Round Table: 3DS Price Drop Reactions

Still reeling from yesterday’s price drop bombshell? Allow our expert opinions to guide you safely to the next checkpoint.

By Adam Sorice. Posted 07/29/2011 07:30 20 Comments     ShareThis

3DS Price Drop Reactions Masthead

Yesterday, Nintendo announced that the 3DS would receive a worldwide price drop, with American players seeing $80 lifted off the RRP of a console that’s under six months old. Industry players, journalists and fans alike were shocked by Nintendo’s uncharacteristically sharp U-turn on the console’s business strategy but we’re more interested in whether this price slashing makes us more eager to pick one up. We also let (somewhat angry) existing 3DS-owners chime in on their thoughts about Nintendo’s Ambassador programme, offering twenty free games to anyone who takes their 3DS online before the date of the price drop. Read on to find out what are staff are thinking about all things 3DS.


Bill Marcotte

When I purchased my 3DS a few days after launch, I felt $250 (Canadian) was a decent price given it was new and you’re expected to pay through the nose on day one. I love 3D and wish I could convince my wife to let me upgrade my TV so I could use the PS3 on it. Too bad the game selection wasn’t that great. In the end I don’t regret the purchase. Of course I would liked to have paid less, but when was the last time the Big N cut the price of an offering so quickly? It’s out of character for them to do this. Nice to see Nintendo can change.

Even without the freebies I think early adopters would understand that Nintendo’s a business and it’s got to do what what’s right by them. It’s better for the rest of us: too few 3DS units sold means fewer games. We’re already seeing some announced 3DS titles getting canned and the system isn’t even a year old yet. Nintendo likely has learned by watching Apple with its iPhone price debacle when it was first introduced that you don’t want to piss off the people who buy your gear on day one. You don’t have to give them a refund but you could soften us up with some goodies.

Just wish the goodies were in the form of an eShop credit instead of having no choice in what games we get. I’m not going to feel pampered for a free Balloon Drop or whatever game that has a single-mechanic 5-minutes-and-the-fun’s-over gameplay. Granted, twenty games sounds like a lot, but some of the offerings on the eshop aren’t worth the $2 asking price. But when I went to claim my welcome back gifts for the PlayStation network, I was disappointed with the meager selection. Also, offering games that were super-super popular (like LittleBigPlanet and InFamous) as part of a small selection had the opposite effect on me: I was feeling cheated because I already owned those titles.

Still, right now is a great time to buy in Canada. Best Buy and FutureShop both have the 3DS on sale for $200, now, and Nintendo’s price drop isn’t supposed to go into effect until August 12. For $30 more, by buying now you get the early adopter freebies. Finally we should all thank Sony for bring the Vita in at the $250 price. Competition, it’s always a good thing.


Lewis Hampson

With a less than stellar launch line-up and a, shall we say, underwhelmed public opinion of 3DS it would be easy to sarcastically say “well, what a surprise”. Only, I am genuinely a bit surprised. Not only at how quickly Nintendo have slashed the price but also, to the extent that it has gone down. $169 from $250, is quite a large chunk to snip off an RRP at such an early stage. Taking everything into account, I believe Nintendo have made a good decision here, the imminent arrival of Sony’s VIta, with its high end graphics capability, puts the 3DS in a good position price wise. Getting a good head start on Sony’s next portable is also important, and the new price point is certain to tempt those who are yet to stump up for the 3D portable.

Having said that I can certainly understand the frustrations of people who have already paid the $250 asking price, though hopefully Nintendo’s piece offering of free games will soften the blow to the pocket somewhat. Disgruntled punters are sure to be flooding the boards of Internet land as we speak with their abject horror at such a move though in actuality, this was always going to happen (but maybe not quite so soon). Nintendo recognized they needed to act fast, and help boost the sales of 3DS, this price drop will certainly do that, enticing those teetering on the edge of a purchase, to take the plunge into their pocket for what, has to be said, is a great deal.


