Several outlets are reporting that Nintendo‘s announcement last week about its plans to release the Nintendo 3DS in the near future may have come out a bit prematurely.
Apparently, the Japanese press had some inside information about the planned release, so Nintendo felt obligated to make the announcement as it did (overnight in a press release) so as to try and avoid allowing the press and rumor mills to break the story.
The Escapist reports that this is probably the case because, The reveal of new hardware by one of the Big Three is traditionally something done at major shows like E3. It would have even made more sense for Nintendo to take the veil off the 3DS at GDC several weeks prior, not in a quiet overnight press release. Furthermore, it came just days before the North American launch of the DSi XL, meaning that prospective buyers would be picking up a $190 piece of technology that Nintendo itself had already rendered obsolete.
CNBC takes it a bit further, indicating that
The announcement, in short, sent the message to U.S. buyers of the $190 Nintendo DSi XL that they are buying technology that will quickly be outdated.
At any rate, it’s rather obvious that Nintendo probably didn’t intend on announcing the 3DS so soon. That it was forced to do so to combat the Japanese rumor mill is unfortunate, but that’s the nature of the gaming industry. Secrets aren’t held secrets for very long unless companies have some incredible ability to keep a tight lid on things.
Nintendo wasn’t able to do that, and as a result they had to announce the 3DS way ahead of schedule.