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Retail

Nintendo slashes around 40% from Japanese 3DS price

Thu 28 Jul 2011 7:25am GMT / 3:25am EDT / 12:25am PDT
RetailHardware

Euro/US prices down by around a third, plus 20 free NES and GBA games for pre-cut buyers

Update

Nintendo America and Europe have confirmed the relative price cuts in their territories, with both continents reducing the cost to retailers by around a third.

In the US, that cost will now be $169.99 as opposed to $249.99, whilst European retailers can expect a similar reduction.

"For anyone who was on the fence about buying a Nintendo 3DS, this is a huge motivation to buy now," NoA's Reggie Fils-Aime told press. "We are giving shoppers every incentive to pick up a Nintendo 3DS, from an amazing new price to a rapid-fire succession of great games."

Nintendo UK were less specific about price, but released the following statement to sister site Eurogamer.

"Nintendo of Europe will be reducing the European trade price of Nintendo 3DS to retailers by around a third from 12th August 2011, as part of a global trade price reduction initiative.

"The ultimate price to consumers is, of course, determined by retailers, however we look forward to consumers benefiting from much lower retail prices very soon."

Early adopters will receive some compensation following the cut, with an offer of twenty free download NES and GBA titles for the 3DS, as long as owners connect to the Nintendo e-shop before the changes on August 12.

Original story

Nintendo has announced a huge cut in the recommended price of the 3DS in Japan, slashing almost half the original 25,000 price to leave it at just 15,000 - roughly 118.

The price cut comes alongside the company's financial results for Q1, 2012, published this morning, which revealed a fairly static loss of 25.5 billion and halved sales revenues.

The 3DS sold just 710,000 units worldwide during the three months between April 1 and June 30, 2011.

In a brief release accompanying the announcement, Nintendo acknowledged the need to "build momentum" for the 3DS brand, adding that the cut was timed to coincide with the release of some big name games on the system, confirming that Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 will be in shops in November and December respectively.

The adjustment will happen this quarter in the rest of the world, but the schedule will be "different in Japan", with the release also suggesting that the "range of the markdown" will also vary in Nintendo's home territory.

26 Comments

Whuuuuut O_O?
3ds it's taking a totally different appeal to me right now ^^
From overpriced to extremely underpriced?

That's a new thing for nintendo, didn't expect it!

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Kyle MacKinnon
Freelance Journalist

1 0 0.0
What should be really interesting is how this affects Wii U's launch. It WILL have an impact, to be sure.

Posted:2 years ago

#2
I think they're trying to get accustomed with their customer flexibility.
They want to see what will be the increase in sold product of an underpriced good.
It could be the first time they sell a product at an initial loss price point, maybe they intend to do the same with wiiU.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

929 150 0.2
Aww...I waited for Ocarina of Time and I could have waited longer for this.

In any case quite rightly so they needed to build momentum so to speak, but as I was saying before the 3DS launch should have been far better.

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,992 900 0.5
Lesson: Next time, launch your damn system with better titles (and maybe have that online store up on day one). it seems people don't want to buy into "potential" these days and they want 3D a LOT less that too many people thought. That and all the parents that just upgraded to a DSi XL a few months before the 3DS was launched had no interest in the system for any number of reasons from hearing that their kid's eyeballs would melt to seeing the price point and wishing the eyeballs of their kids would melt before they saw the new handheld and started up with the begging.

Could you imagine how much better the 3DS would do with Kid Icarus, a good Resident Evil game, a decent RPG (that wasn't an enhanced port), a killer racing game (that wasn't Mario Kart redux) and an original Mario game at launch PLUS third party support with killer apps like Metal Gear and others?

Granted, the recession is hitting everyone hard, but this is a shot across the bow that Sony and Microsoft better heed in terms of their new home consoles. Not everyone likes stinky regurgitated cheese, no matter what gimmick it uses as a selling point.

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

929 150 0.2
Well people are watching their money more these days aren't they Greg? So taking a 'risk' like that probably isn't in most parents minds. Also I'm sure most parents would prefer cheap and cheerful in that case.

But I think it's a given the launch titles are the big issue. Nintendo is a company that can pride itself on first party titles and there should have been a good few at the start in my opinion.

Posted:2 years ago

#6
Well, Iwata said that there were not too strong nintendo title at launch to create more space for third partyes games.

