Giantbomb has provided the English reading internet with a translation of one of the oddest open letters a large company, let alone a game developer has ever released. Nintendo CEO himself, Satoru Iwata has responded to the fan backlash over the 3DS’s recently announced price-slash with a letter of apology to fans.
This is doubly strange. Not only is apologising for dropping the price of a product a very strange thing to apologise for, especially from a business as large as Nintendo, but Nintendo have already put in place a measure for appeasing fans who bought a 3DS before the price drop. The ‘Nintendo Ambassador’ program is rewarding early adopters with twenty free games for the 3DS, ten of which are NES ports and the rest GBA ports, many of which are not announced for release other than to current 3DS owners. One would think this would make up the higher price for early adopters, but it appears that Nintendo feel that their fans deserve more.
While Nintendo of Europe have also published a note asking fans not to lose faith in the company, the fact that the translated letter reproduced below is direct from the CEO shows that even though they don’t really need to be, Nintendo is really sorry that you paid too much for the 3DS.
To Those Customers Who Bought A Nintendo 3DS Before The Price Change
Greetings, everyone. This is Satoru Iwata from Nintendo.
Thank you very much for purchasing a Nintendo 3DS.
We have just announced a price drop for the Nintendo 3DS system effective on August 11 [August 12 in North America].
In the past, there have been price drops for video game systems some time after their release in order to broaden the user base further. However, never before has Nintendo chosen to issue such a dramatic price drop less than 6 months after a system 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 criticize 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 the future.
If the software creators and those on the retail side are not confident that the Nintendo 3DS is a worthy successor to the DS and will achieve a similarly broad (user) base, it will be impossible for the 3DS to gain popularity, acquire a wide range of software, and eventually create the product cycle necessary for everyone to be satisfied with the system.
Those customers who purchased the 3DS at the very 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. Still, we would like to offer the following as a sign of our appreciation to you.
[3DS Ambassador program details]
We feel a strong responsibility to develop the 3DS as a platform — to ensure that, in the end, everyone is satisfied; we will make every effort to do so.
Thank you again, and we look forward to your continued support.