M. Noah Ward

I first found out about this news via an IM from my longtime Nintendojo buddy Aaron Steinfeld. I hadn’t checked my email or news sites yet, and he’d put it as “I heard somewhere…”, so we immediately jumped into speculation, not knowing the truth. My first reaction was that sounded unreasonable– that a $20 price drop to $230, akin to what DS did so many years ago (from $150 to $130), seemed more “Nintendo.” And if anything greater than that, which I noted would seem desperate, would be a cut of $50 to $200. But if it were actually $170? I might get one right away– if there were several must-have games that I could get at the same time, too. In a low moment, I did grouse that I was glad I wasn’t an early adopter if this price drop were real, given how anticlimactic and expensive 3DS has been.

DS, "It Prints Money" spoof image
Ah, remember the good old days? -Ed.

So the two of us got to internet researching to confirm this story, and lo and behold, it was true. The (questionable) threat that GBA classics like Metroid Fusion would only be available to early adopters in the “20 Free Games” deal almost made me think maybe a $250 3DS was worth it. (Don’t you think it’s funny how Nintendo went out of its way to say there were no plans to bring GBA games to 3DS’s eShop before the system launched, and now the titles are hurriedly being included without any correctional backpedaling?) But I already have those games on their original systems so I don’t feel I’m missing much.

As the spark of gleeful surprise faded into acceptance, I asked Aaron if he were planning on getting a 3DS when the price dropped. He replied he was probably going to wait. And, not to be irksome to people like Evan, who called no later than yesterday to taunt me into finally getting a 3DS (how prescient he was, not even knowing about the price drop yet!), I’m still not sure when I’m getting mine, either. I know I will get one, and there are games I really want for it, but 90% of those are unreleased and 50% don’t even have release dates. And when I look at the upcoming release calendar for the next four months, I feel like it’s Wii all over again: tons of licensed and D-list games, a couple first party gems and one or two third party gems. This isn’t how I felt about DS when I finally got it– scores of fresh, engaging and experimental new games, and the feeling that the potential for the system’s library was vast. Instead, 3DS is still having a rough go with its library, and what’s disquieting is I don’t think it will ever capture that same spirit of excitement. But at least it’ll be cheaper.


Smith Stuart

I think this price drop is a phenomenal move on Nintendo’s behalf, even more significant than E3’s mostly predictable revelations. With 3DS pretty much in a sales slump from the moment of its release, there could be no greater motivator for the many consumers who were still on the fence over the handheld than a stellar decrease of the MSRP. The must-have titles are just around the corner, and now may very well have been the perfect time for Nintendo to play the discount card and for us to buy into it. I also like how Nintendo is accommodating previous purchasers. Looking out for the victims of a quick and sudden price change seems very professional to me.

Though I still view the idea of 3D as pre-pubescent, I believe it is slowly growing more applicable in electronic mediums. Nintendo just needs to keep doing what it does best: Innovating games. What I’d really like to see is a new franchise (you hear that, Nintendo?) that is based totally on, around and about a three-dimensional experience. That would be like, totally mondo cool.


Andy Hoover

As an early adopter I’m definitely annoyed, but only to an extent. I’ve been doing this whole gaming thing long enough to know that there is always a risk with new hardware and the selection of free games for us early birds looks satisfactory, especially when you consider the fact they haven’t all been announced yet. And let’s not forget to compliment Nintendo on their rather tacit revelation of GBA Virtual Console — you think they would have made this its own, big announcement.

Putting aside my own reactions as a 3DS owner, I must also say this is a brilliant move for Nintendo, especially with PS Vita expected to be competing for handheld dominance come this holiday. The lower price point definitely helps the 3DS cause, but pair that with the upcoming launch of several major Nintendo franchises later this year and you have the potential for complete domination. Let’s not forget how huge Mario Kart DS was and the role it played in making DS the incredible success it was. I have no reason to doubt that the 3DS version won’t have a similar effect.


James Stank

Oh boy. This is the last time I let Nintendo rip me off. I purchased a 3DS because of the games shown at E3 2010, and we have none of them. The system is a failure, it has no original games worth a purchase, and I spent $250 on the console on launch day, only to have the price drop to $170 a few months later. When was the last time a console had a price drop of this magnitude so soon after launch? Probably never. And what does Nintendo do for the early adopters? Give us 10 NES games and 10 GBA games. Wow, how kind of you.

