"You know typically, at an E3, our engineers are looking for feedback. You know, we have an army of Nintendo representatives out on our show floor talking to attendees, getting reactions to everything in the device: the depth slider, the buttons, the sliding pad that is, essentially, an analog-type stick. These are things that we’re looking to get reaction to, including the overall button placement. When we get all that feedback, then we’ll finalize the design," he told us.
We followed up and asked Reggie if that's why Nintendo held back on a launch date and pricing scheme as well. He then proceeded to guarantee that 3DS will make it out in all major territories before Nintendo's fiscal year ends.
"Well, the reason we haven’t announced a launch date or pricing is that, first, we wanted to get reaction here. Secondly, we’ll be making individual market decisions in terms of what’s happening in Japan, what’s happening in the Americas, what’s happening in Europe. The one thing, for sure, is that we will launch in all of our major markets by March 31, 2011," he stated.
So it's pretty much guaranteed to launch this holiday season. I seriously, seriously doubt Nintendo would actually launch a major new system right after the holidays when everyone's already done their gift shopping, presents, etc. There's just no way. I'm at ease haha.
Well, the wait's not that long! =D
"The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he receive either."- Ben Franklin
Doubtful that they would add such a fundamental design change (rather than just placement and such) in that short a window, particularly given that it might impact development of games they're counting on having for launch titles. That said, I suppose it's conceivable that they could add another slide pad, have the developers ignore it entirely for the first batch of, but leave it available for future games.