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Nintendo: Price won't stop 3DS being "biggest launch" to date

By Matt Martin

Wed 19 Jan 2011 7:12pm GMT / 2:12pm EST / 11:12am PST

UK general manager confident launch pre-orders will be met; 500,000 to sample system in UK tours

Nintendo has said that the high price of the 3DS handheld in the UK won't stop the system from being the company's biggest hardware launch to date.

Speaking at the 3DS conference in Europe today, Nintendo UK general manger David Yarnton told that there are no consumer electronics on the market that compare to the 3DS, and that quality of content will prove the asking price - which climbs 250 when the hardware is bought with one game.

"Indications that we've had so far from retail is that they are really happy with the price and demand indicates it will be our biggest launch in terms of hardware," said Yarnton.

"The DS for us was huge in 2005 and in 2006 the Wii was even bigger. Retailers - especially with the environment they are in - are right behind it. It's a new format. In the last ten years, the innovation that we've bought to the market, people may have looked at the price to begin with but it was soon forgotten because of the quality of the product and the content that's available."

Although Nintendo in North America set a RRP of $249 for the system, in the UK Nintendo has only committed to a trade price, leaving retailers to set their own price points around 219-229.

"If you look at the value proposition, there's not a 3D entertainment device in the market at that price point. Not only a device that you can play games on but as a communication device, being able to download content with some of our partners like Eurosport and Sky," added Yarnton.

Earlier in the month Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said the company plans to ship 4 million units of the 3DS worldwide, with around 2.5 million earmarked for the US and Europe. Although Yarnton was unable to discuss final stock numbers for the UK, he did say that Nintendo should be able to honour all launch pre-orders.

"We're comfortable with the stock we've got and retailers are too. One of the things we're working with retail on, and is really important as far as we're concerned, is pre-orders with our customers so that we can make sure the stock is in the right places and we don't just go and give stock willy-nilly to the market.

"We need to make sure we can satisfy that consumer demand. So pre-orders are really important and that's how we're looking to allocate second chances of stock based on the retailer pre-orders. We're pretty confident we'll be able to guarantee whatever they pre-order," he said.

Addressing the marketing issues of selling a system where the 3D effects can only be appreciated with hands-on time rather than more traditional TV advertising, Yarnton said Nintendo would step-up sampling activities, and target up to 500,000 consumers from launch until the Easter sales period.

"We've had huge sampling experiences on Wii and DS in the past and we properly started that whole touring the product, we've been doing that for years. With 3DS it's going to be the biggest sampling campaign that we've ever done.

"We're looking at between 4-500,000 consumer samples up to Easter this year. And because we're doing a combination of not only interactive in stores but also consumer events, and then samples in shopping centres... we see the opportunity as so important. How do we explain the 3D? We can paint a picture but until you actually experience it you're not going to see the full value of it. Sampling is huge, it's a major investment for us."

The full interview with David Yarnton is live now

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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor

432 281 0.7
I think Mr Yarnton may be surprised to see how many of those preorders are cancelled. Many people (the core) who were interested are now very happy to wait until the price drops.

Posted:5 years ago


Doug Paras

117 61 0.5
Don't bet on it. This isn't priced like the PS3 which was $2-300 more then its competition. If the hardware is good/great which all accounts I've heard from people who have played it, is. Then people will be willing to shell out $50-75 more then the previous generation of hand-helds.

Posted:5 years ago


Kevin Clark-Patterson Lecturer in Games Development, Lancaster and Morecambe College

295 28 0.1
At least £249.99 then for UK...think I'll wait

Posted:5 years ago


Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,523 3,225 1.3
HMV and GAME have pre-orders going for 229.99. Amazon.UK for 219 with free shipping.

Anyone selling at 249.99 would be losing sales.

Posted:5 years ago


Paul Taylor Deputy Editor, OPS, Citrus Media

6 0 0.0
Although this is a wobbly argument, it's a bit rich that the asking price in the UK is approx. 229.99, compared to US$249 -- that's about 50 - 70 more than it should be, right?

