What's your prediction for the Nintendo 3DS?

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Bill Loguidice
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Business factors
TripHamer wrote:

To me, at least, those extra features don't justify a higher price. They are expected (for the most part) in order to be competitive. $200 wouldn't be too bad of a launch price, with the features it has.

But maybe that's just me :)

I would think a sound business strategy is to release at the highest price you can get away with, and I think they can get away with around $250 in the US and around $300 in Japan without any issues for at least the first several million systems sold. They're likely making quite the tidy profit margin on that as well. In this day of $500+ iPads, I don't think $250 - $300 for a new type of game machine is outrageous, particularly since they'll be marketing on some of the non-game functionality as well (movies, music, photos, Internet, etc.)...

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TripHamer
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M Response
Bill Loguidice wrote:

I was estimating $199 myself, but I did leave open the possibility of $249. This is a bit different from the usual portable system, particularly from Nintendo, since this is a handheld driven by a new type of technology. If you REALLY look hard at the feature set, up to $300 is not unreasonable, particularly if you consider you'll be able to watch 3D movies on it, take 3D photos, and of course play 3D games, on top of it being highly backwards compatible with the DS. It will also have improved controls, online integration, multiple cameras, etc., and considering the DSi currently retails for $150, a $100 premium or so for all of those additional features suddenly doesn't seem so outrageous, particularly if you're talking GameCube/Wii-level visual quality (in 3D), albeit at a lower resolution.

To me, at least, those extra features don't justify a higher price. They are expected (for the most part) in order to be competitive. $200 wouldn't be too bad of a launch price, with the features it has.

But maybe that's just me :)

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Bill Loguidice
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Some analysis (i.e., opinion)
TripHamer wrote:

My current thinking is that the 3DS will wind up being a little overpriced for a lot of people. Since it's coming out in Japan at the equivalent of about $300, it'll most likely come out at around $249 or more here. I don't think there is enough history to suggest that it'll be less than that.

And on top of that, most games will probably be in the $35 - $50 range. With cheap and free games for smart phones and lower cost games on the PSP, I think it may be an uphill battle this time.

I personally was hoping for a $169 price, now I doubt that will happen. Hopefully a more reasonable price will be out a year or so after launch when they release the "Lite" version (assumed). Then I'll be more tempted to get one.

Just my guess.

I was estimating $199 myself, but I did leave open the possibility of $249. This is a bit different from the usual portable system, particularly from Nintendo, since this is a handheld driven by a new type of technology. If you REALLY look hard at the feature set, up to $300 is not unreasonable, particularly if you consider you'll be able to watch 3D movies on it, take 3D photos, and of course play 3D games, on top of it being highly backwards compatible with the DS. It will also have improved controls, online integration, multiple cameras, etc., and considering the DSi currently retails for $150, a $100 premium or so for all of those additional features suddenly doesn't seem so outrageous, particularly if you're talking GameCube/Wii-level visual quality (in 3D), albeit at a lower resolution.

Nintendo has a natural window where at even $300 (though more likely $249 in the US), they'll have trouble keeping them on the shelves for the first six months or so, which will give them a window to lower manufacturing costs/profit margins enough to eventually get it down to $199 sooner rather than later, which is probably a fair price any way you look at it.

As for the game cost, certainly boxed games - many of them the typical epics - will likely be in the $40 - $50 range as you say, but you also have to consider the downloadable game options, which likely would max out at half that price, and likely be much less. Again, this is not out of the realm of doable for this level of handheld.

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Bill Loguidice
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I disagree!
Keith Burgun wrote:

Forces who HATE video games and LOVE money have always attempted to make things other than game design the priority. For most of my life, it was a "graphics technology arms race". Now, we've gotten to the level with that where it's hard to discern between various graphic technologies, so those forces - forces who again, HATE video games - have decided that hardware gimmicks are the next smokescreen. The Wiimote, Kinekt, Move, the 3DS - all attempts to wow us into forgetting that games really suck these days.

There will be good games on the 3DS, but they will be good despite the technology, not because of it.

I don't agree with this in the slightest, actually. There is probably more innovative content and more depth of content now than at any other time, not to mention the fact that if you really want a certain experience that they no longer make, there are probably enough past games of that type to experience to last a lifetime. Amateur and semi-pro developers have the ability to distribute in a surprisingly professional manner thanks to the various digital distribution systems available for computers, consoles and mobile, so even the craziest ideas can be explored and marketed, not to mention the Internet provides an unprecedented word of mouth (Minecraft being just the latest example).

