Thursday, July 28, 2011

The 3DS is in Trouble 2: Price Drop Boogaloo

So apparently those 3DS sales are troubling Nintendo more than I originally thought, because they just dropped the system's price by $80.

This also includes 20 free games (10 NES, 5 Virtual Console, and 5 Game Boy Advance) for those who bought the system before August 12th (price cut takes effect then), so early adopters don't feel quite so ripped off. Though they still should, since this shows Nintendo was gouging those most loyal to the company (and thus bought the system when it launched).

So the question is: why? Well, a couple of reasons...

Obviously, sales are not what Nintendo wanted to see. They were hoping by now to see the 3DS setting the world on fire, while the actual results are a little more lukewarm. This price drop, coupled with November and December releases for Super Mario 3DS, Mario Kart 7, and Kid Icarus, could give Nintendo the sales boost they're looking for.

Secondly, the PS Vita is coming out this holiday season, (then) matching the 3DS' price at $250 and offering a PS3-like experience on the go. Nintendo's move means their system is cheaper than Sony's, and we all know how that worked out last time.

Thirdly, the drop off of third-party support the 3DS has suddenly been seeing (see my last blog) means Nintendo needs to not only revitalize interest from a consumer perspective, but give other companies reason to want their software on the 3DS. A possible sales surge could do just that, as some developers could be jumping ship because of the current size of the customer base.

I don't know if it'll work out, but they certainly got my attention (I'll be getting the 20 free games since I bought this bloody thing at launch), and they've gotten the attention of a lot of other people. Only time will tell if the house that Mario built can continue the success they've had in the handheld market since the first Game Boy, or if the 3DS will become the next Virtual Boy.

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