Although there weren't too many valid one :\

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,992 900 0.5
@Roberto & Kingman: which is why Iwata's reasoning is faulty, period. you can't MAKE ROOM for something that wasn't arriving and CERTAINLY wasn't going to arrive in the time period the 3DS was initially released. It's not as if Nintendo magically thought these third party games would be there on day one to fill in the obvious gaps in the lineup. Although a few great titles were announced as in development, NONE were ready or anywhere NEAR ready (and it looks as if it won't be until the end of this year and into 2012 when we start seeing those should have been launch titles).

Of course, by then, Nintendo can boast that it has the cheaper system AND excellent titles as if the launch never happened and all those 700+K users will forget that they spent a wee bit too much on that system (which is OK for the fanboys, but not for the folks that expected killer games falling from the skies every month or so)...

Posted:2 years ago

#8

Russ Greeno
Freelance Video Game Reviewer

6 0 0.0
I was lucky enough to get the system while Amazon were price matching everyone just before launch. Was about 189 I think, so I'll be especially glad if I get free games just for being an early adopter.

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Thomas Luecking

69 13 0.2
I got the system for 180 pounds plus a free Zelda from Amazon and I am also glad that I will get gems like Metroid Fusion for free by the end of this year!

Posted:2 years ago

#10
@Greg: Well, you're absolutely right.
But maybe either nintendo and third parties games weren't ready for the ideal launch window previously set.
As it is right now we can't know.

Also, i think mostly fanboys bought 3ds on launch day, so almost everyone will be ok :D

Anyway now the hardware is offered to the right price imho, and also i suppose that this is a move to asses the flexibility of their customer demand.

Posted:2 years ago

#11

Terence Gage
Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
@ Greg - "Could you imagine how much better the 3DS would do with Kid Icarus, a good Resident Evil game, a decent RPG (that wasn't an enhanced port), a killer racing game (that wasn't Mario Kart redux) and an original Mario game at launch PLUS third party support with killer apps like Metal Gear and others?"

That's a bit of a lofty and unrealistic wishlist though; consoles rarely launch with a genuinely good software line-up, and never with several triple-A big hitters like you've listed.

I think the 3DS' problem has been a culmination of factors -- confused perceptions that it was a DS update rather than a whole new console, a lack of genuinely good software (remove Ocarina and you're left with some decent titles but without an exclusive killer app), a high launch price for a handheld and perhaps most significantly an evolving marketplace with the increasing dominance of smartphones and minute app-based games. Nintendo are right to cut the price, but I'm doubtful the 3DS will ever match the DS' success, and I think Sony should take heed of its performance and either delay the Vita launch so it has a line-up of excellent software at launch, or make sure it launches at a realistic price point to make an impact in the market.

Either way, it's an interesting time for the handheld market, and potentially a worrying time for those with lots invested in it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Terence Gage on 28th July 2011 12:37pm

Posted:2 years ago

#12
Well, I'm super-glad I didn't buy the system 2 weeks ago: will definitely wait for the price cut, then grab one now.

If they cut the price by 30% here (in Oz), it would basically be cheaper than a DS XL :P

...

Nintendo need to get their model right: sell cheap hardware, and make money off games. They stand to lose too much in this crowded market by making money off the 3DS hardware (rather than games) - including 3rd parties again.

I also think the launch of the PSV is getting closer, and it could destroy the 3DS sales-wise - and it would be super hard for Nintendo to come back this generation.

Posted:2 years ago

#13

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

953 804 0.8
Nintendo was always criticized for essentially releasing its hardware with games killing all the competition. Especially the DS and the Wii fell in this category. If the 3DS does not come with a Nintendo killer app choking off most third parties, then it seems to be a mighty big gesture from Nintendo to its third parties. After all, Nintendo could have either delayed the hardware until their own killer app is ready, or develop one in time.

At the same time 3D was the gimmick to charge a premium for and it was clear from the start, that this premium was not sustainable. 3D might be the hype, but when it comes to gameplay, every single 3D game works just fine in 2D. There is not one game using the 3D which would be unthinkable or unplayable in 3D. Shifting the display technology from 2D to 3D is not comparable to shifting the rendering from 2D to 3D.