While I agree that certain elements of today's gaming are gimmicky at best until proven otherwise, I've found that it's not at the expense of the "good stuff", it merely ADDS to the available options. Gimmicks have ALWAYS been part of gaming, though, and our industry has survived just fine thank you, and in fact thrived despite some of them being remarkably lame ("thought" control, pseudo-holograms, FMV, etc.). Gaming is not some elitist past-time that only gamers in the know should get to experience. Gaming is something for everyone, whether they're technically savvy or educated in our history or not.

I'm NOT saying that the 3DS will provide some truly innovative experience, but the POTENTIAL is there, just like the POTENTIAL is there for Move and Kinect. Whether that potential is fulfilled is actually irrelevant. Just by existing it WILL create new thought processes and ultimately lead to new innovations somewhere. It's like the Cinemaware approach of yesteryear--they created games for the most powerful system at the time, the Amiga, FIRST, then figured out how to make those games work on more modest systems like the C-64 or NES. If they did it in the opposite manner, they might have limited themselves.

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TripHamer
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Not so sure this time.

My current thinking is that the 3DS will wind up being a little overpriced for a lot of people. Since it's coming out in Japan at the equivalent of about $300, it'll most likely come out at around $249 or more here. I don't think there is enough history to suggest that it'll be less than that.

And on top of that, most games will probably be in the $35 - $50 range. With cheap and free games for smart phones and lower cost games on the PSP, I think it may be an uphill battle this time.

I personally was hoping for a $169 price, now I doubt that will happen. Hopefully a more reasonable price will be out a year or so after launch when they release the "Lite" version (assumed). Then I'll be more tempted to get one.

Just my guess.

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Mark Vergeer
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There always have been crappy games...

Oversaturation on leading markets are never a good thing, especially when it encompasses new hardware iterations. In trailing markets such as my own area this can result in the systems and accessories getting phased out or being abandoned in the leading market areas resulting in some consoles or innovations never reaching us.

Having this world wide web makes it all the more clear that companies are loosing out on potential sales by phasing the release across different areas and stopping marketing of their products before being able to roll the products out world wide.
Perhaps there is a bonus to it all but I have yet to discover that.

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Carmine
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Well said Keith. I completely

Well said Keith. I completely agree. I never realized the graphics race would be the golden era.

Keith Burgun
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More gimmicks.

Forces who HATE video games and LOVE money have always attempted to make things other than game design the priority. For most of my life, it was a "graphics technology arms race". Now, we've gotten to the level with that where it's hard to discern between various graphic technologies, so those forces - forces who again, HATE video games - have decided that hardware gimmicks are the next smokescreen. The Wiimote, Kinekt, Move, the 3DS - all attempts to wow us into forgetting that games really suck these days.

There will be good games on the 3DS, but they will be good despite the technology, not because of it.

Bill Loguidice
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I had handed my DS phat down

I had handed my DS phat down to my daughter (whose DS light was broken) and got myself a DSi. It's slightly improved over the earlier models and that makes it a better choice overall, but the DSi downloabable games are nothing good enough to replace a DS system that you're already happy with. It's nice to have the option, though, and I DO play Bookworm a lot (which is one of the many downloadable games).

As I've stated elsewhere, there is no doubt in my mind that the 3DS will be a monster hit, even at a higher-than-usual price point.

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Rob Daviau
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Hit for sure.

I have no doubt Nintendo will continue it's handheld dominance. That said, I never did get a DSi, I stopped at a regular DS and honestly I don't think enough good solid titles came out to warrant a DSi. One thing is all the CRAP that floods the Ds and the Wii, from samey puzzle games to cheap tie in's for TV shows and movies to girly titles with Hannah Montana just not enough exclusives or good 3rd party titles like MOON or Demntium the ward etc. I AM interested in the ideas behind the 3DS but I wont grab the first version, I ALMOST grabbed a DSi XL as I liked the idea of a bigger screen, still portable enough for me but I will hold out again, hopefully after a version or two they will release an equivalent 3DS XL and by that time hopefully a lot of good titles to choose from will also be available.

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