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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Matt Barton
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N64
Chris Kennedy wrote:

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.

I bought an old N64 just to be able to play it on the original hardware. Definitely a worthwhile experience; one of those games I think everyone should play to completion at least once. Sorta like Nintendo's take on Tomb Raider, and dripping with personality. They've been copying the formula ever since. I think Molyneux borrowed liberally from the game to make Fable.

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Chris Kennedy
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Ocarina
Matt Barton wrote:
Chris Kennedy wrote:

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.

I bought an old N64 just to be able to play it on the original hardware. Definitely a worthwhile experience; one of those games I think everyone should play to completion at least once. Sorta like Nintendo's take on Tomb Raider, and dripping with personality. They've been copying the formula ever since. I think Molyneux borrowed liberally from the game to make Fable.

Ahh - Sorry. I meant that I haven't played the 3DS cartridge version yet. I have played Ocarina of Time. It is one of the few games released for the N64 that I thought was a decent, 3D translation of a Nintendo franchise. It was quite enjoyable.

Ironically, however - I still haven't played Ocarina on an actual N64. It is one of the only games I have played through from start to finish on an emulator of all things (circa 2000/2001). I had 2 x Diamond Monster 3d IIs running in 1024x768 in SLI mode around that time, and Zelda looked MUCH better than it did with the low resolution, vaseline-based anti-aliasing that the N64 had. I didn't realize just how much better it looked until I picked up Majora's Mask and played it through on an N64.

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Bill Loguidice
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N64
Chris Kennedy wrote:

Ironically, however - I still haven't played Ocarina on an actual N64. It is one of the only games I have played through from start to finish on an emulator of all things (circa 2000/2001). I had 2 x Diamond Monster 3d IIs running in 1024x768 in SLI mode around that time, and Zelda looked MUCH better than it did with the low resolution, vaseline-based anti-aliasing that the N64 had. I didn't realize just how much better it looked until I picked up Majora's Mask and played it through on an N64.

Do you know what I find makes a BIG difference with the N64's visuals? S-video. I've never seen a console benefit quite so much from using that over composite or RF as I have with the N64. Some games are very difficult to see without the extra sharpness the S-video connection provides. I learned that the hard way with Lode Runner 64. It was like playing on a different system with the S-video hooked up.

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Chris Kennedy
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S-Video
Bill Loguidice wrote:

Do you know what I find makes a BIG difference with the N64's visuals? S-video. I've never seen a console benefit quite so much from using that over composite or RF as I have with the N64. Some games are very difficult to see without the extra sharpness the S-video connection provides. I learned that the hard way with Lode Runner 64. It was like playing on a different system with the S-video hooked up.

I have certainly tried to push most of my analog consoles to S-Video where possible. Thankfully, the N64 and the SNES both natively support S-Video (and even use the same cable). That said, I was AMAZED at just how terrible the N64 looked with S-Video. The video signal was certainly better than RF or composite, but it showed just how much it was geared toward CRT TVs that were 25" or smaller. The thing just looks blurry - I think it was just part of the image processing or something in that chip. I am sure it was meant to smooth things out, but it just looks bad when you blow it up.

Of course, it could also be that my N64 was acquired from a pawn shop and has a sticker that says "For display purposes only. Not for sale" on it, but I doubt it.

The SNES didn't need any smoothing work as it was a 2D machine, and it looks beautiful in S-Video. I am sure it looks even better in RGB, but my SNES RGB cable is faulty (gotta fix/replace that some day...)

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Bill Loguidice
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Believe me, I agree that

Believe me, I agree that S-video on the N64 is no panacea for its over-aggressive filtering and smoothing, but it does make a very big difference in specific games over composite. I should do a video capture when I'm free in about a month to show the difference.

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Bill Loguidice
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Phones and tabs
Chris Kennedy wrote:
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.

It definitely got released and in fact already had a price drop. It's an OK attempt at merging a modern phone OS (Android) with traditional gaming controls, but not quite there. For one thing, the controls themselves are not that great, and for another, it really only plays select PlayStation games.

Personally I think the time has passed for either Sony or Nintendo to align their mobile gaming strategies with a cell phone. At best, at some point, they'll offer games for the major cell platforms. I do think there's an opportunity in the tablet space, though what I've seen of Sony's two upcoming Android tablets, the vision is just not there right now.

We're already seeing tentative steps towards bluetooth conroller integration into iOS with things like the iCade and iControlpad (I think that's what it's called, it's from the Pandora Forever guy), with an increasing number of games supporting those options. To a lesser degree, there is the same type of slow integration with traditional controls going on in the Android side,including mice. Like I said, the window is starting to close for Sony and Nintendo to do something that's wholly theirs, particularly in terms of their own hardware, and certainly in terms of their own OS. Sony's PlayStation Suite is an OK first step, but they can't keep it to themselves.

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Nous
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Of course this alone is not

Of course this alone is not going to make the slightest difference, commercially! A price drop might help, but again, the days of dedicated handheld gaming (or dedicated gaming devices in general, for that matter) are numbered! They'll be around for years, they'll be profitable even, but their success will always be capped and their target audience stale ... or diminishing at a steady rate.

