Analyst predicts $249-$299 price for 3DS

Late 2010 launch in Japan and US debut in March, thinks Lazard

Market analyst firm Lazard Capital Markets has predicted a late 2010 launch for the Nintendo 3DS portable in Japan, followed by a North American launch in March at $249-$299.

"We have little doubt that the 3DS will prove successful for Nintendo and quite possibly third-party software publishers, as the 3D effects will give reason for consumers to upgrade from their current devices, as well as potentially reduce the cannibalistic impact from smartphones and tablets," said analyst Colin Sebastian in comments provided to website Gamasutra.

Nintendo's only comment on the launch date of the 3DS has been that it will be released before the end of its financial year in March 2011, although this may refer only to Japan. New hardware is often released in Japan in December, ahead of the New Year gift-giving season, with some iterations of the DS released first in Japan and others debuting in the West.

No indication on the price of the device has ever been given, but the current RRP of the Nintendo DSi XL in the U.S., the most expensive DS variant so far, is $189.99.

Sebastian also commented on the other major hardware platforms at E3, suggesting that the Wii could see its market share eroded by Kinect and Move. However, he felt high costs for the HD peripherals and a strong software line-up for the Wii, "should keep core fans engaged with the platform until there is a platform refresh, as early as 2011, in our view."

A price point of $100 to $150 was predicted for Kinect, which yesterday Sebastian forecast would ship 3 million units worldwide. Both GameStop and Amazon are currently listing the device with a $150 price tag. Microsoft is set to reveal the official price at the gamescom event next month.

Sebastian also commented on Sony's E3 performance, saying: "While initially marketing the PS3 as a core game platform, we believe that Sony has turned a new page and now is developing a broader digital entertainment platform."

In terms of third party publishers Sebastian felt that Activision came out ahead at E3, referencing a "robust Blizzard pipeline, new online business models, and growth in Asia" and concluding that "We believe that Activision is well positioned to maintain its industry-leading margin profile with multiple opportunities for growth in coming years."

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Latest comments (7)

Thomas Luecking12 years ago
Typo in the first sentence --> late 2011 launch...

For the 3DS a price point of about 250$ seems reasonable and doable considering the "wow" effect its 3D technology is causing. However if they plan to reach similar target groups with this device they have to go lower... on the other hand I think they will keep the DS products in stores until 3DS prices go down to DS-levels of today (maybe 2 years down the product life cycle).

I am looking forward to get my hands on one of these at Gamescom in August!!!
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Philip Wilson Project Manager/QA 12 years ago
The 3D effect is pretty impressive (I tried out a few demos at E3) but $250-300? That just sounds like your typical analyst talking out of his a** & coming up with a number out of thin air.
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Christopher Hennen Designer 12 years ago
I agree with Philip, it sounds like it could be a realistic number, but without anything to go on (at least without anything listed in the article) it sounds a lot like a Patcher-esque prediction to me.
Nintendo is a lot like Apple in this situation, they have a large loyal consumer base, relatively solid products, and with the 3DS (like when the first iPhone or iPad) they are coming out with something that is quite unique that doesn't have real competition, (yet, at least in their consumers eyes) they can pretty much name their price because there isn't a real base to compare it to.
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Show all comments (7)
Roberto Allocco12 years ago
In my hopinion a price of that kind would be too high and get to overlap with home console segment.
And i think Nintendo knows this kind of things.
I say max 200 dollars ^^
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John Tobin Journalist 12 years ago
Like Philip and Christopher said above, there's no basis for these predictions, but I think Nintendo are smart enough not to scare away their customers with too high a price point. 300 is too high, but 250 seems very reasonable, and as long as they market it well (no doubt they will), I'm sure customers will see the value in the device (what with backwards compatibility and all the new features).
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Private Industry 12 years ago
The 3D screen technology can`t be cheap. I could see the 3DS go on sale for that price range, Nintendo is a company like all the others and sure they don`t want to loose too much money with the hardware. DSi is currently at around 170 and sure the 3Ds is more then 30$ more expensive to produce. Nintendo did not give the impression to replace the DSi with the 3DS and they can always reduce the price once the production costs are lowered.

A lot what was shown for the 3DS and the current games list is aimed at core gamers and less casual gamers and they are more willing to spend a higher amount of money on a new gaming device.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 12 years ago
Just pick a price out of a hat eh? This price is based on what grounds?
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