White Nintendo Handhelds Don’t Sell In North America Says Fils-Aime

By Ishaan . September 18, 2012 . 12:17pm

In North America, the Nintendo 3DS XL is available in two colour configurations—Blue/Black and Red/Black. Japan, however, saw a completely white colour configuration as well, which hasn’t made it over to the U.S.


Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aime, says this is because white Nintendo handhelds don’t sell very well in North America.


“We have launched silver and white-colored GBAs, DSes, DSis, and in our [North American] market they don’t sell very well,” Fils-Aime shared with IGN. However, he says, this doesn’t mean that the white 3DS XL model will never make it over.


“So instead of approaching this lighter-colored product as a mass [product], we’re going to look at the opportunity on a much more limited basis,” Fils-Aime reveals. “You might see a limited-time offer with a white or silver 3DS XL, or we might colorize it slightly differently.”


Fils-Aime goes on to say that, of all colours, white and silver Nintendo handheld devices sell the least, with colours like blue, red and even pink outperforming them.

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  • Shaun Huseman

    Nooo, the white ones are the best

  • Manny Being Manny

    Not really surprising. A white handheld looks more like a toy instead of a fancy gadget, so I wouldn’t buy a white one. Plus, for me personally, the screen doesn’t have as much impact on a white background as it does with a dark background. It pops out more that way… its the reason TVs and PC monitors always use black borders instead of a lighter color.

    • A white handheld looks more like a toy instead of a fancy gadget…
      OR like apple products. Maybe that image goes hand in hand…?

    • Aoshi00

      Yeah, one reason I hesitate in buying white devices is I’m worried the white borders would be a bit distracting when watching movies because you are constantly aware of the frames..

      Not sure about white, but the grey Super Famicom or SNES could go yellow by oxidizing.. I think the white PC Engine did that too.. it just turns yellowish after a while depending on how you store it..

      Frankly I wasn’t too crazy about the 2 launch colors Red or Blue though.. so I just picked Red.. I’m sure there’d be nicer colors down the road. I actually wanted to wait until a limited edition comes out, but not patient enough and got the Red one when Kmart has $40 coupon deal :)

  • no doubt… white hardwares are outdated. Nintendo is slow to notice that.

  • I thought they had a only Black one? in Electronics the black color is going to always look edgy.

  • I’m calling it, Christmas bundle will be Black 2 or White 2, with a special Pokeball 3DS XL. All they have to do is switch the back panel that covers the battery to White, and you got it.

  • Barrylocke89

    It’s only one example, but my time that was spent working at Best Buy goes along with Reggie’s statements about which handhelds sell better. Barring special colors that go with sales (like that Zelda 3ds for instance), the boys tended to go more for the red, blue, or black colors, and the girls tended to go more for the pink and red. Of course, this got more varied as the player that the device was being purchased for got older.

    As for me, (again, not counting special editions), I like dark colors. My DS lite was Cobalt Blue, and out of the choices so far, I’ll either get a Purple 3ds, or a Blue 3dsXL.

  • I’m kind of surprised. I always though white makes things look more sleek and modern. But I suppose it may be because white gets dirty faster, or it looks gross when there’s dirt on it. I have to clean my white DS pretty often.

    Ah, well… Interesting stats though. I’ve always though that the least popular colour would be red, because it’s too aggressive of a colour.

    • andref

       Also finger prints show up more on white than some of the darker colors they offer which is what my purchases are based on

      • Aoshi00

        Wait, isn’t it the other way around?  Fingerprints show up the most on glossy black like the Phat PS3 or PSP?  I bought a white PSP-2000 later and I didn’t notice any fingerprints anymore, unlike my first black one which was really distracting, or the Zelda 3DS..  If it’s matte finish like the 3DS XL then it doesn’t matter, it just won’t show at all.

        I just don’t want a grey or white console turning yellowish after several years.. my Super Famicom did that.. I think PC Engine turned yellow too, not sure about the materials now..

        I like the black borders for watching movies though, so it’s nice the inside of the 3DS XL is black whether it’s a red or blue system.

        Actually I do have a Gyakuten Kenji LE DSi w/ the Blue Badger in the middle of it :) I always made sure to wash my hands before touching it worried it would get dirty.. but later on just used the Red Mario XL..

  • DHInc

    I’ve never been a big fan of the white consoles because in my case they become the off-yellow consoles real quick.

    • Are you a heavy smoker? That’s one of the reasons you see used consoles/games with “smoke free home” advertised sometimes.

  • MrRobbyM

    I normally don’t like white besides my white DS lite. It’s plastic exterior and little dual screen logo looked really nice. Silver is okay, really prefer a nice bright yellow or midnight purple or whatever.