What this means is that the Vita will be the definitive, most kick-ass handheld entertainment (with an emphasis on gaming) device money can buy for a year or two. It's not something that the majority of the expanded handheld-entertainment market cares for, it's just something we, the experienced "gamers" might find *very* appealing!

Of course the Vita will also be an excellent convergent device (with a kick-ass spec AND at a great price too) but ... look at it! No matter how amazing it is it won't appeal to the iPhone/Droid demographic. The expanded audience does *not* care for (or worse, does not even want) traditional controls.

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clok1966
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I actually looked at Xperia

I actually looked at Xperia as a possilble phone upgrade. IM re-evaluating my need for an intrusive phone. yes I do not like to be able to be reached anywhere.. then bane of being able to fix things.. people assume you want to do it all the time. Also while I like my friends, they acn be an annoying lot sometimes. I like my none phone/text/email time and going without it after 6:00 at night is getting to be a very attractive option. I wont lie and I wont not answer, people who selecticly talk to certian people is like talking behind sombody's back to me.. If you dont want to talk to them, dont give them your number. Enough rant on being availble at all times.

I just dont think you can market a PHONE as a "gaming phone" its gotta be a PHONE* that is AWSOME! People dont see things as multipurpose. the reason a setup box hasnt made it yet (webTV) part is so many MULTI DO ALL devices suck, are never done right, even if one is, people are learey. Look at the AMIGA it was a GAMEING computer, in its time it could do most anything any other PC could .. but lack of PRODUCTIVITY killed it.. it wasnt that it couldnt, PEOPLE percived it couldnt. its not waht you do but what people Percieve you to do. there wont be a HUGELY succesfull gaming phone for awhile.. heck look how long PC's ahve been around, the Gaming PC market is still a nitch one.

*does games too

heck apple might enen fail at a Igame phone :) even if it was just a Iphone with preloaded games.. for the same price as a Iphone..

Matt Barton
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Image is Everything
clok1966 wrote:

I just dont think you can market a PHONE as a "gaming phone" its gotta be a PHONE* that is AWSOME! People dont see things as multipurpose. the reason a setup box hasnt made it yet (webTV) part is so many MULTI DO ALL devices suck, are never done right, even if one is, people are learey. Look at the AMIGA it was a GAMEING computer, in its time it could do most anything any other PC could .. but lack of PRODUCTIVITY killed it.. it wasnt that it couldnt, PEOPLE percived it couldnt. its not waht you do but what people Percieve you to do. there wont be a HUGELY succesfull gaming phone for awhile.. heck look how long PC's ahve been around, the Gaming PC market is still a nitch one.

*does games too

heck apple might enen fail at a Igame phone :) even if it was just a Iphone with preloaded games.. for the same price as a Iphone..

I'm tired of saying, "I agree with you 100%, Clok," since we seem to think the same on everything. But I have to say it again because that's precisely why I think Apple is flourishing right now in the smart phone market and also why the Amiga ultimately failed. Only fools think that technical specs or potential, hell, even reality, matters to Joe 6-pack. Joe has been told repeatedly by people he trusts that the iPhone is the hip phone with all the apps. Android doesn't have the GOOD apps, only a bunch of crap that's hard to sort through (not my opinion; mass opinion). They're just lamely trying to copy Apple and not doing well. Blackberry is for business (I still know "serious" people who would never even consider buying something else). Windows phone? What's that?

It was the same thing with Amiga back in the day. "Oh, that's a game machine; I need something for my business." I was so infuriated when my friend's mom bought him an PC instead of an Amiga because, "I'm buying this for his education." Huh? Looking back on it, of course she was acting intelligently and logically, but the Amiga just couldn't shake that image. It had a big personality conflict, because it seemed like Commodore kept trying to promote it as a business machine, whereas the insiders seemed to want to go along with that to some extent (brand loyalty), but everybody knew deep down that it WAS first and foremost a games machine. Not by design, just by reality.

My dad basically forced my grandma to buy a Commodore 64 to run her tax prep business back in the 80s. As far as I know, it worked out fine, but it sure felt weird going in there and seeing her doing the most boring business stuff imaginable when I could be playing Commando on it.

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davyK
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Joined: 05/21/2006
I find Google's acquisition

I find Google's acquisition of Motorola a significant development in this area. I may be wrong but there are more Android installations worldwide than iPhones - if google can now create a standard platform without fear of lawsuits (they are acquring thousands of patents as a result of this acquisition) then they could be a very significant player.

Re the dedicated gameplayer discussion, Nintendo will, as always, keep working in a certain way as long as it makes money. In the future that may mean making their own platform and keeping their IP exclusive, or it may mean choosing to support another platform. They aren't averse to changing - any company that has been going since the late 19th century has had to. They have been and remain a toy company.

The new stripped down Wii (sans GC compatibility and controller sockets) is another example of them wringing every last penny out of a platform.

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