Metroid Fusion screen
You can’t really complain about a free copy of Metroid Fusion, can you?

I own more than 20 NES games on Wii’s Virtual Console, so I’m basically getting games I already paid for. How cool is that? Out of the named GBA titles that will be available, I’d only want Metroid Fusion. The fact that they were able to drop the price like this means that the console isn’t worth $250, and they knew it. I’ve heard that even at $170, they make $70 on every unit. (Though it’s now being reported that Nintendo are making a loss on each console -Ed.) There are still no games, and the games that are available cost too much for what you get. However, I think that we can learn a couple things from the price drop.

The first thing is that Wii U will be priced around $250 for sure. The fact that the price of the 3DS dropped so much leaves a nice hole for Wii U to occupy. The other is that Nintendo is scared, and they should be. The 3DS is a joke right now, and they know it. Vita is around the corner, and will be launching with worthwhile games, unlike 3DS. I also guarantee that there will be more games worth buying on PS Vita in the first few months than there were on 3DS. Honestly, I don’t know how some people will feel about this, but I don’t want Nintendo to ever make another console. They make the best games, but buying a system for only their games is getting old and Wii U will be no different. We’d be better off if Nintendo made PS3 games. Obviously they are having trouble on the hardware side of the business so now is the time to cut it out. They can’t keep up with Sony forever. We never asked for motion control, 3D, or touch screens. We just want the games, so that is all Nintendo should focus on.


Katharine Byrne

I’ve certainly got to tip my hat to Nintendo on making this surprising yet bold move. There’s no doubt that the handheld gaming arena has moved onto a completely different playing field since Nintendo DS launched back in 2004, and I think Nintendo are finally having to come to terms with some of the comments they made at the GDC earlier this year. I remember one particular line going something like this:

“At Nintendo, we see hardware as something people reluctantly purchase to play games.”

This has probably been Nintendo’s biggest problem — there just haven’t been enough great games to persuade people to part with the amount of money Nintendo have been demanding. But as Stuart has said, I think this price drop could be just the thing they need given the upcoming release schedule and the imminent competition from PS Vita.

At the same time though, this is just one more sign that the 3DS was a rather badly planned console. Launching without the eShop, internet browser and all the other features that have been gradually filtering in was one thing, but suddenly realising they got the price wrong too rather reminds me of a certain Sony console that launched around the same time as Wii.

But while I bought my 3DS on day one, I actually only paid £187 (thank you, Amazon!) instead of the £230 RRP, so that was a pretty good discount as far as I was concerned — especially considering $250 equates to roughly £150! There have already been predictions that this new price drop will be somewhere in the region of £150 for UK buyers (where it should have been in the first place, though it’s likely that Amazon will once again push the price down as low as possible), but to be honest, I’m not disappointed that I bought it early. I wanted to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D when it came out, so I guess price drops like this are something you’ve got to take in your stride as a gamer.

I’m pretty excited by the twenty free games too. Although I didn’t have to suffer through the PSN debacle, Sony’s fairly measly Welcome Back package didn’t exactly do much to appease angry gamers who already owned all the titles on offer. Nintendo have taken the right step in offering a larger number of games with a wider variety of titles, especially if they don’t plan on releasing the GBA games to the public any time soon. Let’s just hope that this isn’t the beginning of the end for 3DS.


Adam Sorice

As I’m sure you can tell, the staff are pretty divided (as always!) on this price drop, with neutral parties supporting Nintendo’s sheer un-Nintendoness, early adopters feeling somewhat cheated and prospective buyers still feeling unsure. I’m a similar position to Katharine, living in the UK and taking full advantage of the price war that has been raging over here for months. While I was first angry when I found out that Nintendo was refusing to give the 3DS a concrete price for Europe at the start of the year, the poor sales of the console have forced retailers in the UK to already slash prices as far as this new price drop will take them. While the average selling price at launch for the console was £230, I managed to pick one up for £160 a few months back (which only brought it down to a similar price as the US’s $250, the inflation on tech devices over here is atrocious.) I bought my 3DS then because I knew it wasn’t going to go any cheaper but would definitely increase inprice again, meaning that the best time to buy a 3DS was then, regardless of the games on offer.


