Nintendo to slash 3DS price by $80 as Apple gains in mobile gaming

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Nintendo made a surprise announcement Thursday when the Japanese game maker revealed it will cut the price of its recently released 3DS handheld by $80, as competition from Apple continues to grow, and a new handheld from Sony looms.



The Nintendo 3DS, which first hit the market in the U.S. in late March for $249.99, will see its price drastically reduce to $169.99 starting August 12. The announcement of the price cut, just four months after the handheld went on sale, came as the company posted a loss of 25.5 billion yen, or $324 million, for its first fiscal quarter.



Poor sales of both the new 3DS, which features a screen that allows for glasses-free 3D, and the motion-sending Wii consoles have both been attributed to Nintendo's struggles. The company revealed on Thursday that it has sold 830,000 3DS handhelds in the U.S. since it launched.



The major changes from Nintendo come as Apple continues to find success with its iOS-powered devices and inexpensive games available on the App Store. Games consistently dominate the list of top paid applications available for both the iPhone and iPad.



Just this week, the chief executive of major game publisher Electronic Arts revealed that the iPad has become the company's fastest growing platform. He also revealed that dedicated gaming consoles, like the Nintendo 3DS, have slipped from 80 percent to 40 percent of the gaming industry, while multipurpose devices like the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch have become major players in the market.



Nintendo and Apple will also face new competition this fall, when Sony releases its own next-generation portable gaming system, the PlayStation Vita. Sony surprised the industry in June when it revealed the Vita will be priced at $250 in the U.S., positioning it against both the 3DS and the iPod touch.



Like the iPhone and Nintendo 3DS, the PlayStation Vita will also feature a touchscreen. It also features traditional buttons for tactile feedback, and a unique touch-sensitive back panel that game developers will be able to utilize.







Nintendo's newly announced price cut makes it the least expensive option when compared to the iPod touch and PlayStation Vita. For early adopters who paid the full $249.99 price, Nintendo will reward their investment with 10 free downloadable NES Virtual Console games, including "Legend of Zelda" and "Super Mario Bros.," and 10 exclusive Game Boy Advance titles, including "Metroid Fusion" and "Mario Kart: Super Circuit."



Apple began promoting the iPod touch as a game-playing device in 2009, when it declared the device the "funnest iPod ever." Since then, advertisements for the device have focused greatly on the wide selection of game titles available on the App Store, and Apple has also offered social networking support with the release of Game Center last year as part of iOS 4.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 61
    Yes, Apple is doing well on the mobile gaming front, but the 3DS is still mostly in competition with the PSVita. The price drop is almost certainly due to the fact that the PSVita debuted with hardware that the typical gamer is more willing to pay for. Since the 3DS debuted when the iPad had alread been on the market for quite some time, I think Nintendo would have already taken that into consideration when it announced its original price point.
  • Reply 2 of 61
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post


    Yes, Apple is doing well on the mobile gaming front, but the 3DS is still mostly in competition with the PSVita. The price drop is almost certainly due to the fact that the PSVita debuted with hardware that the typical gamer is more willing to pay for. Since the 3DS debuted when the iPad had alread been on the market for quite some time, I think Nintendo would have already taken that into consideration when it announced its original price point.



    ... or it could have something to do with Nintendo's $328 million loss.
  • Reply 3 of 61
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,560member
    I'm sorry, I don't think this has anything to do with Apple, and is just AI's attempt to bash another company while propping up Apple.



    Instead, I think this is simply because the product SUCKS and Nintendo is on a downward spiral (I predict another flop for the Wii U).
  • Reply 4 of 61
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    I'm sorry, I don't think this has anything to do with Apple, and is just AI's attempt to bash another company while propping up Apple.



    Instead, I think this is simply because the product SUCKS and Nintendo is on a downward spiral (I predict another flop for the Wii U).



    Really? So you think that the fact that dedicated gaming consoles have dropped to 40% from 80% of the market has nothing to do with Nintendo's struggles?
  • Reply 5 of 61
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    I'm sorry, I don't think this has anything to do with Apple, and is just AI's attempt to bash another company while propping up Apple.



    Instead, I think this is simply because the product SUCKS and Nintendo is on a downward spiral (I predict another flop for the Wii U).



    It's not just Apple, but Nintendo is losing their old handheld market to iOS & Android devices, in much the same way that the PMP market dried up and the point & shoot camera market shrank.