  • Paradox me

    The white DSi looked slick, but that’s about it. 3DS XL looks much better in black.

    Solid colors in general look better than the two-tone thing they’ve been doing since  DS Lite. Red/black, blue/black, etc. Yuck.

    • Barrylocke89

      I don’t mind Blue and Black too much personally, and I could kinda see Green and Black working, but other than that, I agree with you.

  • Silver don’t sell well? I call bs, the silver SP, Advance and GC were all very popular iirc

  • drproton

     I can understand why.  My Wiimotes collect hand-scum like nothing else. 

  • I wonder what Chris Rock has to say about this

  • Shane Guidaboni

    I went thru 2 white DS Lites. I loved them.

  • kupomogli

    I actually prefer my Nintendo consoles white.  I can’t think of the word for it right now, but I think of white consoles when I think of the Nintendo brand.  I’m not really strict with the color preference with Sony, as out of the five PSPs I’ve had, only three of them were/are black, but overall, I think of black consoles for Sony(it’s always been the main color since the PS2 and it kind of stuck.)

  • Vidyafan12

    Funny, because the exact reason I haven’t upgraded to a 3DS XL yet is because the silver and white options aren’t available here. Quality logic there Reggie.

  • Just Tim

    Amusingly, the article title reminds me of the joke why Pokemon Black sold more than White. xD

    With that on record, I have to say that white handhelds do get dirty fast.

  • aoihana

    Personally, I prefer lighter-colored products over the darker-colored products. I feel that they’re more sophisticated or sleek. Specifically, white products, so it’s a bit unfortunate that they don’t sell as well in North America. I was wondering why they didn’t bring that over.  

    When I first bought my 3DS, I decided between the Flare Red and Aqua Blue model. Cosmic Black wasn’t even a factor, honestly. Had I waited a bit longer, I would’ve gone with Misty Pink or Ice White.  

    I’ve been thinking of buying a 3DS XL for localized games, but I’ve been holding out because of the available colors. I don’t particularly dislike the current available colors, but I don’t like the fact that they’re two-toned. I think they look a little tacky? I wouldn’t mind a solid blue or red 3DS XL. Well, Reggie did say that a white 3DS XL wasn’t out of the question, but I guess that means it’ll come later rather than sooner. 

    I hope that like in Japan, a Pink 3DS XL is bundled with Style Savvy when it launches next month in North America. Otherwise, I’ll hold off until a color more to my liking becomes available! (◕‿◕✿)

    • I like lighter coloured stuff as well, for the same reason! :I Man, I hope this doesn’t mean they’ll stop producing white handhelds…

      • aoihana

        Yeah! I don’t think they’ll stop producing white handhelds, though. It just seems that they’ll be much more limited. Similar to how Assassin’s Creed: Liberation is being bundled with a Special Edition Crystal White Vita

        So, I don’t think we’ve much to worry about, really. At least, according to Reggie, anyway.

    •  I have a ice white 3DS with a RelaxKuma (did i butcher that?) skin that is the best grip ever.  White 3DS’s look great. 

  • Muddied_Waters

    I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a white device myself.  I prefer colorful ones (or Zelda limited editions), so my DS is blue, the lite and 3DS are the Zelda LEs, and I have two black PSPs…though I would’ve preferred something more colorful for those.  I really liked the lilac-colored ones they had, but I just couldn’t bring myself to buy a Hanna Montana PSP bundle.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    I got me Silver x Black

    Looks good

  • AyaisMUsikWhore

    They got that right. I just hate the way their white looks, but i like the silver. My favorite by far is the Red 3DS. I bought that without one single doubt in my mind. That was the sexiest thing i have every saw in my life. I would buy the 3dsxl if it came in that same red casing but unfortunately it doesn’t. However, i never found white appealing. Especially when it gets dirty, it’s almost disgusting looking. Id rather anything else. The White psp looked good but not better than the black or GOW edition. Hopefully the white Vita looks good, but i’d lose my mind if they came out with a red version. 

    • It’s funny you say the red 3DS was the sexiest thing you’d ever seen… because the purple 3DS was the sexiest thing I’VE ever seen! :D

    • riariases

      yeah, you might start finding non-inanimate objects attractive once your reluctantly celibate self loses your v*rginity.

  • 20 years ago, PC mouses and keyboards are white. they turned yellow few years later. that’s why all the hardwares become black instead. Nintendo is way too slow.

  • Awww… I had my white DS Lite for 6 years, so this kind of makes me sad, lol. Now I realize I was a minority. :P

    My white DS Lite always did get grime in the crack between the case and shell, though… it was kind of gross-looking.

    • miju


      That grime was such a problem after letting a younger sibling have it for a few days. I had to get the stuff they sell earrings in to scrape it out and even so I couldn’t get all of it. I wanted to take it apart so badly just to clean it. It was never a problem for the cobalt/black one I got later when the white one’s top screen stopped working.