Maybe Mario and the gang are stuck in traffic? -Ed.

To that effect, I still have yet to purchase any games for my 3DS (although my DS was broken so at least it’s getting used) but I think that will very much mimic the situation come August 12th, hardcore fans will pick up the console at its discounted price and wait it out for the great games will the fairweather game will shrug off this price drop by claiming that there’s still not anything worth playing. Which there isn’t. The prospect of Super Mario 3D Land or the oddly titled Mario Kart 7 by the end of the year smacks of that old war-time saying, “the boys’ll be home Christmas”. It’s just far too far away for the average consumer to think about and even if you’re only sinking $170 into a new purchase rather than $250, you want to get your money’s worth out it.

To say the 3DS has had a poor launch is a bit of a gross understatement but I suppose Nintendo’s only other option was a launch that would try and fight the PS Vita at every hurdle as they released simultaneously. Nintendo is learning lessons from releases like the GameCube where the PlayStation 2 got a massive head start on them and they never stood a chance of catching up because the library and price cuts beat them at every turn. At the very least, Nintendo has had six months to realise what it’s doing wrong and by the end of the year, you’re going to have a much more affordable 3DS with a library of games to truly brag about whereas the PS Vita is going to begin floundering. Because if you think Nintendo has failed to successfully launch a premium handheld in this market, you forget that they’re the masters of the portable experience. Sony are going to hit rocks and it’s going to be sooner rather than later.

As for the twenty free games, I like free things. As someone that missed the NES the first time round (wasn’t really born) and passed by the Virtual Console on Wii because it just felt out of place, I wouldn’t mind trying out these games one more time. And the GBA series? That’s all my Christmases coming at once. With Game Boy Advance games coming in at $50 each and rarely ever seeing a price drop, I don’t have as broad a collection for the little handheld as I would like. Just give me Pokémon and my life will be complete, Nintendo.


Now it’s your turn, what are your thoughts on Nintendo’s 3DS bombshell? Is it going to make you run out and buy a 3DS today so you can pick up those twenty free games? Or will you wait it out for the price drop and save some extra cash? Let us know in the comments.

20 Responses to “Round Table: 3DS Price Drop Reactions”

  • 678 points
    amishpyrate says...

    I think it would be worse if they weren’t giving away the free games to “ambassadors”. They could have just said too bad if you bought one already. I remember a certain playstation dropping its price in 1/2 and releasing a cooler looking system. The people that bought early didn’t get anything extra with that deal

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    • 697 points
      Adam Sorice says...

      *eyes up PlayStations taking up space underneath my telly* They got to play PS2 games. The PS3 was maddeningly overpriced though.

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    • 393 points
      James Stank says...

      You’re not seriously comparing PS3 and 3DS are you? Last time I checked, the PS3 Slim didn’t launch the same year as the original, and the price didn’t drop to $250 for years. The 3DS price is dropping a few months after release. Huge difference. Plus early PS3 owners had games to play. 3DS owners don’t.

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      • 697 points
        Adam Sorice says...

        Well perhaps the 3DS is simply catching on quicker to the problems that affected the PS3. Just because it took Sony longer to act doesn’t mean the PS3 was in a better position financially, it just means they were more stubborn.

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      • 1358 points
        xeacons says...

        What does the PS3 Slim have to do with anything? What, are you already expecting the 3DS Lite? And I’m liking the games. Not a lot, but still. The PS3 wasn’t loaded either. It had bugs. And lots of’em.

        Look, the 3DS has issues: the circle pad needs work, we’re still waiting on the major 1st party titles, and Nintendo Video was a waste of time and space. But keep in mind the original DS needed work too: it was bulky, the backlite was dim, and the screen was small and pale.

