Nintendo 3DS Getting Massive Price Cut - Existing Owners Getting Free Games

Bill Loguidice's picture

This has been widely reported, but here's the story on IGN. Essentially, the Nintendo 3DS will now retail for $169.99, and existing owners who paid the launch price of $249.99 will get 20 free virtual console games, which consists of 10 NES and 10 GameBoy Advance titles.

I'm glad they're taking care of their existing owners. Clearly Nintendo priced this not at a price point they had to, but at a price point they thought they could get away with. If they were able to back up the 3DS launch with positive buzz and great software (i.e., software that would excite the masses), they *might* have gotten away with the $250 price point (though I continue to argue the buzz remains with smartphones and tablets, not gaming handhelds), but really, it makes you wonder why this wasn't $199.99 to start with, let alone $179.99, particularly since they're making such a huge drop of $80 already. That's a major mea culpa, and certainly not indicative of business-as-usual for Nintendo, who classically really, really hates to admit that they're wrong about something. I've been talking about this frequently, but there have certainly been some unusual goings-on at Nintendo HQ, from the lack of new titles for their existing platforms to a somewhat unusual presentation of their upcoming Wii U console. Perhaps this will be the first of several steps that Nintendo needs to regain momentum.

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Bill Loguidice
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I don't really like

I don't really like recommending systems to anyone because they're such personal things (i.e., what people REALLY want or need), but in your case I do think you'll like it. These are the games I have for it so far:

3D Classics: Xevious (eShop)
Bookworm (DsiWare version)
Castle of Magic (DSiWare version)
Excitebike 3D (eShop)
Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions
Pilotwings Resort
Pokedex 3D (eShop)
Ridge Racer 3D
Steel Diver
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

In that group, the DSiWare games are the ones I transferred from my DSi. You'll need to decide if you wish to do the same from your DSiXL. Obviously it will be a bit of a shock going from the bigger screen back to the smaller screens, but that should be the only real negative. The controls are improved over the DS series.

The games that I personally like the most honestly are the 3D updates to Excitebike and Xevious. Xevious in particular has one of the more impressive 3D effects of ANY title, simply because it's one of the few titles I can set from the in-game settings to have the visuals literally appear above the screen. All of the other games are very good - there's not a clunker in that bunch I have - but really nothing you haven't seen before, save for Steel Diver, which is most certainly not everyone's cup of tea and takes some getting used to (at first, I hated it, then I really liked it, but it's undeniably poor in the 3D department).

The build quality of the thing is all over the map. You won't mistake this for a nice Apple or even Sony device. It's an improvement over what Nintendo usually does, but that's not saying much. It also has that loose hinge thing from the original DS and DS lite, though I do believe it will hold up better overall.

The 3D effect does take time to get used to, at least for me and anecdotally others. This is not a system you'll enjoy maybe until the end of the first week, when you'll have that "a ha, I can see it and it's pretty comfortable now" moment.

My only major gripe with the 3DS is that it's still hampered by Nintendo's poor online infrastructure and system design. The browser is slow. Downloads are slow. Netflix is slow. Etc. All this is over regular wifi and if you have a typical smartphone or tablet you'll wonder what the heck is taking it so long in comparison. It's tuned for games, not this other stuff. On the plus side, Nintendo has enabled background (downtime) downloading of some content, so perhaps they'll eventually allow it for more content. It needs it.

I was looking forward to watching 3D movies on it, but the trailers I've seen on it haven't been particularly impressive, so I'm less inclined to be excited about the prospects when and if Netflix offers some or Nintendo themselves offers them.

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clok1966
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Quick way to get best of both

Quick way to get best of both world for anybody with a Wallmart.
Walmart will have the price at $169 on the 9th (ahead of the set date of the 12th) Which for those of you who looked at the nintendo release means you can get in before the 11th with your purchase... What does that mean?

you get the 3DS for $169, you also bought it before the listed date so you can get all the free games too! Keep in mind I read this off a games deal site, so look of the ACTUAL terms first!!!!! (price may be listed, and less then original full price might not count) but all the game sites seem to think this is legit and will work..

Bill Loguidice
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As Nintendo scrambles to

As Nintendo scrambles to right the 3DS ship, Sony delays the Vita until 2012. Not good for the dedicated handheld gaming market at all.

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Chris Kennedy
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Handhelds
Bill Loguidice wrote:

As Nintendo scrambles to right the 3DS ship, Sony delays the Vita until 2012. Not good for the dedicated handheld gaming market at all.

Will developers and consumers continue to turn their focus to cellphones? Does the lack of success of the 3DS along with the delay of the Sony Vita allow people to just stick with their smartphone?