I'm in Aus, and at this stage we haven't heard anything about prices, but I'm betting it's going to be about AU $350, which is roughly US$340. Even though the system's region locked I'd probably buy it from the US and gamble on the exchange rate staying favourable for the next couple of years.

Posted:5 years ago


Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,523 3,225 1.3
Paul, video game prices in the EU never follow conversion rate prices from the US. They are always higher. A lot of it has to do with the difficulty in localizing and distributing.

Posted:5 years ago


Ben Pilgrim Studying Media and Public Relations, London Metropolitan University

19 0 0.0
This will sell, you core audience are kids but what kids want, kids get. I've worked in GAME for years and can say honestly this price will not deter people, we live in the age where everyone wants an iPhone or and iPad which are both miles more expensive. Now i appreciate that people think it pricey, but wait until either you've had a go or are lost in the craze to have one, the retailers charging 250 will either be the specialists or the highest stockists, so when PC world or Comet have sold out they'll be making the bigger profit.

I'd rather pay more for something i'll actually use, i've paid big money in the pas for products which didn't deliver such as the PSP, 3D Zelda and Street Fighter will be awesome!

Posted:5 years ago


Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,500 1,899 1.3
I am sure Nintendo knows how many they can produce. This sudden world wide release also points to the fact of Nintendo knowing their price is expensive and could be interpreted as a way of optimizing reach.

If Nintendo released in one territory, then the price might be too high to sell their monthly production, but if they release in all territories, they will still sell out. It is also funny how their mobile system is now more expensive than their home console. A shining testament to the way people spend their money these days; overpriced mobile devices for the win.

Posted:5 years ago


Charlie McFadden Programmer

11 14 1.3
I find the pricing annoying. Not so much that it's 230, but more becuase that is so much more expensive than both the Japanese and USA editions of the console. I know that exchange rates will never be perfect, But given that the price of the USA console would be 156, and 190 for the Japanese, I would have hoped that the UK would get it for at the most 200.

That said, I will still probably get one, though at 40 a game, I doubt I will ever buy a game from a shop ever again, that's just too much. (For me, anyway) Online discount is the way forward...

Posted:5 years ago


Richard Westmoreland Game Desginer, Exient Ltd

138 90 0.7
I managed to preorder mine for 217 with one free game. I was hoping it would cost 199, so 217 with a free game is pretty much the perfect price for me.

Posted:5 years ago

@ Rich - care to share the link?

Granted it is pricey with limited games on sale. Sill I'm sure there will be a sell out and even a temporary lack of availability.

Posted:5 years ago


Alan Mealor Lead Artist, Lucid Games

7 0 0.0

The price is about right, what is missing is the tax. The American prices never have VAT added as it's set state by state, the UK price of 217 has VAT, so take 20% off and you've got alsost the same price.

...still alot of money though!

Posted:5 years ago


James Prendergast Research Chemist

783 492 0.6
Hmmm. The price of the console itself isn't so bad but the games being more expensive (at least according to the US prices so i presume it will be the same for the UK) when i already considered DS games to be overpriced doesn't help matters. I'll probably wait for the price to come down.

Posted:5 years ago


Richard Westmoreland Game Desginer, Exient Ltd

138 90 0.7
@Dr Chee Ming Wong.

ASDA Entertainment.

Posted:5 years ago


Rachel Griffiths Studying Graduate Entry Medicine, University of Nottingham

12 0 0.0
I think the price is fair enough in general when thinking of it as a new, innovative 3D device. However, the reality is this is another DS in a long line of recent DS releases, and I doubt there will be the same huge numbers willing to buy into it, at least until time has passed and there are a lot of 3D games out. I agree kids will be parent-bashing for the next big thing (though Nintendo says the 3D should not be used by children under 6), but how many will give in and pay for upgrade?
I really want Zelda 3D, and the console looks nice. I personally may have been willing to go up to around 180...if I didn't already have a DS, but I already did this fairly recently for the DSi XL, and I just can't afford to do the same again, even taking off any small amount I'd get for trading in (if anywhere would take a Japanese import). How many others will be thinking the same?
On a slightly more upbeat note, we have taken maybe around 10 preorders at our store, and those willing to put deposits down before a price was announced wil probably pay anything.

