Iwata writes to “betrayed” 3DS owners
Satoru Iwata has written to early Japanese adopters of the 3DS, acknowledging they "may feel betrayed" and admitting there is "nothing [Nintendo] can do to completely make up for the feeling that you are being punished for buying the system early."
The Nintendo president published a contrite and honest letter on the company website, which Giant Bomb has since translated. While stopping short of apologising for the global price drop, which will see the cost of the 3DS reduced by as much as 40 per cent, Iwata's heartfelt letter expresses gratitude for the support shown by early adopters, and acknowledges that the price cut is a "drastic step".
"In the past, there have been price drops for videogame systems some time after their release in order to broaden the userbase further," he writes. "However, never before has Nintendo chosen to issue such a dramatic price drop less than six months after a system's release.
"We are all too keenly aware that those of you who supported us by purchasing the 3DS in the beginning may feel betrayed and criticise this decision.
"This unprecedented timing for a price cut is because the situation has changed greatly since we originally launched the 3DS. We decided it was necessary to take this drastic step in order to ensure that large numbers of users will continue to enjoy the 3DS in future."
Iwata goes on to explain that the price cut is not just aimed at improving Nintendo's balance sheet and share price, but appeasing nervy thirdparties. He continues: "If the software creators and those on the retail side are not confident that the 3DS is a worthy successor to the DS and will achieve a similarly broad [userbase], it will be impossible for it to gain popularity, [and] acquire a wide range of software.
"Those customers who purchased the 3DS at the beginning are extremely important to us. We know that there is nothing we can do to completely make up for the feeling that you are being punished for buying the system early."
He goes on to outline the Ambassador programme, which will compensate early adopters with eShop downloads of twenty NES and Game Boy Advance games, and adds: "We feel a strong responsibility to develop the 3DS as a platform – to ensure that, in the end, everyone is satisfied – and we will make every effort to do so."
Nintendo announced the 3DS price cut last week following miserable quarterly financial results. Revenue fell over 50 per cent, and the firm was hit with a loss of ¥25.5 billion (£202.8 million). In Japan, the system will be reduced by 40 per cent, to ¥15,000; in the US by a third, to $169.99; and in Europe, where there is no fixed 3DS retail price, the trade price charged to retailers will be cut by a third.
Following the announcement, Nintendo's share price fell by 12 per cent, costing former president Hiroshi Yamauchi, who retains a ten per share in the company, some £190 million. Iwata has since confirmed he has taken a 50 per pay cut to mitigate for the price drop, which will see 3DS hardware sold at a loss.
Source: Giant Bomb