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Bill Loguidice
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A quicker drop-off than expected

That seems to be the logical conclusion, Chris. It's arguable whether people are sticking with their smartphones regardless of what either Nintendo or Sony do anyway, it just seems that both Nintendo and Sony are bungling things to the point where they're making a tough situation even worse. I mean, we certainly expected middling sales for the 3DS in comparison to past generations (at least those of us not drinking the Nintendo Kool-Aid), but not to quite this degree, and we expected some reasonable momentum for the Vita based on a solid price point and feature-set, but now Sony is delaying the thing too far out (and there is even a rumor that they lowered the onboard RAM), missing the holiday buying season and letting smartphones (and to a lesser, but no less notable degree, tablets) get another technological generation under their belts.

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Nous
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By the way...

Sony has put an end to rumours that the PlayStation Vita's RAM was cut in half to keep costs down. The idea that the Vita's specs had been downgraded surfaced in May, and seemed to be confirmed by Novarama CEO Dani Sánchez-Crespo last month. However, according to 1UP, the RAM was cofirmed as 512MB in a press release announcing the handheld's support of the social media applications Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter and Skype.

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Bill Loguidice
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Vita RAM
Nous wrote:

Sony has put an end to rumours that the PlayStation Vita's RAM was cut in half to keep costs down. The idea that the Vita's specs had been downgraded surfaced in May, and seemed to be confirmed by Novarama CEO Dani Sánchez-Crespo last month. However, according to 1UP, the RAM was cofirmed as 512MB in a press release announcing the handheld's support of the social media applications Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter and Skype.

That's good. Too bad it's not hitting outside Japan until 2012, though. Seems like a lost opportunity to take advantage of the 3DS's stumble.

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clok1966
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I am leaning towards HANDHELD

I am leaning towards HANDHELD gaming stumble, not 3DS stumble. I like my Sony stuff and look at the specs and say Vita looks awsome.. but I simply cant see it even being the failure the 3DS seems to be.. its not going to even achive that.. fail numbers. Dont these guys learn from the past? Price KILLS products.. a $100,000 car that never has an accident is WORTHLESS to all but a few people.. NOBODY can afford it.. These handhelds that do many things wonderfull are worthless too, the average user cant afford them. Honestly the $100 or $150 price point has to be kept to be a big success right now.. nintendo is learning its name cant carry a handheld product (something it learned in gamecube days on consoles). Sony hasnt got he message yet the PS3 should have made is somewhat clear, but unforntatnly in the very end they may come out ok.. it took time but it seems after all the hubub.. they will be #2 (yes, its wierd that the big boys are fighting for #2 spot) in teh end this generation of consoles. Of course they had to cut the PRICE in half, add double the HD space to get there.. let alone keep some game exclusives going (killzone/resistacen/ etc.. all sell well, but the budgets to make them that way pretty much promise no real money making in the end) to play ssecond fiddle to halo. Sony will be #2 in the end and after 6-7 years have a profit margin of NILL... Should be a very easy to spot lesson in that.

I think the real problem is the HANDHELD market (much like casaul gaming) is the spot to be now. What they are seemingly missing is the handheld market is PHONES, not game handhelds. of course a stand alone handheld will always have its place but like all things.. not in the same way it has.

Matt Barton
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Phones vs. Handhelds
clok1966 wrote:

I think the real problem is the HANDHELD market (much like casaul gaming) is the spot to be now. What they are seemingly missing is the handheld market is PHONES, not game handhelds. of course a stand alone handheld will always have its place but like all things.. not in the same way it has.

That's right, Clok. If I were Sony I'd be trying to make the next iPhone. If I were Nintendo, I'd be trying to cater to an increasingly younger demographic, the kids whose parents don't want them to have phones. Make it twice as durable, waterproof, peanut butter & jelly proof, whatever, so that little one's hands can't destroy it. Try to get as much kid stuff on it as possible, Spongebob, Harry Potter, etc., with the usual Mario and Zelda stuff to appeal to the parents' (I want my kids to experience Mario & Link, too). I'd want it to be the no-brainer, go-to choice for parents looking to buy a game console for their small children. Less educational than a Leapster, but nothing rated above G.

For the life of me I can't imagine why anyone over 18 would care about Nintendo at this point, unless they're impressed by gimmicks or still fixated on Mario and Zelda. Vita? I keep thinking that's some kind of joke. I guess you guys heard about the price drop on the PS3--surprised no one's mentioned that yet.

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Chris Kennedy
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Sony & Nintendo
Matt Barton wrote:

That's right, Clok. If I were Sony I'd be trying to make the next iPhone.

Isn't that what this was supposed to be? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playstation_phone

I haven't heard much about it at all since the original announcement. Did it even get released in the states? Seems to have fallen off the face of the earth.

As for the 3DS - I picked one up last week on the day before the price drop. Target was already selling it for the lower price. I picked it up, upgraded the firmware and got it registered with Nintendo. So I technically got the grandfather clause as well as the cheap price.

Picked up Ocarina of Time with it - I haven't played it yet. My house guests are leaving today, maybe I can give it a whirl this weekend.

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