        I agree with you on a lot of the problems but you haven’t even tried to enjoy it. Ever since you got your 3DS, you’ve done nothing but B*@$#, B*@$#, B*@$#!

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      • 393 points
        James Stank says...

        Actually I’ve tried very hard to enjoy it. I’ve bought three GB games, and gotten multiple 3DS games. I’ve traded all but one of them in because they aren’t any good. And I only mentioned PS3 because someone else did first. You should have read his post. You mention DS being slow too, but it still had better games than what we have right now and games are all that matter.

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      • 1358 points
        xeacons says...

        Well, yeah, but the PS3 Slim and well…nevermind. I see your point about “games are all that matter.” I was about to use Netflix and the eShop videos as a matter of defense, but yeah. Point taken. As I said, I’m liking the VC because I haven’t had access to these games in years, but it depends on the gamer. If you already have them, then I understand it’s been a real disappointment. I know the 3D games have been. We’ve had 1, count’em 1 original 3D game (3DSware?) and golf was not what I was looking forward to.

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      • 678 points
        amishpyrate says...

        early ps3 adopters had resistance, that was the only good game when that beast launched imo…. just like the only good ps2 launch game was SSX, imo but everyone has to complain about the 3DS launch…. great games didn’t come out for months on the ps2/3 and not too long after the launch the 3ds had zelda 64…. I personally cant complain about a nintendo system yet…. and I own a virtual boy.

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  • 1358 points
    xeacons says...

    Wow. This is tough. Well, at the time the Wii’s VC launched I did have most of the games mentioned (on GBC or GBA nonetheless), so I didn’t bother. Now, without my GBA, original NDS, or GCN w/GBP, I have no system to play these games, so this does seem like a sweet deal. Still, I can definitely understand it’s a case-to-case scenario.

    I can’t complain. I know I’m going to love the “Ambassador games”, I’ve missed them, and for free.

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  • 201 points
    NintendoDad says...

    While it was obvious a price drop was coming, I didn’t expect it to be as drastic as it was. I’m happy with the whole situation and I’ve had one since Day 1. The 20 free games are awesome, even if you don’t get to pick them. I just wonder how many people will buy less 3DS games this holiday than they would have seeing as how they have 20 games to choose to play through. I’ll be content playing some of the classics.

    I expect to see a big spike in sales once the price drops, then a decrease close to where they are now. Until they start putting some great games out that people haven’t already played before, many will continue to not buy one. While Zelda:TOoT and StarFox 64 are great games, I don’t think they entice people to buy systems.

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  • 6 points
    Bullrogg says...

    Well James, you have a right to your opinion, but seeing as how this is a NINTENDO website, if yo hate them so much and love the other companies so much you should take your opinions elsewhere. Why stay here and write about stuff if you are so upset?

    The system has been out four month and you call it a failure. FOUR MONTHS! I guarentee you he 3DS has far superior games after a year on the shelves as compared to your precious PS3. PS3 was grossly overpriced and had barely anything worth playing it’s entire first year on the market. If you paid $600 for the system…whether it dropped to $250 four months later or 4 years later, you still paid the same amount. That will never change and that is the risk you took. YOU are the one to blame for buying the 3DS so soon. Nintendo released a list of games that were coming out the first three months. Nothing here was a surprise and it’s you’re fault and no one elses that you don’t like the games. Go sell your 3DS and I’ll talk to you this time next year after I’ve enjoyed Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, Kid Icarus Uprising, Star Fox 3D, Zelda, Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Luigi’s Mansion 2, Paper Mario, Animal Crossing,my 20 free games, and whatever other surpises are coming our way. You sure as hell didn’t find a line up like that on PS3 after one year and that’s sure as hell not the lineup of a system that is a failure.

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    • 393 points
      James Stank says...

