It was announced yesterday that starting August 12th Nintendo will be slashing the price of the 3DS by almost 33% down from $249.99 to $169.99. This announcement was heralded by paltry (compared to estimates and predictions) 3DS sales in the US due in part to its high price point and also the lack of many high-quality titles featuring Nintendo’s beloved characters such as Mario, Donkey Kong, and Link.
With the 3DS’ price cut Nintendo also slashed its expected profits for the year from ¥110 billion to ¥20 billion-a cut of more than 80% according to The Wall Street Journal. With this price cut Nintendo is apparently hoping to encourage widespread adoption of the 3DS before the upcoming holiday season which will ideally drive sales of popular new Nintendo titles such as “Super Mario 3D Land”, Mariokart, and Kid Icarus.
For the die-hard fans who shelled out the initial asking price of $249.99 (myself included), Nintendo has prepared a peace offering to quell the unbridled rage (or perhaps just frustration) that comes from knowing one could’ve save $80 by waiting just five months.
Starting in August (after the price drop), users who have linked their 3DS’ to the Nintendo eShop will henceforth be known as 3DS Ambassadors and will receive ten free Virtual Console NES titles (including Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, and The Legend of Zelda) that will be released for all users to purchase later this year as well as ten free Gameboy Advance titles (including Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi’s Island, Metroid Fusion, and Wario Ware: Mega Microgames) that Nintendo is not planning to otherwise release via the eShop.
Its currently unclear how many free titles will be offered and whether users will have many games to choose from or simply 20 pre-selected choices (10 for NES and 10 for GBA), but it’s clear that Nintendo will have its hands full satiating its loyal fans who just discovered they could have 80 more dollars in their pockets.
Although I’m glad that Nintendo is providing some form of compensation to its early adopters, I’m not sure it’s going to be enough. Dropping the 3DS’ price so drastically this soon after launch sends the unmistakable message that fans should wait for the inevitable price cuts on new Nintendo systems (like the upcoming Wii U) before purchasing. This mentality is extremely dangerous and could hinder Nintendo’s next hardware launch much as the lack of quality content hindered the 3DS’.
What do you think of Nintendo’s move my early adopting, Chicago Street-Passing friends? How about the rest of my readers? Will this price cut push adoption or end up losing Nintendo profit that the release of its upcoming games could’ve adequately stimulated? Let me know how you feel about Nintendo’s “peace offering”. Is it adequate? What games would you like to see offered?
Check back here (or subscribe) to find out what games will be available as soon as Nintendo announces them.