    Even if Nintendo had made the bestest little handheld console that ever was it would still be seeing shrinking sales.



    If Nintendo isn't willing to cannibalize itself, which would mean making a DS smartphone, its best hope is that somebody who does make smartphones buys it for the games catalogue.
  • Reply 6 of 61
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    Instead, I think this is simply because the product SUCKS and Nintendo is on a downward spiral (I predict another flop for the Wii U).



    I'm... sorry, are you of the belief that the Wii was a flop? I'd have you check your entire life, then, not just your sources.
  • Reply 7 of 61
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post


    Really? So you think that the fact that dedicated gaming consoles have dropped to 40% from 80% of the market has nothing to do with Nintendo's struggles?



    No... it's because the Wii was a flop...
  • Reply 8 of 61
    I'm interested in a 3D camera and viewer... the fact that you can see 3D on the 3DS without glasses makes it an attractive choice. Is there any way to then display those 3D photos on a 3DTV?
  • Reply 9 of 61
    Interesting to see AppleInsider put an Apple slant on this story when there really isn't one. Nintendo's low sales have to do with it's high price and lack of compelling software. Paired with the impending release of the PSVita at the (previously) same price, Nintendo needed to do something quickly.



    On the positive side, early adaptors (like me) get TWENTY free downloadable games.
  • Reply 10 of 61
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    I'm interested in a 3D camera and viewer... the fact that you can see 3D on the 3DS without glasses makes it an attractive choice. Is there any way to then display those 3D photos on a 3DTV?



    HDMI out which I believe the 3DS does not have.
  • Reply 11 of 61
    akhomerunakhomerun Posts: 386member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    No... it's because the Wii was a flop...



    are you stupid or just being sarcastic? the wii has sold 90 million units worldwide, nearly double its nearest competitor.



    i realize that wii has trouble selling software but you have to realize that it is about to be replaced. The Wii U will having more power will rectify much of the Wii's software library woes. It's already been announced that the Wii U is getting games like Battlefield 3, Batman: Arkham City, and many other cross platform games.
  • Reply 12 of 61
    It is not an AppleInsider exclusive viewpoint that traditional dedicated mobile gaming (Nintendo and Sony) is feeling pain from general use devices that also do games (Smartphones).



    My daughters are 4 and 6. They used to play the Wii maybe twice a week for a while (Rock Band, Just Dance, Wii Fit, some Virtual Console games, a Princess game they have, etc). When my wife and I upgraded to iPhone 4s we gave them our old (2G) iPhones. We have not turned on the Wii in the last 6 months a single time. When they want to play games they play on their iPhones or my iPad. For Christmas they will probably each get an iPod Touch.



    We *may* drag the Wii out this weekend because we have company in town. But we may also just whip out our iPhones and play Scrabble on the iPad.



    I would love to see Nintendo follow Sega's path and turn into a software-only company. As a consumer who spends a lot on entertainment, I have shifted my spending significantly away from Nintendo.
  • Reply 13 of 61
    this has nothing to do with apple. The 3ds has no games out for it yet. No real reason to buy it. this will change during the holidays when nintendo's good franchises start to hit the system.



    Plus nobody was going to buy the 3ds at $250 .



    This has nothing to do with apple and is because of nintendo themselves.



    PS the bad yen is not helping things considering the dollar is worth more then the yen .
  • Reply 14 of 61
    akhomerunakhomerun Posts: 386member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    It's not just Apple, but Nintendo is losing their old handheld market to iOS & Android devices, in much the same way that the PMP market dried up and the point & shoot camera market shrank.



    Even if Nintendo had made the bestest little handheld console that ever was it would still be seeing shrinking sales.



    If Nintendo isn't willing to cannibalize itself, which would mean making a DS smartphone, its best hope is that somebody who does make smartphones buys it for the games catalogue.



    Nintendo is going to have to make a gaming phone to maintain growing sales. if they decide to do so they can take advantage of the fact that while ps vita has 3G connectivity, not including phone functionality was a mistake (and the xperia play is limited by the fact that it only plays android games and not PSP/PS Vita games)



    The problem is that they aren't at the forefront of technology and it's possible that they won't realize that they need to make a gaming phone before it's too late. they have been late or unsatisfactory with every recent technical advancement lately, and their first party quality, low price casual hardware, and some innovative ideas have been keeping them afloat.