      Man, you are really taking my words out of context. If you want to respond to something I said, make sure you read all the comments and not just one. I never said I hated Nintendo, and I said the 3DS is a failure right now. To quote IGN, “You know you have problems when your best game is 13 years old.” It’s a fact that at this point in time, 3DS doesn’t have any great original games of its own. Yes, by the end of the year, that will all change, but that is still months away. I also wasn’t the one that brought up PS3. Someone else did first. But so you know, it did get Uncharted, The Orange Box, Assassin’s Creed, Oblivion, and Call of Duty 4 in the first year, which I wouldn’t call too shabby either. And if a system dropped $250 after 4 years, how could I be upset if I’ve been playing a bunch of great games in that time. Usually by the time a price drop hits, there are games worth playing. I think it’s kinda weird that the best launch of any Nintendo system was GameCube, with Luigi’s Mansion, Sonic Adventure 2, Melee, and Rogue leader all in the launch window.

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  • 678 points
    amishpyrate says...

    Anyone else love the dreamcast?

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  • 6 points
    Bullrogg says...

    Well I apoligize if my initial response was too harsh. I still feel like youcame across really angry in your posts and even made it sound like you wouldn’t buy another Nintendo system. You said you won’t ever let them rip you off again…you can never buy a system again with that logic cause you never know when a price drop might happen. Xbox dropped $100 in price after one month in the UK and pretty soon after that in the US so it’s not unprecedented. Even then people in the UK only got a copy of Halo and Dead or Alive, which is two games they probably already owned.

    I’m just a huge Nintendo fan and I think it would be horrible if they went the Sega route. I love the Wii, it’s got a lot of good games, and if people weren’t so blinded by HD graphics they might actually be able to see this. There is a lot of crap on the system but if you know where to look I think it’s a perfect alternative to a 360 or PS3. Having three of the same system would be pretty boring. Nintendo is the only company that innovates…granted you might not like all their stuff but a world without a Nintendo system might be the time I lose my passion for games. I’m hoping the 3DS can turn it around and the WiiU is a huge success as I love the ideas of both systems.

    My basic point is, the 3DS has still only been out for four months, during the slowest four months of the year. The other systems haven’t had much great over this period of time either. By this time next year, there will be so much good stuff to play that this will all be a pointless and forgotten argument.

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  • 432 points
    dmgice says...

    Hmm.. I’m going to disassemble some of the junk in here. Hmm.. lemme see..

    “I purchased a 3DS because of the games shown at E3 2010, and we have none of them.”

    So, Steel Diver, Nintendogs, Pilotwings, Super Street Fighter 4 3D Edition, Dead Or Alive Dimensions, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Edition, Streetpass Puzzles, AR Games, Excitebike 3D, Resident Evil: Mercenaries, Xevious 3D, and Super Monkey Ball 3D were never released? Oh, you mean the proof of concept demo for MGS, right? Because a proof of concept demo is great reason to buy a system. Man, this FFVII remix on the PS3 is so amazing. It’s just as good as the FFVIII remix on the PS2! Woo!

    “The system is a failure, it has no original games worth a purchase”

    I dunno. Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars is a rather great game AND it’s an original take on the franchise. It’s kind of a Fire Emblem with guns. Also, Dead Or Alive: Dimensions is pretty great. So is BlazBlue, Ridge Racer 3D (Which is a best of game, not a port of an existing title. Same as Super Monkey Ball 3D.) Well, sure there are Lego games on every platform; but the 3DS one is well worth it. I think you’re just using hyperbole to justify an unequal reaction.

    “and I spent $250 on the console on launch day, only to have the price drop to $170 a few months later. When was the last time a console had a price drop of this magnitude so soon after launch? Probably never.”

    It’s actually not the first time this has happened with a system. Sega, SNK, Bandai, Apple, Sony, Panasonic, and Nintendo (Virtual Boy) have had radical price drops happen to recoup flagging sales. It’s not like this price drop and flagging sales have to do with -I dunno- a ridiculously weak US Dollar, the earthquake in Japan affecting supply issues, and general delays in the AAA titles in production due to those supply issues.

    “And what does Nintendo do for the early adopters? Give us 10 NES games and 10 GBA games. Wow, how kind of you. I own more than 20 NES games on Wii’s Virtual Console, so I’m basically getting games I already paid for. How cool is that? Out of the named GBA titles that will be available, I’d only want Metroid Fusion.”

