Nintendo Explains Lack of AC Adapter With New 3DS

By David Lovato 15.01.2015 22

Nintendo Explains Lack of AC Adapter With New 3DS on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion

It came as a shock to many gamers that the New Nintendo 3DS, set for a Western release in February, doesn't come with an AC adapter to charge the system.

IGN asked Nintendo for an explanation, and Nintendo delivered:


New Nintendo 3DS XL uses the same AC adapter as any Nintendo 3DS or Nintendo DSi system. Rather than raise cost of New Nintendo 3DS XL by charging consumers for a component they may already own, we are giving them the option to only buy if they need an AC adapter.

Indeed, the New 3DS is compatible with any DSi, DSi XL, 3DS, 3DS XL, or 2DS charger. Still, the move might pose problems for people who are buying the system for the first time, or those who have to trade in their charger along with their old system when they pick up a new one.

What are your thoughts? Good move? Bad move? Let us know in the comments.

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See, when you put it that way, it seems fair enough. If the majority of people buying n3DS already own some form of 3DS with the same AC adapter, it makes sense. The option is then there for those that do need the adapter to then buy it. So long as the price really is reduced based on not including the adapter, it seems fair to me.

If this was a completely new system with an adapter different to 3DS, however, THAT would be absurd.

Nintendo has a great defense for the decision, but I'm sure there will be plenty of buyers who don't follow the industry so closely who are going to be in for some disappointment when they (or their kid) get home and find they can't charge their new system without buying a new accessory.

Still, I think the vast majority of people are either upgrading from an old system, know what's up, or will be informed by staff at whatever store they're buying from.

It's a prickly situation for sure, but in the end it does make sense. Here in the US, GameStop has a trade-in program where you get a discount on the new system if you trade in the old one, charger included, so a lot of people trading up are going to have to buy a new adapter. But hey, what's an extra $10-$20 when you're about to save $75-$100 on the system itself?

I'm curious, will the system still come with the charging cradle, or is that also separate?

NNID: crackedthesky
My blog, mostly about writing: http://www.davidjlovato.com

The problem I have with this is that I have every intention of selling/trading in my old 3DS. Is GameStop going to dock me significantly because I'm missing an adapter? Am I going to have to buy another adapter so that my old 3DS is "complete" for selling purposes? It's just kind of a pain in the butt to me that they're not selling a complete system. 

Why don't they go ahead and not include the stylus too? I'm sure I have something pointy around my house that I can use so I can save a buck or two there. I'm sure they'll still insist on packaging a near useless 2-4GB Micro SD card in there too and use it to justify charging more for the "value". 

I know I'm ranting, I just find this kind of corner cutting irritating. It's another reminder of how skin-flint cheap Nintendo is as a company. 

edit: I'd also like to point out that this isn't a benevolent move on Nintendo's part. That certainly is the justification, and it plays well. But the reality is that the $200 price point was more than likely determined before even the hardware was finalized. The only decision being how much profit they wanted to make per unit. Thus, there goes the adapter and in its place a message about "not wanting to charge the consumer".

( Edited 15.01.2015 01:20 by Jacob4000 )

Jacob4000 said:
The problem I have with this is that I have every intention of selling/trading in my old 3DS. Is GameStop going to dock me significantly because I'm missing an adapter? Am I going to have to buy another adapter so that my old 3DS is "complete" for selling purposes? It's just kind of a pain in the butt to me that they're not selling a complete system. 

Why don't they go ahead and not include the stylus too, I'm sure I have something pointy around my house that I can use so I can save a buck or two there. I'm sure they'll still insist on packaging a near useless 2GB SD card in there too and use it to justify charging more for the value. 

I know I'm ranting, I just find this kind of corner cutting irritating. It's another reminder of how skin-flint cheap nintendo is as a company. 

The flyer at my GameStop said it had to include everything it came with, or else they'd take a little off the trade-in value. It didn't say how much.