    • Barrylocke89

      The same thing happened to my sister’s pink DS Lite actually…blech. I’m sure my Cobalt Blue was no better, but the way the casing was set up, you could barely see anything in there.

  • For the most part I like lighter systems.

  • Locklear93

    That’s funny.  I had a DS, and a DS lite.  They were silver and white, respectively. <_<

  • Hraesvelgr

    As someone who bought a silver GBA, that makes me sad…

    • Shiki

      I actually still look at mine and tell myself how beautiful is the sliver GBAs were! Haha

  • neo_firenze

    With the huge recent popularity of white iPhones and iPads I’m surprised that they’re not considering that white is currently maybe a more popular color for portable consumer electronics than it has been in the past.  And really, Nintendo didn’t do so badly with the Apple-esque white Wii design. 

    That being said, I do enjoy the chance to have a uniquely colored console/portable. Love my green PSP (Japanese carnival colors series), still have my trusty Watermelon Red N64 Funtastic series, and the Spice Orange Gamecube was pretty much the most awesome thing ever (which NOA failed to bring to the US, even though they did release the controllers). 

    At least the 3DS XL has a classier look with its two-tone than the original 3DS’s kinda nasty glossy finish and odd upper screen clash between case color and the black background.  Honestly one of the biggest reasons I upgraded (along with proper resolution on original DS games), the matte red XL looks nice to me.

  • Learii

    lol i guess no one like white

  • Barzh

    Hey, as long as they don’t sell transparent models ever again I’m good.

    • LunarKnite

      What? Transparent models were the coolest! I remember my old school brick GameBoy and I was always flaunting it since all the other kids only had the plain grey-ish ones. Even the glacier purple model for the GBA was pretty sick.

      • Barrylocke89

        Yeah, I had the transparent purple GBC, and it was pretty badass. I’d seriously consider a transparent 3ds if they released one.

  • $36598391

     Fil-Aime doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about, one of the original DS Lite colors that NA got was white

    • Barrylocke89

      ““We have launched silver and white-colored GBAs, DSes, DSis, and in our [North American] market they don’t sell very well,” says Nintendo of America’s Reggie Fils-Aime.”
      He never said that North America didn’t get the White DS Lite, just that it doesn’t tend to sell well. And note that there’s (so far) yet to be a White 3DS/XL/DSiXL, which reflects this.

  • Pichi

    I thought white and silver did okay, like the DS Lite and DS, respectively. I do like the idea of at least having the colors in a limited edition rather than not releasing at all. Am waiting to see if they make purple or black 3DSXL. Will change tune to a special edition if it looks alright.

  • Leon_Tekashi

    And the waiting game still continues. It’s not over yet.

  • Koulamatata

    Give me a green one already.

  • idrawrobots

    With this kind of logic they should only release black systems like what Ford did with the model T.

    All Nintendo of America does is release tints and shades of red and blue on their handhelds and I’m so done with those colors.

  • piichan

    Scratches and dirt are more visible in lighter colors, not to mention the yellowing effect (or whatever you call it). I prefer darker colors since I get all OC whenever i see the tiniest scratch in my handhelds which isn’t as visible. 

    But all’s good since they’re still going to release light colors in limited quantities which makes them special. And special editions always sell.

  • Maia Kasoya

    Well, I have a white DS Lite and silver Game Boy Advance…

    • Arc†icNinja21

       Exact opposite of me. I have a white GBA and a silver DS Lite.

  • sfried

    I want an all silver, iPad-esq 3DSXL.

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    Hmm considering, none of my Nintendo handheld is white color here….. i can said in a way he is not wrong here.

    I mean, white can be easily dirty and scratches is more visible which is probably the main reason why people avoid that color.

    Hell, in my whole family circle, which owned at least 8 DS, none of us owned white lol.

  • pekoe212

    I love white handhelds. Love my white DS. It looks sleek and classy. I was very disappointed the XL only came in blue and red. Guess I’m in the minority here. :(

  • What is with people saying light colors make scratches and dust more apparent?  It’s actually the opposite. 

    I would prefer Nintendo do solid colors.  I would love a white XL, or a burgundy or bronze like the dsi xls.  

  • HassanJamal

    Must….resist….the urge….to make…..a ……racist joke…….hunnggghhh!

  • aaa

    I don’t intend to buy one till I can get it in pink or white.

  • SteveEdwards

    i had a white gba
    and one winter i had it in my pocket with a blue pen
    and somehow the blue pen to leaked out all of its ink

    after that i had an ice-blue gba

  • why don’t they fire him?

    noa has sucked for a while now

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