Posted:5 years ago


Chris Buckley Global Sales Manager,

5 1 0.2
Regarding 'rip off Britain', when you live in Canada/USA/Aus etc... you're paid in that local currency, so therefore a Canadian $, American $ or Australian $, to those in that terratory, is worth as much as a UK , you can't do the currency conversion.

And the point about tax, yes, tax at anything from 13% to 25% is added to the price you see, so in fact, the price of the system here (in Canada where I live), is more expensive than the UK.

Posted:5 years ago

@ Richard - many thanks. i had a quick gander.

I think, the 3DS is a great little portable piece of hardware. The real concern is the games that are available on Launch. To be honest, i am hard pressed to factor in anything to really enthuse a impulse buy on launch or within the next 6 months.

Are there any worthy titles I have missed perhaps?

Posted:5 years ago


Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator

962 187 0.2
I kept telling for ages I'll be jumping in to buy this but to be honest I'm thinking about waiting for a price cut now.

Posted:5 years ago

In another interview, there was mention of some Augmented reality cards and games already built in with the software. If these are some good ol nintendo classics, then great!

I was looking forward towards a proper Resident Evil title for 3DS, but mercenaries is not teh kind of title I'd be interested in.

Imagine something like Uncharted on 3DS. Now that would be pretty ace!!!

Posted:5 years ago


Lesley Harrison Editor, Myth Games

7 0 0.0
I was interested, but 219 - 249 sounds like console prices to me, not handheld prices. I bought a Wii at a stupid "they're gold dust" price, and paid a lot for the PS3 too, but I think I'll wait this time.

Posted:5 years ago


Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,523 3,225 1.3
Dr. there are 2 RE titles on the way. RE: Revelations will likely be more your cup of "insert beverage".

As for other titles, it's considered by many to have the strongest launch window line up in history (or at least pre-launch announced titles).

[link url=
That's quite a substantial list already.

Posted:5 years ago


Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator

962 187 0.2
Dr. Wong, I would LOVE to have some good classics built in like they have done with those recent Super Mario editions of the Wii and DS.

I'd love to see Advance Wars DS. :)

Posted:5 years ago


Charlie McFadden Programmer

11 14 1.3
@ Alan and Chris

I didn't think about the tax, thanks for clearing that up :)

Posted:5 years ago


Paulius Sakalauskas Product Manager, TC prekyba

1 0 0.0
This is not the price which would stop people from buying 3DS. Innovation is what drives the sales.

Posted:5 years ago


Temi Web design

48 9 0.2
Nintendo got that Apple vibe going now. They must be so happy. what kind of profits are they going to be making on this? I think HUGE

Posted:5 years ago


Peter Dwyer software engineer, openbet

24 0 0.0
It's region locked. I've already cancelled my order!

Posted:5 years ago


Tony Johns

520 12 0.0
It is better to not count your chickens before they hatch.

Also with the region lock in place...expect many people in the know to import the American version who want to play the Japanese RPGs that don't make it out to Europe.

And expect those who love their Japanese Music and Visual Novels to import a Japanese 3DS.

Everyone else who gets the games they want easily will not notice anything strange...

It is always those who have a different taste in games compared to the norm who always get burnt.

Posted:5 years ago

I always fancied the japanese RPGS that dont get localizations here till 1-2 years later. Perhaps the next Tokyo game show 2011 might be a good excuse :)

Posted:5 years ago


Brandon Jaquez

12 2 0.2
$250 is just right for what comes in the package. I think people are forgetting about how much it costs the company to produce these products, which I understand, but because this is Nintendo and since I have more faith in them than Microsoft or even Sony, I know I'll be getting my money's worth.

I've always been a handheld-Gameboy-DS guy. I'd spend more time with portables than I do with home consoles because it's just convinient to me and I just like 'em. The 3DS is the ultimate portable game system for me and I will be a proud owner of it. And I'll be getting the next 2 revisions no doubt to then set up my "Consoles I've Owned Over The Years" display case. Kinda want to have the different versions of consoles and each will have a favorite game of mine (not revisions, unless it's exclusive to it like Gameboy Color games). But that's too far ahead.