A stylus is a lot cheaper than an AC adapter, both to produce and to sell. Cutting the stylus out of the system would save them a few cents, cutting the adapter probably shaved $10-$20 off the MSRP.

I agree, it doesn't sit well, but it does make some sense. It hurts those of us trading up and those who have never owned one, but the number of us likely pales in comparison to the people who don't want to pay the extra amount for the adapter they don't need.

I can't find whether it comes with an SD card this time around. It appears to have 2GB on-board flash storage though, compared to 1GB in the old models. I found a site that lists which system apps came pre-installed on the microSD in Japanese models, so it might come with one, but I'm having a hard time finding something definitive.

Edit: Found it on their site. Comes with a 4GB microSDHC.

( Edited 15.01.2015 03:10 by justonesp00lturn )

NNID: crackedthesky
My blog, mostly about writing: http://www.davidjlovato.com

A stylus is a lot cheaper than an AC adapter, both to produce and to sell. Cutting the stylus out of the system would save them a few cents, cutting the adapter probably shaved $10-$20 off the MSRP.

I am aware of the cost difference. Just bringing up the stylus thing express my displeasure with them not providing a complete system. Smilie

On the AC adapter front though, in bulk those absolutely don't cost Nintendo close to $10 to manufacture. Again, they had a profit per unit they wanted while deciding $200 was their magic price point for marketing purposes. They weren't going to take the hit to their own profits, and they weren't going to budge off the $200 number. Bonus for them is that there will be some nice profit built into selling me the adapter as well. Essentially, they get to charge me $220 while pretending their system only costs $200.

What might be most irritating about this for me is that I'm legitimately excited about this product. I can't wait for a better 3DS, because the 3DS is easily my favorite system right now. In fact it's really the only thing I play video games on right now. I just hate the fact that everything with Nintendo has a caveat. Everything.

( Edited 16.07.2015 22:44 by Jacob4000 )

I know they don't cost that much to manufacture, but there's always a markup, so I went for what they charge for them separately.

Speaking of which, not making a few million adapters nobody will use also means more profit in the long run because they can sell the adapters they do make separately, and both spend less and make more on adapters, because only the people who need them are buying them, thus they're spending less, making fewer, but making higher profit on them. It probably costs them a few dollars to make an adapter, but multiply that by the several million of these they're going to sell, and I'm sure it adds up quickly. Take into account how many of those adapters will then never be used, and you can probably see how this decision made sense for them.

I know it's frustrating, I'm a little irritated myself. I just see where they're coming from, and from a business standpoint, it makes a lot of sense. Heck, it makes sense for most consumers, too. Again, it only sucks for people who never bought a second adapter and are trading up, and for people who have never bought a 3DS before. There are probably a good 20-30 million people the decision doesn't affect at all.

I also get the caveat thing. I'm sick of the big bold BUT that comes after every Nintendo headline, hardware-wise. They're such a unique company, but sometimes the quirky things they do aren't as charming as others, and can be downright annoying.

Personally, I feel like a system should always come with the cords required to use it, but I'm not a multi-billion dollar video game company, so what the heck do I know, lol.

NNID: crackedthesky
My blog, mostly about writing: http://www.davidjlovato.com

you can probably see how this decision made sense for them

Oh absolutely. I definitely see the business side of it and won't dispute you there. In the end Nintendo wins, because I am going to buy that stupid adapter along with a New 3DS. 

It's just frustrating because Nintendo never feels like the decent company they used to be anymore. They're starting to feel like that crazy alcoholic relative who's always asking for more money. In this case: "just give me another 20 bucks! C'mon you've got a job, it's no big deal!"

( Edited 15.01.2015 01:58 by Jacob4000 )

I do definitely see your frustration, but I wouldn't say it's limited to just Nintendo.

Those damn Vita memory cards are disgusting, and I am not happy at paying for online play on PS4 now.

But they're all businesses, so I get it. I just hate it.