    I own over 400 GB/GBC/GBA titles and almost every NES title that they mentioned for the original NES. However, I do not own digital copies of them that I can use on my 3DS, legally, and for free. So, I feel that you are comparing Apples (Wii) to Oranges (3DS) in this opinion.

    “The fact that they were able to drop the price like this means that the console isn’t worth $250, and they knew it. I’ve heard that even at $170, they make $70 on every unit. (Though it’s now being reported that Nintendo are making a loss on each console -Ed.)”

    The parts in the unit cost about $110 total for parts, the labor adds $30 to $50 to that price. Marketing and retail kick back adds the rest. In order to sell the unit at $169, Nintendo had to lower the Wholesale Price of the unit down to under $100. Which means that they make a drastic loss on each unit sold out through wholesale. They also gave retailers a separate buy program to make up for the lost revenue from the price drop. So, is the 3DS worth $250? It’s actually worth about $220 to $230 in order for everyone involved (Nintendo/Wholesalers/Retailers) to make some sort of profit. Your general ignorance of the way the market works is less than charming. Please educate yourself, thank you.

    “There are still no games, and the games that are available cost too much for what you get.”

    3DS games really only jumped $5 over the price of more expensive DS titles. Remember when NES games were $75? I paid $90 for Chrono Trigger at a WAL-MART. At $39.99, the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Edition is half the original MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of the N64 game. There are also more games available for play on the 3DS right now, than in the entirety of the first 3 YEARS of the PSP. The PSP had no games. The 3DS has a ton of games that are compatible with it.

    “Vita is around the corner, and will be launching with worthwhile games, unlike 3DS. I also guarantee that there will be more games worth buying on PS Vita in the first few months than there were on 3DS.”

    Because ports of console fighting games are a great system seller for a device that retails for $250 and has games that retail at $50 to $60. At least I’ll be able to purchase a brand new memory stick format for $30 to $130 so I can move my older PSN purchases to the Vita. Of course, the launch line up has not been actually announced, so you really don’t have anything to back up that statement other than the blind belief that Sony will actually put out a good product that isn’t plagued with horrible design flaws and bugs. Maybe they’ll launch it with a special feature for early adopters! Maybe it will send your credit card information directly to 4Chan and other users around you via Near and the 3G? That would save time. Maybe this one will have OLED screens that only have five to ten dead pixels and a Square Button that only doesn’t respond 20% of the time? That would be an amazing feature! Of course, the current feature of badly designed dual sticks that lose their calibration only some of the time should be a winner! Woo! Sony!

    “To say the 3DS has had a poor launch is a bit of a gross understatement but I suppose Nintendo’s only other option was a launch that would try and fight the PS Vita at every hurdle as they released simultaneously. Nintendo is learning lessons from releases like the GameCube where the PlayStation 2 got a massive head start on them and they never stood a chance of catching up because the library and price cuts beat them at every turn. At the very least, Nintendo has had six months to realise what it’s doing wrong and by the end of the year, you’re going to have a much more affordable 3DS with a library of games to truly brag about whereas the PS Vita is going to begin floundering. Because if you think Nintendo has failed to successfully launch a premium handheld in this market, you forget that they’re the masters of the portable experience. Sony are going to hit rocks and it’s going to be sooner rather than later.”

    This is exactly right.

    “This has probably been Nintendo’s biggest problem — there just haven’t been enough great games to persuade people to part with the amount of money Nintendo have been demanding. But as Stuart has said, I think this price drop could be just the thing they need given the upcoming release schedule and the imminent competition from PS Vita.”

    This also correct. However, I have to point out that we would have many of those games that were being developed IN JAPAN already had there not been a major earthquake IN JAPAN. Rolling black outs, and other concerns have a tendency to cut work time in half. Had that not happened, we would probably would have had Ocarina of Time at launch. Remember that they ended up announcing a final release date a few months after the earthquake. It takes hundreds of work hours to complete a title. Especially with Grezzo (the people behind Ocarina of Time) being in Shibuya. Shibuya is on the other grid, which means that it got power from the nuclear power plant that ended up in mini-meltdown. So, you’ve got days of little to no power. Each of those days is about 296 man hours (Grezzo has about 39 employees) that are lost in the development cycle. When you are hundreds or even thousands of hours behind in development, you have to delay titles. The 3DS should have been pushed back a month; but the shareholders would have rather not enjoyed the subsequent drop that backpedaling on the launch promise would cause.

