Nintendo president issues apology letter to 3DS Ambassadors

Hardware price drops happen - it’s a natural part of the video game industry. But $80 price drops within six-months of a hardware launch? That’s another story entirely. Nintendo’s massive slash of the Nintendo 3DS’s price is unparalleled to say the least, and since making the announcement the company has gone into full-blown damage control mode.

First, Nintendo detailed the Ambassador program, which rewards early-adopters with 10 Game Boy Advance and 10 NES titles, including some of the most popular games on both systems. Now, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has released an apology letter to those who purchased the handheld before the price drop. While it hasn’t been officially translated (the original version was posted on the Japanese website, and a similar note has been posted on Nintendo’s European site) the folks over at Giant Bomb have released its own translation.

The letter, comes across as astonishingly sincere, especially considering it was written by a corporate executive. Iwata seems genuinely sorry for anyone that “may feel betrayed” by their decision, despite assuring customers that it was the right choice.

Iwata makes no excuses for the system’s lackluster sales, and blames no one for pressuring the company into cutting the price. Instead, he explains that a price cut was necessary “to ensure that large numbers of users will continue to enjoy the 3DS in the future,” and that the move was necessary to help build confidence for both retailers and software makers. This makes sense, considering the general lack of confidence expressed by publishers like SEGA*, who recently delayed both Crush3D and Shinobi, with the developers of Crush3D confirming that they “had to delay the release of [Crush3D] because of the success of the platform.”

“Those customers who purchased the 3DS at the very beginning are extremely important to us,” writes Iwata. “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. Still, we would like to offer the following as a sign of our appreciation to you,” continued Iwata before reviewing the treats in store for early adopters via the recently announced Ambassador program.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated if an official translation is released.

*We contacted Sega for a comment and are currently waiting for a response.

Source: Giant Bomb

Aug 3, 2011


  • Larinah - August 5, 2011 3:07 a.m.

    I don't feel betrayed. I love Nintendo more than any other company, and they've always been great to me.
  • UsernameLoser - August 4, 2011 10:29 p.m.

    I'd be happier if they apologized for for being shit at everything, even recycling gameplay from past games. I will never forgive them though.
  • Bantha_Fodder - August 4, 2011 7:48 p.m.

    Nintendo, Valve, and Media Molecule seem to be the only "friendly" video game companies. good on them to think of the customer. however, I do recall Myamoto mentioning they were working on a 3DS with 3D video recording capabiliteis... so even this AMAZING price drop might not convince me to buy one right now...
  • wrayday - August 4, 2011 5:42 p.m.

    What I took away from this article is this. SEGA needs to STFU. They are not releasing their game because the 3DS isn't very successful. Man when was the last time anything SEGA released was successful? They haven't been retentive since the early 90's. Nintendo may of dropped the ball with the port everything strategy over the years but SEGA has no room to talk.
  • mothbanquet - August 4, 2011 4:23 p.m.

    @BigKingBud - From what I could discern from your list, you state '--sony and microsoft makes whatevers selling'. Isn't that what businesses are supposed to do? MS and Sony have simply spent the past few years releasing an epic catalogue of games that people WANT to play. It seems to me that you, along with a few other here, are quick keen to put down people who actually have some expectations of Nintendo as a company. In fact, shouldn't the very fact they have all the worldly experience and resources you claim them to have actually mean they SHOULD have killer launch titles lined up to ensure their platforms success? Some of the attitudes on display here simply border on fanatacism. Gamers want good games to play here and now, escpecially on a system they've invested a lot of money in. Not everyone wants to simply wait on the chance that something good MIGHT come along in the future, and why should they, or any consumer for that fact? Getting on-topic, however, my ages-old affection for Nintendo (having owned every major system of theirs since the NES) won't push me into spending hard-earned cash on the 3DS until I see a genuine increase in quality releases.
  • Random88 - August 4, 2011 4:03 p.m.

    Anyone know what price the 3DS will drop to in the UK. I was in Gamestation today and the people behind the counter didn't have a clue what I was talking about when I told them about the 3DS price drop or ambassador program
  • EnragedTortoise1 - August 4, 2011 3:50 p.m.

    *still doesn't forgive them for Operation Rainfall*
  • ParagonT - August 4, 2011 3:48 p.m.

    I'm not sure which I believe, that Nintendo is a great nice company that loves their customers so much and is apologizing on behalf of their choice.... or a company that over priced the system to begin with, and is covering their ass because their professional analysts screwed up product projections and they screwed up spending all that development time on a "revolutionary" new product that didn't hit its sales mark. Hmmm... If they really cared as much as some believe, they wouldn't be in this mess to begin with. Re-hashing the same system with slight modifications is hardly a good business practice for their oh so precious customers. Alas.... I didn't buy it, so this is perfect for me! Actually, I'll never buy it because their re-hashing of the same IP's is not something I look forward to.
  • MetaMoss - August 4, 2011 3:16 p.m.

