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80% of Japanese gamers perceive 3DS as pricey

But only 19% that it's 'too' expensive, with 16.4% thinking it reasonable

Japanese gamers broadly consider Nintendo's 3DS to be on the expensive side, according to a new survey by

19.2 per cent of the one thousand gamers surveyed deemed the ¥25,000 / $305 / £192 handheld too expensive, 28.3 expensive and 32.2 'slightly' expensive.

By contrast, 16.4 elected for reasonably-priced, 2 per cent for slightly inexpensive and 0.9 inexpensive.

The RRP was last week defended by Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata, who argued that it was unreasonable to expect handhelds to be cheaper than home consoles, as they do not require peripherals such as screens.

"You do not need any other hardware devices to be connected in order for you to play with it," he told investors recently.

"We do not think, 'the price relationship between portable devices and home consoles must stay intact simply because it used to be that way.'"

Iwata also claimed the device's rapturous reception at EA vindicated a higher retail price than that of the Wii.

The Nintendo 3DS will be launched February 26 in Japan, and March in Europe and the US.

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Latest comments (14)

Alasdair Gray Company Director 11 years ago
Hmm, not too convinced by that. Most people will already have an SD television so that's not really an added cost for the consumer when purchasing a Wii.
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games11 years ago
Although i think that the price for 3DS is fair considering what you get for that price, it is a bit on the high side and that is the reaction all over consumer forums.

It has not yet been priced for western markets but if they keep the same price point i think it will be a bit tougher to sell than DS and wii. Worst case scenario they might actually face a "PSP" situation until they drop the price. And that won't be good when it comes to keeping publishers and high profile developers interested for a long time.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 11 years ago
Out of one thousand gamers? Hmm..I wonder where this was conducted.
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Show all comments (14)
Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games11 years ago
I think that their idea is that they will again create their own market. And the specifications of this device have this ability i think. However if mass market consumers already feel that it's pricey then that is not a good sign.

DS and wii hit the sweet spot. It's not easy to repeat what DS and wii did. But this is Nintendo after all. They got to try! With awesome core games in their line-up, it might pick up slow at the beginning but then with word of mouth, nintendo's main marketing tool, things could possibly very fast change. It's a long way ahead, let's wait and see. Depends which other games might be revealed around launch :)
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.11 years ago
Alasdair, I think Iwata is trying to say that when you buy a console, you typically do not buy a monitor along with it as you do with a portable console given they have built in screens....or with the case of the DS series, 2 screens.

Portable consoles are the main market in Japan now. The higher price there will be more readily acceptable than it will in other markets which is why I don't believe they'll simply do a straight currency conversion when launching in the west. Not to mention that they've rarely priced anything on a direct currency conversion anyway.

Alec, your A key and 3 key got in a fight and the A key won.
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Max Priddy11 years ago
It's not too bad a price considering it's around the same as a mid-range ipod touch, however the question is will it be able to do what an ipod touch can do but better/more?
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 11 years ago
The 3DS IS the 3DS, period. it's NOT supposed to be an iPod Touch, Blackberry or other "phone-like" device. Trying to judge it based on what it's not going to do or is made to do because of a price point makes little to no sense, really.

The price point (which is too high for the casual consumer or those that upgraded their DS to a DSi XL recently, by the way, according to my surveys at a few retailers over the past two months) reflects (partly) the 3D tech Nintendo thinks we all want to see (glasses free, of course). it also reflects a bit of arrogance based on Iwata's earlier statements that the price was based on the reaction at E3 this year. My question is: what COULD Nintendo sell the 3DS for and still make a profit without charging the fanboy orgasm fee?

Using that "excitable" logic, the Wii should have been priced at $500 just because gaming and non-gaming media were falling over themselves calling the system "innovative" when in fact, it wasn't the first motion control-based games platform this century - just the most hyped and yes, most successful after that hype. Go google XaviX and see for yourself.

This 3D fad will last as long as the games for the platform are good, the percentage of people who can use the effect for extended periods holds up (there's no data on this yet, but Nintendo had best be HEAVILY focus testing the device for eyestrain and headaches) and the price of games covers a few ranges. Of course, thwarting piracy also comes into play as does backward compatibility for anyone who wants it.

The minute we start seeing a ton of shovelware on the 3DS with top titles delayed or "coming soon" with extended periods between top quality releases is the moment when some will probably question their purchase. Nintendo has too many portables on the market at the same time, a result of trying to keep up with what they think people want while losing a tiny bit of focus about what made the original Game Boy line so successful.

