3DS Price Drop - Wise move, slap in the face of fans, or both?

Posted by ttocs (763 posts) -

I can't say that I was too pleased to learn about the sudden drop in the Nintendo 3DS price. On one hand, I'm a little peeved that I had to shell out $250 bucks and it's not being dropped to $170 only six months after it first hit shelves. This not only shows that Nintendo is full aware of their flub on pricing, but that they may have suspected it to be too high in the beginning. But, the loyal and the early adopters like myself went out and picked it up nonetheless.

When I first heard the news, I wasn't aware of anything being done to right the wrongs that loyal fans no doubt feel. Since, I've learned that Nintendo is going to offer 20 games to the early adopters for free via the downloadable network. Before you get excited, it's not current games, it's virtual console. First, we'll get 10 NES games including Super Mario Bros., original Zelda, and some others. Later on, we'll get some Gameboy Advanced games with the Mario Kart one being the only one that sounds decent at the moment. While this is a nice gesture, it still doesn't make me regret buying the DS. But, from a company that could have just threw up their hands and said sorry, the gesture is much appreciated.

Now, why is Nintendo dropping the price on the 3DS all of a sudden without a lot of press around this? Probably because sales haven't been so hot. The games for the system have been few and far between and to be honest, the 3DS was released way too early. Half the features mentioned and games promised didn't come out until months later (with some games still waiting to be released). This seems like a solid point but I think there's another reason, the Playstation Vita.

The Vita looks fantastic for a handheld and if it's going to be priced comparable to the 3DS, it would make it obsolete overnight. The tech in the Vita, the games, the graphics, etc. all look fantastic and blow the 3DS away. How can Nintendo fight that? Make it an uneven playing ground. Sure, if they were both the same price, you can pit them against each other, but if one drops the price and becomes a "more affordable" system, then all bets are off. The Vita remains the powerhouse while the 3DS is the cheaper platform with less impressive tech.

To be honest the only thing I fault Nintendo for is for not doing this sooner. If the 3DS would have released at this price I bet a whole hell of a lot more gamers would have traded in their DSi's for the 3DS. As for now, we just have to wait and see how the handheld market turns out. In the meantime, at least we have some old NES games to play with. *grumble*

#1 Posted by ttocs (763 posts) -

I can't say that I was too pleased to learn about the sudden drop in the Nintendo 3DS price. On one hand, I'm a little peeved that I had to shell out $250 bucks and it's not being dropped to $170 only six months after it first hit shelves. This not only shows that Nintendo is full aware of their flub on pricing, but that they may have suspected it to be too high in the beginning. But, the loyal and the early adopters like myself went out and picked it up nonetheless.

When I first heard the news, I wasn't aware of anything being done to right the wrongs that loyal fans no doubt feel. Since, I've learned that Nintendo is going to offer 20 games to the early adopters for free via the downloadable network. Before you get excited, it's not current games, it's virtual console. First, we'll get 10 NES games including Super Mario Bros., original Zelda, and some others. Later on, we'll get some Gameboy Advanced games with the Mario Kart one being the only one that sounds decent at the moment. While this is a nice gesture, it still doesn't make me regret buying the DS. But, from a company that could have just threw up their hands and said sorry, the gesture is much appreciated.

Now, why is Nintendo dropping the price on the 3DS all of a sudden without a lot of press around this? Probably because sales haven't been so hot. The games for the system have been few and far between and to be honest, the 3DS was released way too early. Half the features mentioned and games promised didn't come out until months later (with some games still waiting to be released). This seems like a solid point but I think there's another reason, the Playstation Vita.

The Vita looks fantastic for a handheld and if it's going to be priced comparable to the 3DS, it would make it obsolete overnight. The tech in the Vita, the games, the graphics, etc. all look fantastic and blow the 3DS away. How can Nintendo fight that? Make it an uneven playing ground. Sure, if they were both the same price, you can pit them against each other, but if one drops the price and becomes a "more affordable" system, then all bets are off. The Vita remains the powerhouse while the 3DS is the cheaper platform with less impressive tech.