Posted:2 years ago

#14

Christopher Bowen
Editor in Chief

393 503 1.3
I'm not worried that the 3DS is selling poorly. What REALLY worries me - especially since I don't really know the answer, though I fear I do - is why. Is it because gamers knew that they didn't want to buy a massively expensive system with a poor online implementation and poor launch titles? Or did they even consider that, and continue to play Angry Birds and 10 other massively inferior games on their iPhones?

For the price of one copy of the Legend of Zelda, a person who only needs one time-wasting game could buy 40 of them on a phone. Ocarina of Time is one of the greatest games of all time, but does that matter to someone who's only going to play on the train to work? This is the problem with the iPhone; it's lowered the bar of entry for everyone. Now, it's removed the market for superior games (the money simply is in the causal sector), and considering only a few iPhone games have really taken off like Angry Birds, it's also distorted the market as thousands upon thousands of app developers who are trying to be like Rovio and have no prayer of it flood the market.

Are we heading for another 1983?

Posted:2 years ago

#15
@Chris: I don't agree - mobile games have always been around in some form, and the same people playing iPhone games on the way to work either listened to music, or played other (simpler) mobile games on the way to work. And the same people playing in-depth handheld games, still play in-depth handheld games.

What has changed, is there are more platforms, more games, and more 2nd-hand, super-cheap quality games available on the gaming platforms. It still wasn't that long ago that I bought a 2nd-hand 'AAA' for the DS for $5 - which I then played for the next 2 months.

The casual market has definitely changed though, and to a large extent been stolen by the new smart-phones. Whereas harder-core games are looking for a certain gaming experience - casual gamers are looking for convenience and price, and smartphones will have this market sown up for the time being.

The 3DS still hasn't had any of Nintendo's "mega" brand releases - we can only speculate how it would have sold if it had launched with Mario or Pokemon. Zelda is all well and good, but its *still* a re-release of a N64 title from 15 years ago.

Posted:2 years ago

#16

Francisco Javier
QA Manager

25 14 0.6
There's something wrong with the ambassador's package: These are all games that any Nintendo fan may have still. Like me, I don't see why I could be interested in getting all these NES classics that I got at the Wii, and the GBA games... I still play some of them in my DS Lite, so no interest neither in these!

Posted:2 years ago

#17

Scott Berfield
Executive Producer

11 0 0.0
Still seems too pricey for something that really only has one gimmicky new feature.

Posted:2 years ago

#18

Melissa Boone
Intern, Client Development

1 0 0.0
Definitely going to get one now. I kept saying I didn't want to pay USD$250 for a 3DS and that I would wait for a price drop - I had an idea that it would happen before holiday 2011, but not THIS soon. I can trade in my DS Lite :)

Posted:2 years ago

#19

Stephen McCarthy
Studying Games Technology

205 0 0.0
3ds is a fail. no games for it all and some being put back or not coming ut now.

Posted:2 years ago

#20

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,992 900 0.5
@Terence - it's NOT "lofty and unrealistic" AT ALL, man!

In this age of jaded critics and gamers it's pure common sense and a great strategy more game companies need to adopt. Instead of dumping MORE awful rushed to launch games on users tired of the same old same old, YES, I'd prefer to see studios take time to craft stuff that's brilliantly executed for a "first generation" game. The 3D wouldn't have to be flawless at all (especially given most folks would be turning it down or OFF after about 20 minutes), but the games would have to be solid, engaging and yes, memorable.

Anyway, telling people your new handheld is going to be the best thing since sliced bread while touting functionality and features as if they're life-changing IS lofty and unrealistic. Especially when they don't work on day one or end up being less than impressive.

It's also called making SURE your system is ready to ship with the stuff that will get people wanting to BUY it on day one and keep it. There NEEDS to be a new paradigm here in terms of getting a new system out with solid titles, not yet another lame lineup that gets blasted around as forgettable (while continuing the same trend that's needed to stop a few console cycles back).

Hell, that's what my strategy would have been for the 3DS - get those dev kits into the hands of studios early and let them experiment. But in the end, they should ALL come up with games that weren't glorified tech demos, but actual examples of what the system could do (while showing that things could only get better as time went on).

Granted, that would have pushed the launch into 2012, but so what? Having a guaranteed lineup of hit after hit instead of a few near misses and some just OK software is zero way to excite ANYONE except the rabid fanboys who sit outside of stores for a week just to be the first to buy something that's basically the new Virtual Boy with a few more impressive features.