Next thing I have to do is pick my Aqua Blue color. Reminds me of my ol' Gameboy Pocket :)

Posted:5 years ago


Peter Caddock Head of New Technologies, Studio Liddell Ltd

12 6 0.5
I haven't seen a 3DS in the 'flesh' but it would have to be pretty good and have more than 3D up its sleeves to entice me to buy one at that price.

Other than the alleged 3D aspect, are the specs better than the DSi?

Posted:5 years ago


Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,523 3,225 1.3
Peter, it's far more than just a 3D DSi. It has a horsepower increase (bigger than going from GBA to DS), built in accelerometer and gyroscope, 3 cameras (2 on the back can record 3D images), augmented reality, MP3/AAC support, built in pedometer, more advanced online capabilities, Virtual Console and more.

Posted:5 years ago

Now, if it can talk to me local fridge and takeaway. I'm sold!
Actually been looking forward to it for ages, but am ambivalent due to their pricing point.

There are some places selling for around 190 (too good to be true ya reckon?)

Posted:5 years ago


Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,523 3,225 1.3
Other features are 3D Hollywood movies, a new eShop with demos, trailers, etc... You can also pause a game, load up the built in web browser, look up game tips, call up the virtual notepad, write down the tips or draw a map, bring the game back up and still access the notepad. There is also Wii to 3DS connectivity. B/C with the DS/DSi. In fact you can even transfer your DSiWare titles over to a 3DS (supposedly several 3DS's if you and/or your family own a few). Can use the DSi's power plug.

Dr. I recall Nintendo talking about offering up an API for restaurants to use that would put their menu and perhaps even an ordering system on it making it accessible to a 3DS. Likely a feature that will stay in Japan but we can always hope.

Posted:5 years ago


Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator

962 187 0.2
Dr. Wong, I think 190 is a little too 'ambitious'? If it was later on in the year I wouldn't scratch my chin so much over that price.

Posted:5 years ago


Peter Caddock Head of New Technologies, Studio Liddell Ltd

12 6 0.5
Thanks for that Jimmy,

Ok well that's more like it ! :) I must say the idea of taking 3D images is intetresting, but I wont be able to see them anywhere else will I and their resolution will be poor.

I just can't imagine that the games will be fully 3D'ified, but if I know Nintendo whatever they do it will be pretty amazing where it is used. As long as it's not just the videos in 3D (which I heard a rumour last year it would be for quite a while - although I'm not sure why).

I think 220+ is expensive, but then so is a basic iPad at 429. I wonder if I had 500 would I buy 1 x iPad or 2 x 3DS??? Hmmm.

Posted:5 years ago


Edited 1 times. Last edit by Dr. Chee Ming Wong on 20th January 2011 6:05pm

Posted:5 years ago


Simon White Studying Computer Games Programming, University of Derby

1 0 0.0
$250 in the US, but 220 in UK? $250 is only worth 157! This is backwards - I'd most probably buy one within the first few weeks of launch at 160, but 250? I love you, but forget it Nintendo!

Posted:5 years ago


Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,523 3,225 1.3
Simon, I noted in a post above that Europe rarely ever does a direct currency conversion for video game hardware. Go look at prices for ALL other consoles and you'll see what I'm talking about. In fact, many times you'll get a direct number equivalent, e,g, $250 in the US and 250 in the UK. So getting it at 190 - 219 is actually a better exchange rate than usual for hardware.

Posted:5 years ago


Christophe Lagoutte Managing Director, Ecofilmes

1 0 0.0
Anyway, it will sold out. Just because this is the greatest console, the biggest evolution, ever seen in the history of videogames.

Posted:5 years ago


Steven Pick Lead Graphic Designer, Atomhawk Design

70 14 0.2
Whatever price, Nintendo knows there are people out there who would spend that much cash. The US/UK pricing thing is as old as the hills and gives me more reason to want to move to the US one day. UK prices for games and consoles makes me cry slow and bitter tears. *sob*

Posted:5 years ago


Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games

367 211 0.6
A bit late to post and i'm not sure anyone mentioned it but 3DS price in Europe is set by retailers. Nintendo does not have any control on it.

Posted:5 years ago


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