The non-XL New 3DS is coming to North America, but you can only get it if you’re willing to spend a little bit extra.
Nintendo announced earlier today that it is finally bringing the smaller New 3DS to the United States and Canada, but that came with an important caveat: You have to buy the New 3DS Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer bundle for $220 to get the system. That’s $20 more than buying a New 3DS XL without a game.
Naturally, the announcement led to many people wondering if Nintendo has plans to release a version of the New 3DS without a game. We got in touch with the company’s public-relations firm and asked it point-blank if we should expect a less expensive New 3DS sans a pack-in.
Here is Nintendo’s response: “We have nothing to announce on this topic.”
So, that isn’t helpful, but at least it isn’t a “no.”
Obviously, Nintendo wants to use the pent-up demand for the smaller New 3DS in North America to help move copies of the new Animal Crossing. And that makes sense. Animal Crossing is a popular franchise, but it does even better once it catches on with social media and Tumblr blogs. It’s that kind of game, and packing it in with the freshest, hottest 3DS is one way to guarantee a significant number of people get their hands on the game.
Maybe once we get past the Animal Crossing launch Nintendo will launch the New 3DS on its own, but for now, let’s design some happy homes.