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Price behind slow 3DS sales, claims survey

New Japanese report suggests health worries and launch titles also to blame

A new survey by Goo Research has found that concerns over price is the primary reason for low sales of the 3DS in Japan, followed by current satisfaction with the DS/DSi.

Although the 3DS initially broke records in Japan, weekly sales quickly began to drop and the hardware currently sells approximately half that of the best-selling PSP format. Sales in the West appear to show a similar drop-off.

According to a translation by website Andriasang, the new survey polled 1,110 people - with a 60.5 per cent split towards females - and asked them why they had not yet bought a 3DS.

The number one reason given was that the price is too high or that they are waiting for a price drop. The second most common reason was "satisfied by DS/DSi", followed by "worried about eye strain", "worried about getting sick from the screen", and "few launch titles".

The sixth most common reason was "will buy once a game I want is released", followed by "satisfied by cell phone and smartphone games", "satisfied by PSP", "the battery is weak", and "it's heavy and I don't feel like carrying it with me".

All of the most popular reasons are commonplace complaints for the system, but Nintendo has given no indication of any possible price drop. A number of new titles are expected to be announced at E3 next week though, at which point the online features, including the eShop, will also be activated.

A previous survey by Goo Research in March, just after the 3DS's release, asked the question "What game system will you buy next?", with the 3DS beating the NGP by 14,668 votes to 5,200.

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David Jenkins