    Response to those complaining about 'Nintendo never makes any new IPs': Goddamn yes they do. You would think that with so many people complaining about this, they would get higher sales. We got Steel Diver, Sin and Punishment (not necessarily new, but hardly anybody knew it existed until Star Successor came out), those RPGs that really need to come out in North America, and The Rolling Western that's gonna come out on the eshop. So if you people think Nintendo should keep pumping out new IPs, then go buy the ones they're making.
  • JimmyNic - August 4, 2011 1:20 p.m.

    As great as 20 free games sound, chances are a fair chunk of those who already have 3DSs are big Ninty fans and they have quite a few of the free titles that are being given away. Still, it is a nice gesture.
  • statutoryreparez - August 4, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    Nintendo made the SNES, therefore i will always stand beside them
  • ultraextreme - August 4, 2011 12:26 p.m.

    I think apologizing is a nice but ultimately pointless gesture. Price drops happen if you want a piece of tech at launch you pay the premium. Highlighting the pricing miscalculation with unnecessary apologies only damages the product and company image making the product seem inadequate and overpriced and the business management inept. Nintendo shareholders must be getting some squeaky bums about now.
  • TheComedian823 - August 4, 2011 10:54 a.m.

    this type of thing makes me sad. Granted, i managed to trade in my dsi for a price reduction, but when nintendo starts doing all this to make up for lowering the price it makes me feel like a douche. Sadface :c
  • reuben0110 - August 4, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    The problem is that gamers aren't patient, they want everything now, which is pretty childish.
  • Strawhat - August 4, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    I agree with with BigKingBud and wesser22 about how we should respect and give patience to Nintendo. Remember 2004. And how people said the ds sucks and the psp will reign supreme? We all know how that turned out. Just give Nintendo some time.
  • wesser22 - August 4, 2011 10:14 a.m.

    Hyphen overload aside, BigKingBud has a point. Ninty have made a mint over the last 5 years with the Wii but I would imagine their balance sheets pale in comparison to the other 'big 2' (thats a completely uninformed guess btw). I'd imagine they dont have the resources to take as many 'risks' on new IP's as Sonysoft. Sayin that I think they could be tryin a teensie bit harder! I love you to bits Nintendo but u dont make it frickin easy sometimes! As for the apology/wage cut/free games....fair play. If we can moan like fook about heads of banks and MP's siphonin money left,right and centre, we can surley give credit where its due also.
  • rockbottom - August 4, 2011 9:08 a.m.

    Nintendo care about sales as much as sony and microsoft do. All the price cuts and apologies are simply because they are shitting themselves that the 3DS hasn't amassed a big enough consumer base to fight off the impemding arrival of Vita or the growth of the i-pad. They can see these two machines doing to their 3DS what the PS1, PS2 and x-box did to their N64 and Gamecube. I won't even mention their Bids and Kids pleaser the Wii. If that's what they are passionate about, grandad's brain training, Mum's keep fit regime and little sister's dogz, catz, babiez etc, then they deserve to be in trouble. What about games for gamers? We've had more articles about their Head's apologies than we have had about their upcoming releases. The 3DS is a great machine and the Wii-U is definately interesting but neither will be market leader if they don't get their finger out and fill the things with games that people want to buy. Push the 3rd party angle. Gamers loved GTA IV, DragonAge, Oblivion, NFS hot pursuit, LA Noire, Fallout, Dead Space etc etc. None of which could be experienced through Nintendo hardware. Why not? They have their own exclusives, Mario, Zelda etc sure, but they need to be able to offer the other stuff if they want to stop Sony and Microsoft taking all their customers. Making the hardware powerful enough is only the first step. Now let other developers fill it with the AAA franchises that people want to buy.
  • leejohnson222 - August 4, 2011 8:22 a.m.

    i feel that Nintendo are lazy since they only rely on 20 year old franchises, i like the fact they innovate and take risks with hardware but never wit software, they never bring new IPs out like sony, MS, brining out 3 versions of the same ds with slightly different features and different colours is very clever as people eat it up. I think the 3ds was a mistake it does work well but its clearly not been the massive hit they wanted, its dropping over £100 in the UK. I think brining out zelda and other ports from old games is a huge cop out, i know Nintendo are pioneers but they seem to only cater for casuals. 90% of wii and ds is shovelware, plus they never tackled piracy as they were too busy counting the millions from ds/wii sales. I just think nintendo are blinded by their own hits from years gone by and are stuck in a time warp software wise.
  • Z-man427 - August 4, 2011 4:25 a.m.

    As an early adopter, I've never felt betrayed or wronged by them in any way. I think it's cool that they're taking such steps to make/keep us happy though.
  • Jdub9064 - August 4, 2011 4:13 a.m.

    i got my dead or alive dimensions so I'm content right now. A buttload of free games is always a plus in my book, all those games are really good!

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