

Should we read into the fact that you're leaving the decision until the last minute, perhaps trying to slip another big hitter in there?

Yarnton: It's a combination of looking at third-party as well. We're launching with more titles than we probably ever have and it's a matter of trying to get that breadth but also being fair to everyone.

How many of those launch day 3DS purchasers do you expect to be hardcore gamers?

Yarnton: Without putting a number on it I think there will be a lot of early adopters of technology, not just gamers, because it's the most affordable 3D entertainment device you can get - and you don't have to wear glasses.


So I think there will be a lot of people who perhaps aren't into their gaming, but love their technology who will be looking to say 'I must have this piece of equipment because it does so many things beyond gaming'.

Honeywell: The other point is; what is your definition of a hardcore gamer? Now days those lines have really blurred. It's really weird - my mum plays more video games than I do. Is she a hardcore gamer?

Yarnton: She's a hardcore gamer!

Honeywell: To David's point, we know that there are certain people who like new technology and want to be first to have those things. There are people who like gadgets, people who like games... there'll be one of the 13 million people who already have a DS who'll want the next iteration too.

Yarnton: I think as well, for those people who wear the badge of honour saying 'I'm a hardcore gamer', I think they're just going to be blown away by 3DS because what we've got to offer noone else can; the game content, the experience, the ease of being able to play against someone else from all around the world... I just think it's giving them something that's going to make them go 'wow'.

We're seeing huge demand for the 3DS online already, so obviously there's some concerns regarding whether there are going to be enough to go around. Are you confident that your supplies going into that launch period are going to be adequate enough?

Yarnton:This will be our biggest launch ever as far as hardware goes. We're really recommending to our retailers to make sure they look at pre-orders - proper pre-orders with a deposit - because if we suddenly get to launch and we don't know what the demand is, we'll ship all the stock out and find out it's not enough. But if we get pre-orders it helps us with our forecasting and allows us to be able to make sure we can satisfy day one demand for people who've put some money down, and on top of that we get a better indication for production to make sure we've got stock coming through.

A lot of companies talk about pre-orders as a hype thing to try and get big day one numbers, but for us - because with hardware you can't just turn the tap on, there's a longer lead time - we need to get early indication of what the demand is.

Honeywell: I think for any of your readers it's important for them to get an early pre-order, is what I would suggest. Go to your favourite retailer and put your name down because giving us that indication early on will help us to make sure there is enough, if that makes sense. If everyone rushes out at the last moment it's very difficult for us.

Yarnton: And we'll make sure stock goes in the right places too.

Honeywell: Yeah, and check out all retailers because all of them will be giving offerings. If maybe you can't find one at your local retailer, try one of the other guys out there and I'm sure you'll be able to find one. I think we're pretty confident that people who want one will be able to get one.

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