Sure, it's cool to have a device that can output 3D without the need for glasses a cool camera system and the capability to play older games once you download them onto the platform, but is this really something we'll look at in five years and say it was anything more than a smaller, more portable Virtual Boy but with better graphics (and some really awesome games)?

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Kelvin Francis Studying btec ND games development, South Thames College11 years ago
the person above me that was a interesting read makes me think about the points made. Just wonder how long it will take for them to bring out new versions and what the games will be like.
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Max Clayton Clowes Studying Computer Science, Durham University11 years ago
Obviously the 3DS will provide an experience not all to disimilar to the old DS gaming experience, so at first glance it may seem that the 3DS is rather pricey. The games will function in the same way as they used to, so the gameplay itself does not explain the price rise.

The price is obviously due to its unique 3D technology, and that alone enables nintendo to charge what may seem a disproportionately large amount. As it is at the forefront of what could potentially be a more dramatic shift towards 3D (what with 3D tv, etc.), there is no competitor. Not only is the 3DS the only mainstream 3D based console, it is also a handheld device, and so is a whole new category of console.

Nintendo always seems to be ahead of the trend with its devices. Only now have playstation and xbox finally begun to move into the wii territory. For a longtime the wii has held a monopoly over what is arguably a fad-ish gaming experience, and now nintendo holds a monopoly over mainstream 3D gaming (for the time being) which is a very similar venture in many ways. Until a serious competitor arises, the 3DS will remain a unique console, and as it is such a new thing, it will hold interest to many, and is bound to sell a decent amount, even at this high price.

Of course, 3D may turn out to be anti-climactic experience, but if it does add an exciting new dimension to games it will become a must have gadget- until an alternative comes along.

Also, it is foolish to compare even the old DS's to an iPod touch/ iPhone- the style of games and capabilities of both vary dramatically.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Max Clayton Clowes on 13th October 2010 1:00am

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Tony Johns11 years ago
For anyone who thinks it is too expencive, then wait for a year or two so you can save up or either the system becomes cheeper.

For those who are lucky enough to afford it, then enjoy.
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The 3DS launches at a slightly higher price than the DS did, but less than the PSP and all consoles (not too sure what the Wii launched at in Japan).

I always felt Nintendo missed an opportunity with the DS & Wii, pricing them too low at launch - so I think this is the right decision. It could be almost double the price, and still sell out at launch.
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games11 years ago
I would think that nintendo might consider to maintain the "pillars" strategy.
It's hard to think though that publishers would still be interested in bringing games for DSi after 3DS comes out.

If digital distribution was open for small independent studios and big on DSi then it could possibly work. But it's not. As someone said, 3DS is 3DS. And it can't really be directly compared with anything out there.
Same as DS did.

As soon as you get it on your hands, and experience what 3DS is and how it feels (it is not a transferable experience unfortunately that is why it was presented they way it was presented by giving each and every one a 3DS to experience for themselves!) i bet that you will consider a 250-300 pricepoint fair! And you will tell your friends too ;)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Yiannis Koumoutzelis on 14th October 2010 8:24am

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Spungo McGee Reviewer 11 years ago
"It's hard to think though that publishers would still be interested in bringing games for DSi after 3DS comes out. "

Publishers have NEVER been interested in bringing out games for the DSi. I believe there have been FOUR titles released for the DSi in its entire life, with everything else being normal DS games. And nobody's been interested in making any of those for about two years, other than publishers of shopping/fashion/Pop Idol dreck aimed at pre-teen girls.

Nintendo are going to have a really hard time with the 3DS. The price is already ridiculous and will be even more so over here when VAT is applied, and 3D will make it much more complicated and expensive to develop for than platforms like the iPhone, where there's a ready-made audience of 100m+ and far more opportunity to make money because you don't have to compete for the tiny handheld shelf space in Game and Gamestation.
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I suspect the 3DS will still sell like hot cakes in UK, granted it will be overpriced by 100.
One would have to evaluate purchasing 2/3rds of a ipad or the 3D uniqueness.

In any regard, I can forsee Nintendo patting themselves on the back for a job well done - if all the game title ports work as it says on the tin. It will certainly change the train journeys into a Nintendo-eyed trip to the city or across the coast/channel!

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