I have higher hopes for Wii U, although I sincerely HOPE Nintendo has learned a lesson here. Don't rush things and do it RIGHT. People will wait and pay for something that truly innovates (or hell, just has damn good game experiences). Like Orson Welles used to say in those old Paul Masson commercials: "We will sell no wine before it's time..." Nintendo should have taken that attitude with 3DS from the beginning - we'd have all be happy drunkards rather than pissed off winos (or fresh addicts that can now get out fix much cheaper now that the booze has dipped into the bargain bin with a few freebies tossed in).

Posted:2 years ago

#21

Curt Sampson
Sofware Developer

564 278 0.5
Terrence Gage writes, I think Sony should take heed of its performance and either delay the Vita launch so it has a line-up of excellent software at launch, or make sure it launches at a realistic price point to make an impact in the market.

So you think that USD 250 (not much more than a new 8 GB iPod Touch) is not a realistic price point and Uncharted, Little Big Planet, ModNation Racers, Street Fighter X Tekken and Hot Shots Golf is not a line-up of excellent software? I can't say I find it in me to agree with you on those points.

I think Sony's biggest risk with the Vita is simply not being able to get enough consoles available for the Christmas shopping season, or possibly not having it available for Christmas at all. While the Vita's not overpriced, it's not cheap, either, and in the current economic climate may not be a big problem for Christmas but might not be so popular as an everyday purchase. On the other hand, if you look at the way the iPad 2 took off....

Posted:2 years ago

#22

Jamie Watson
Studying Bachelor of Games & Interactive Entertainment

179 0 0.0
but with this price cut now consumers have a big choice: buy a 3ds now or wait and see what the PS vita brings...

Posted:2 years ago

#23
Well, this has been great in terms of object lessons and postmortems of how to roll out a new console/hardware during the development cycle. Shows even a company with the midas touch can fluff it up majorly.

Lessons to heed

1/ Early adopters have a high risk of being stung.
2/ Competitive Price point (USD 200-250) . Days of superlatively expensive price point is a barrier to access. (and thus success)
3/ Have at least 3-4 major hit accessible games on release. With a strong lineup of games to release every other month throughout the year
4/ Have early feedback from the public. Feedback from developers, press is not enough to gauge the ease of use, adoption and potential success of a platform. Sometimes something GLARINGLY obvious like lack of titles for 3DS should be taken on board. Even with the early public access to 3DS, it was probably too late to take the public feedback on board

Posted:2 years ago

#24

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,992 900 0.5
^Dr., as right as you are... most of those are OLD lessons. I'm a gamer since 1972 and I've seen this cycle of junk launches over and over and over the last few console cycles, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo and Sega have all made mistakes like this so it's inexcusable for Nintendo NOT to have seen that the 3DS needed more than what it had at launch to succeed out of the gate.

Nintendo needed at least six more months of consumer testing (they're doing this with all those live 3Ds events where they show up in a public places and let people play) PLUS another six to a year for some decent games to be completed (and some sort of online shop and content that WORKED on day one). They also should have been listening to constructive criticism from those in the press who had serious questions about the system from the beginning (as in last year)

That said, for some gamers, it's OBVIOUS that Vita will be a better value even though it costs more - You're getting proven franchises within the launch window, the tech is solid and WORKS (I hated the whole touch screen approach until I held and played the system myself) and overall, it looks like BOTH first as well as third party support is there.

Sony's big mistake this year (well, in terms of devices) was the Xperia Play - they should have just put that development money into a third Vita model that had phone capabilities and some sort of hands-free setup for calls included for those that wanted it.

Posted:2 years ago

#25

Terence Gage
Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
@ Curt - "So you think that USD 250 (not much more than a new 8 GB iPod Touch) is not a realistic price point and Uncharted, Little Big Planet, ModNation Racers, Street Fighter X Tekken and Hot Shots Golf is not a line-up of excellent software? I can't say I find it in me to agree with you on those points."

I was not aware all of these were launching with the Vita (LBP and ModNation specifically)... if so, then it might be one of the best software launch line ups ever (isn't Wipeout 2048 a Vita launch title too?).

However, given how susceptible games are to delays and that the Vita doesn't even officially have a projected launch window yet, I will wait and see what Sony has to say on the matter before putting too much stock in apparent release dates and launch titles.

Posted:2 years ago

#26

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