    This price drop is a sign of Nintendo being committed to the 3DS and the Ambassador program is a way to beta test product while doing something to compensate the early adopters. That said, I suspect that Nintendo will also lower the wholesale prices temporarily for Mario Kart 7, Super Mario 3D Land, and Starfox 64 3D.

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    • 393 points
      James Stank says...

      Thanks for the long response dmgice, and this is the last time I will write another comment on this topic. You listed a bunch of games that were indeed shown at e3 and released this year. But here’s the problem: besides OOt 3d (which, is a remake to my understanding of a 10 dollar virtual console game. I don’t care what its original price was. I care about how much I can get it for now), how many of those great games you listed have an average score over 9.0? What’s that, none of them? If there were great games for the system, the price wouldn’t have dropped so much and so soon, and that’s all there is to it. Don’t think that Sony isn’t watching this closely and taking notes. Even if they somehow botch the Vita launch, they have enough money to make it not even matter. Nintendo unfortunately, can’t say the same. Bullrogg is completely right, by the end of the year, it will have plenty of great games to play, so these debates will have been pointless.

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      • 432 points
        dmgice says...

        That was a great response that doesn’t address any of the points made. Congrats. We all know that review scores do not mean a game will sell well, so why would you think it matter in the case of the 3DS? We could argue that every first person shooter is a remake of Doom so therefore none of them are worth the money. Yes, Ocarina of Time is a remake/director’s cut of one of the most highly regarded games in the last three decades. Had the system launched with it, we wouldn’t be talking about a price cut. I could download all of these games for free illegally. That doesn’t mean that it has any bearing on the quality or value of the title. Straw-Man arguments are for the weak of mind.

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  • 57 points
    Urie says...

    The gloom and doom surrounding Nintendo is really exasperating. For a company that has dominated the course of the industry for five years, the collective cyberworld has been pretty quick to dismiss the Big N. I guess no one remembers its previous troubles with the N64 and Cube. (I actually sort of look forward to Nintendo being the underdog, just like in my childhood).

    But back to the 3DS: Nintendo has always valued software over hardware. Combine a reduced price with the games coming this holiday and, surprise surprise, the forecast looks a good deal better. If the 3D DS successor still struggles after the holidays, then it’ll be time to raise the red flags.

    Remember ND faithful, the DS sucked until we got Kirby and Nintendogs. Forgetting for the time being that Nintendogs was a killer app, we’re talking about more than half a year of relative suckage before the system took off.

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    • 432 points
      dmgice says...

      I never understood why people who claim to be “hardcore gamers” get so long in the tooth about Nintendo. The term hardcore means to be dedicated. So, a really dedicated Nintendo gamer would own their latest systems and purchase games for it. The problem is that Nintendo refuses to call the doom & gloom people what they are: “Cynical Asshats who were customers; but decided not to be customers due to their own sense of casual hipsterism getting in the way of actually enjoying video games that may or may not employ new technology.” Nintendo says they are aiming for those people by putting out stuff that only the hardcore fans of video games will buy. Which causes the “Cynical Asshats” to decry Nintendo for not having enough p’s in their resolution. Nintendo should just focus on the people they focus on now: The gamers that love Nintendo games and actually purchase them. The Cynical Asshat crowd on the internet is just that way because they are too insecure to play fun games.

      You’re right about the DS having about half a year of relative blah before it took off. Of course, it had GBA games to fall back on. Just as the 3DS has DS/DSi/GB/GBC games to fall back on. People forget that the DS didn’t really hit gang busters until Brain Training and Nintendogs were featured all over the media. Nintendo just needs to lower prices and push a few key marketing buttons. They should also focus on the improved graphics of the 3DS like they are doing in Europe.

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