To be honest the only thing I fault Nintendo for is for not doing this sooner. If the 3DS would have released at this price I bet a whole hell of a lot more gamers would have traded in their DSi's for the 3DS. As for now, we just have to wait and see how the handheld market turns out. In the meantime, at least we have some old NES games to play with. *grumble*

#2 Posted by Sidfiou (71 posts) -

I don't think that the Vita would've made the it "obsolete overnight" if the 3DS' price stayed where it was. Granted, there would probably be a smaller discrepancy between the two consoles' sales compared to a similar timeframe from the DS-PSP era. 
 
I will agree that the 3DS is getting this price drop because of the sales far. Nintendo may have been able to hold on to that price point (or had a smaller drop to $200), though, if they had released later, as you mentioned. Having a more complete feature list with a stronger launch lineup might have been able to stave the degree of criticism the system got at launch. These issues have, thus far, created a "wait-and-see" climate with the core audience that has, evidently, caused them to stay away from the system. 
 
Nintendo's response may be sudden, but I think it's necessary. Their offerings have been (comparatively) generous to existing fans, and could help stimulate an anemic 3DS eShop market. The drop in price will certainly help it to combat the Vita this fall.   Still, much of this could've been avoided by holding off the launch a little longer.

#3 Posted by tobygw (580 posts) -

Even if the Vita and the 3DS were still the same price, parents and kids would still go for the 3DS. It's not like they care about the internal specs, but when they see that it has 3D, Mario, looks less fragile and is made by Nintendo, they would still get a lot of sales.

#4 Posted by Marokai (2958 posts) -

It's a wise move born out of panic, I think. Nintendo right now is at their most vulnerable point in a really long time in the handheld market. The 3DS isn't selling up to expectations, few great games are coming out for it, and it was incredibly expensive. Not to mention, the Vita matched their initial price point. They must have been feeling the heat and a massive price cut was about all they could do.
 
I do kind of think that people saying "It's not so bad that I already bought this, I get free NES and GBA games!" are in denial, though. Sure, great, you're getting games that have been out there for years and years and years, that many people already have or have already played, and are easily emulated in a handful of minutes after setting your mind to the task. I feel really happy that I didn't buy a 3DS right away.
 
Even still though, I'll wait for the holiday season to pick one up. By them, more games will be out for it, not to mention retailer specific sales that are sure to occur driving down the price point even further for me.

#5 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3865 posts) -

Panic is probably part of it. Nintendo is in a position they haven't been in in a while. They've released hardware that isn't flying off the shelves and that probably scares them a bit. They're a victim of their own success I think. 
This to me seems like a smart move though, I don't play a lot of handheld games so I haven't bothered picking up a 3DS but at this price I think I actually might and I'm betting a lot of other people will do the same, especially considering we're starting to see games coming out that are worth playing.
Regardless, I don't think Nintendo is gonna ever see a repeat of the DS, the handheld landscape has changed pretty dramatically. I don't think either this or the Vita is gonna be a huge success, Sony should be even more worried.

#6 Posted by Marz (5651 posts) -

I'll consider one for christmas,  they haven't totally sold me on buying one yet.  Ocarina of Time is probably the only thing I'm interested at this point and I've already played that game to hell years ago.

#7 Posted by DeeGee (2123 posts) -

Wise move.

I have gone from "I'm not going to get a 3DS" to "Maybe I'll get a 3DS".

Prolly not though. Bring on the games!

#8 Posted by Vexxan (4620 posts) -

@Marz said:

I'll consider one for christmas, they haven't totally sold me on buying one yet. Ocarina of Time is probably the only thing I'm interested at this point and I've already played that game to hell years ago.

Kinda the seat I'm in too. If they bring me a Majora's Mask remake and some Pokemans I'll probably start throwing money at them.

#9 Posted by SSully (4185 posts) -

It was smart, there was no chance in hell I was paying that much for a handheld. But I still wont get one because there isn't shit to play on it.

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