Jacob4000 said:

Oh absolutely. I definitely see the business side of it and won't dispute you there. In the end Nintendo wins, because I am going to buy that stupid adapter along with a New 3DS. 

It's just frustrating because Nintendo never feels like the decent company they used to be anymore. They're starting to feel like that crazy alcoholic relative who's always asking for more money. In this case: "just give me another 20 bucks! C'mon you've got a job, it's no big deal!"

Eh, I definitely feel this less from Nintendo than with most companies. We still get free online play (and I've never had Nintendo Network not work for me, none of that out-for-days nonsense I've seen with both Xbox Live and PSN). And they're starting to implement free-to-play and crossbuy (and encouraging people to give their free copies to someone else if they don't use it themselves, to boot). In any case, I'd rather pay $10 for an adapter than $60 for a PS4 controller because Sony used shoddy material on the analogue stick, or an entire new Xbox 360 because it red ringed. I definitely feel like I get screwed the least by Nintendo when it comes to gaming.

Definitely still feel screwed from time to time, but far less so.

NNID: crackedthesky
My blog, mostly about writing: http://www.davidjlovato.com

Should be usb by now.
Everything should be usb.

http://www.fanficmaker.com <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
Last update; Mice,Plumbers,Animatronics and Airbenders. We also have the socials; Facebook & G+

Switching to USB would be awesome, indeed.

This is a little embarrassing considering I wrote the dang article, but I just realized the 3DS uses the same charger as the DSi, and I have a DSi charger (a usb all-in-one I bought for my DS ages ago that came with interchangeable heads for GBA SP, DS, and DSi.

So I guess I'm in luck after all.

NNID: crackedthesky
My blog, mostly about writing: http://www.davidjlovato.com

Darkflame said:
Should be usb by now.
Everything should be usb.

Yeah, it's a little surprising that they haven't done this by now. This is one way they could very easily justify not including an adapter. If they just included a USB cord to plug into the generic USB charging blocks we all literally have a dozen of around the house, it would be much less of an issue than them insisting on a propriety setup.

In fact, I might just buy a 3DS USB charging cable. They're on amazon from third parties for $6. Much cheaper than what Nintendo will probably charge.

I had to educate a few EB games employees here in Australia. Im not sure if I should be embarrassed for knowing more them or if they should be ashamed to not know....either way when trading in I had a few questions which will arise I am sure for all of you.

1) Charger : in Australia they docked $5 off the trade in price of an Old 3DS. They sell brand new chargers for $18.99 so it makes more sense to keep your old one. 

2) Data Transfer - this time around it's not so easy to swap SD cards namely because this use microSD and it comes with a 4GB card. ebGames gave me a week to trade in my old unit after purchasing the new 3DS. At this time they credited the trade in value to my bank account. 


I think 4GB is more than sufficient for the 3DS, I have 3 3DS titles installed on my system (Mario Golf, Luigis Mansion 2 and Mario 3D world)  I have also got Pushmo, Liberation maiden, attack of the Tokyo monsters,  Steamworld dig, plus all the ambassador games, Steel diver, Kid Icarus and excite bike 3D editions. That's 37 games! Plus a few demos and apps like Pokedx and Pokemon bank and I still have over 2gb left from my 4gb card...not too bad for a freebie, and as Az eluded too at least nice microSD can be used in other devices unlike Sony's proprietary vita cards!

Well, in my case I bought the 3DS XL and it came with an AC adapter. I already had the DSi one, so my 3DS AC Adapter is still in the plastic, in the 3DS box it came in.

Now with the N3DS not coming with an AC adapter, I don't really mind. I will still have my 3DS one brand new and the DSi one I have had for over 4 years is the one I use today.

So, thank you for not making me pay for another AC adapter I won't use anyway.

Once again Nintendo does a choice that strongly benefits already safe customers that will buy the console anyway, but disadvantages potentially new customers.

