Analyst: 3DS announcement prior to DSi XL release ‘unfortunate’

With the North American release of the Nintendo DSi XL a mere days away, Nintendo of Japan’s announcement of the upcoming 3D handheld, the 3DS, was a bit curious. According to EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich, the timing couldn’t have been worse, but he’s not sure it’ll matter. 

“It is unfortunate for the Nintendo DSi XL,” he told me today, “new hardware announcements certainly impacts consumers’ willingness to purchase old hardware that may be “obsolete” in less than a year. But I am sure people plan on not buying the Nintendo DSi XL just as much now as they did yesterday.”

So why announce the handheld so soon? It could be a combination of a competitive marketplace as well as piracy. More after the jump.

“Gamers have been patiently waiting for an announcement on what will succeed the Nintendo DS,” Divnich says. “Three years ago I remember seeing people bust out their Nintendo DS at the airport, on trains, waiting in-line. Now recently, I’ve noticed more and more are turning to the iPhone to quench their entertainment thirst.”

“Also, the DS is plagued with piracy,” he adds, “something that Nintendo can barely control. Their only true power-move to stop piracy is to simply start all over again with new hardware.”

With that said, he also has little doubt that Nintendo will kill it at retail with the 3DS.

“I don’t think its success will come into question,” he says with some certainty. “Release a new Mario title, promise us a new Link game is on the way, and dazzle us with Donkey Kong in 3D, and gamers will line-up around the block to buy one.”

Did you have plans to purchase a DSi XL, and if so, has the announcement of the 3DS given you second thoughts?

Nick Chester