    HOWEVER another thing to consider is that nintendo handheld consoles have always appealed to kids and parents won't be buying $300 android phones/PS Vitas for their 10 year old just to shut them up in the car. This is exactly why Nintendo had to reduce the price of the 3DS.



    Nintendo's lineup needs to look like this:

    $99 DSi

    $150 3DS

    $200 3DS 3G (optional)

    $300 3DS phone hardware (free with 2 year contract), which has to be new hardware and function something like the Xperia Play. To beat the Xperia Play/PS Vita it should be compatible with 3DS and DS games as well as Android games. Nintendo needs to start making games on the Android platform which could be a challenge considering they have zero experience.

    Possible Android tablet? Why not! Imagine Mario Party on a tablet. If Nintendo came out with an amazing software lineup for an Android tablet they could be one of the first tablet makers to be successful against the iPad.



    Nintendo has three markets and I think my plan would appeal to them all. I don't think Nintendo can get away with only having one piece of handheld hardware if they want to capture all of these markets.

    1. Kids

    2. Casual players (who would be interested in hardware like the Xperia play)

    3. Hardcore/Nostalgic Nintendo players (who would probably buy the PS Vita over the 3DS)
  • Reply 15 of 61
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,560member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    I'm... sorry, are you of the belief that the Wii was a flop? I'd have you check your entire life, then, not just your sources.



    Are you playing dumb or do you not know what the Wii U is?



    The Wii U is coming out next spring and looks like a rehashed Wii with a funky controller. I simply said that I think the Wii U will flop just like the 3DS.
  • Reply 16 of 61
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    Are you playing dumb or do you not know what the Wii U is?



    The Wii U is coming out next spring and looks like a rehashed Wii with a funky controller. I simply said that I doubt that the Wii U will be a sales success.



    Are you playing dumb or do you know what "another" means?
  • Reply 17 of 61
    dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    Two scenarios I see:



    1) Nintendo got greedy and was selling the 3DS at wild profit margins (but didn't as much as they expected).

    or

    2) Nintendo is now taking a loss on the 3DS (which we know will never happen).



    And I will bet you $100 it was the former and it fell flat on their face. My guess is that they absolutely did not expect the PS Vita to be $250. If they were selling at the same price, Nintendo would have had a real problem on their hands. The other issue here is that Nintendo never seems to learn from its mistakes. They are often so full of themselves that the rehash the same game 6 different times on various consoles, expecting you to pay for them again and again, while not spending nearly as much time making new games.



    Case in point: the two biggest games on the Nintendo 3DS right now are remakes from 12-14 years ago (Ocarina of Time 3D and Star Fox 3D). We didn't even know about any NEW Nintendo games until E3, 3 months into the life of the console. It's like Microsoft launching the next Xbox with a Halo remake. Or Sony giving you GTA 3 again on the PS4. That is NOT how you launch a console or handheld. Period.
  • Reply 18 of 61
    akhomerunakhomerun Posts: 386member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    It's not just Apple, but Nintendo is losing their old handheld market to iOS & Android devices, in much the same way that the PMP market dried up and the point & shoot camera market shrank.



    Even if Nintendo had made the bestest little handheld console that ever was it would still be seeing shrinking sales.



    If Nintendo isn't willing to cannibalize itself, which would mean making a DS smartphone, its best hope is that somebody who does make smartphones buys it for the games catalogue.



    How would a DS smartphone cannibalize itself? That's like saying the iPhone cannibalizes the iPod touch or the other way around...reality is that both sell extremely well.
  • Reply 19 of 61
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post


    are you stupid or just being sarcastic? the wii has sold 90 million units worldwide, nearly double its nearest competitor.



    i realize that wii has trouble selling software but you have to realize that it is about to be replaced. The Wii U will having more power will rectify much of the Wii's software library woes.



    I just ask that you pay attention to the conversation... nothing more. It will all become clear.
  • Reply 20 of 61
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    Are you playing dumb or do you not know what the Wii U is?



    The Wii U is coming out next spring and looks like a rehashed Wii with a funky controller. I simply said that I think the Wii U will flop just like the 3DS.



    Except it won't.



    There was good reason for the 3DS to not be very successful: it's the first implementation of glasses-free 3D tech EVER, much less in a mass-produced, highly famous device.
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