I get the reason why, I really do. But Nintendo seem to live in Japan where everyone and their mothers (literally) own a 3DS. Outside of the glorious Mecca of gaming so are there several people who do no already own a 3DS. Those are the customers Nintendo should focus on getting to buy the machine, and choices like this does not improve the possibility that they will do so.

I personally would not cry over paying 10-20$ extra for the system to get an extra adapter, but if I were a new customer and bought the system via Amazon just to realize on release day that the system comes without a charger that would totally piss me off.

The difference between illusion and reality is vague to the one who suffers from the former and questionable for the one suffering form the later.

I would like to think that internet buyers a little more savvy than that but I agree with you. It's a little strange. 

My theory is that Nintendo want to cut their global carbon footprint as they are regulary listed at the top of the list for electronic manufacturers. I guess that's what happens when you make loads of plastic pieces of accessories for Wii motes. 

Another er theory is that Nintendo just want to push up their accessory rates so that it looks good on figures...


....or they just want to actually allow the consumer to save money...

I personally don't see the point of including it if it brings the system price down.

You can pick up a separate AC adaptor from Amazon UK for £6.95, which would probably work out cheaper than if Nintendo included it in the box of the New 3DS (I imagine they'd charge at least an extra £10, maybe even £15).

I think 4GB is more than sufficient for the 3DS

Aren't you a self-avowed physical media guy though? What about the rest of us who are using the eShop? My 16GB SD card is nearly out of space, and I don't really have what I'd consider to be a large collection. 

In other words, I'm just going to end up throwing away whatever micro SD card Nintendo includes. Which is fine. It's decent of them to even include a memory card at all. It's just ironic to me that they're including things I really don't care about, while leaving out components that are in fact crucial to the running of the system.

My theory is that Nintendo want to cut their global carbon footprint as they are regulary listed at the top of the list for electronic manufacturers.

Sure, that's another alibi they can use to spin this into a positive message. But it's almost certainly a dollars and cents decision.

....or they just want to actually allow the consumer to save money..

Again, the price was probably always going to be $200. This was undoubtedly decided before the hardware was even finished. They saved themselves money by not including it.

( Edited 15.01.2015 17:22 by Jacob4000 )

Have to agree with Jacob about point one. One would be surprised over how much space a full retail game might take away from the memory card. I am also an all physical guy whenever the option is given to me. But for anyone who buys full retail games via e-shop 4GB is nothing.

The difference between illusion and reality is vague to the one who suffers from the former and questionable for the one suffering form the later.

Aww thanks Jacob, at least someone listens to me Smilie

you are right, I am a devout physical media guy. I bought my 3DS XL off eBay which had the ambassador games and Mario 3D land on it already. I got Luigis mansion 2 for free with NoE's promotion a year or so ago and recently acquired Mario golf Smilie 

But you are right, looking at some games such as Pokemon and Smash some games are literally engulfing the memory card but I didn't think microSD's are too expensive anyway. I agree that Nintendo aren't the most flexible in this respect but are better than Sony and Apple when it comes to storage. 

The only thing I would say is don't give Nintendo your money if you feel like this. Buy physical so you don't have this issue. I know that in the UK physical tends to be cheaper than the eShop equivilant. I just bought Smash U for £34.99 on GAME's website but it have me the option of downloading it for £39.99? Seriously, why would I do that? 

Aww thanks Jacob, at least someone listens to me

Flynnie, when you talk, I listen! <3

The only thing I would say is don't give Nintendo your money if you feel like this. Buy physical so you don't have this issue.

I'm actually really not upset about the size of the memory card they include! I would not expect Nintendo to include a 32GB or whatever. And I'm very happy they're using a regular standard instead of propriety like Sony. My only issue here is them including something I don't need (tiny mSD card) while not including something that's even more important (the power cord). 

But I'll get over it! Still going to buy the system. 

Thanks! 

If it was a USB standard it would make sense but then when have Nintendo ever made sense! 

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