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Why isn't the smaller New Nintendo 3DS coming to the US?

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Nintendo of America announced that it will bring the New Nintendo 3DS XL stateside next month, but not the smaller-sized New Nintendo 3DS that's already been released in Japan and Australia. That means no retro-Super Famicom styling and no interchangeable faceplates. So why isn't Nintendo of America bringing the non-XL size New 3DS over?

"Different territories make their own business decisions regarding individual products and timing," Nintendo of America said in a statement. "We think New Nintendo 3DS XL makes the most sense for our market. Nintendo makes different systems at different price points for a whole range of consumers, and New Nintendo 3DS XL simply expands those choices even further."

Nintendo of America is actively marketing the Nintendo 2DS and Nintendo 3DS XL, which sell for $129.99 and $199.99, respectively. The company plans to release the New 3DS XL at $199.99 in "new red" and "new black" in the U.S., as well as New 3DS XL models decorated with artwork from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D and Capcom's Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.

Nintendo said it had "nothing to announce at this time," regarding the future availability of the smaller-sized New Nintendo 3DS in the U.S.

In Japan, the New Nintendo 3DS XL has outsold its smaller, more stylish counterpart. At launch, Japanese gamers bought three New 3DS XLs for every one New 3DS, according to a report from Famitsu. Nintendo of Japan has sold more than twice as many New 3DS XLs as it has the smaller version since then.

With Nintendo's amiibo toys taking up more precious shelf space than ever and evidence of slower sales of the smaller New Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo may just be playing it safe for now.

The New Nintendo 3DS XL launches in the U.S. on Feb. 13.

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