Nintendo 3DS: historical price cut!

04Sep11

In my opinion, one of the biggest and most surprising news of the summer came from Nintendo. For the first time in its history and in the history of videogames in general, the notable videogame company decided to drop the price of its new handheld console “Nintendo 3DS” just a few months after its launch. The Nintendo 3DS is the latest portable console released by the Japanese giant. Its peculiarity is the use of the 3D without glasses and it is considered the first of its kind (even though LG came out with a 3D phone a few weeks later).  After a few weeks from its launch, Nintendo, noticed that the new console was not selling as well as they anticipated. The price of $249 (250 euro in Europe and ¥25,000 in Japan) was reduced by one hundred dollars after only five months and this is something that has never happened in history before. Portable gaming is a huge market and Nintendo for the past five years has dominated this market (more than Sony with its PSP) thanks to the flexibility and simplicity of the Nintendo DS. With the “3DS”, the Japanese colossus was sure about repeating the same success: the explosion of the 3D in the television market was a good benchmark for this new technology. However, since its first debut in March, many concerns regarding this new technology did not help Nintendo at all. Many people complained of having a headache after just a few minutes of playing and also dizziness, even sometimes nausea. Personally, as an owner of this console, I never experienced any sort of physical problem, but I can understand that the reaction to this new technology could be very subjective. Of course, with this kind of “bad feedback” that Nintendo received along with the very high price, people were discouraged from buying the console.

It is interesting to take note of how the community played an important part in this Nintendo’s decision. Through forums and social networks they complained about the price, they point out the physical problems and also they suggested game titles for the new console. According to what Deuze says about “Participatory Media Culture”, we are part of any media process, “no one is outside anymore whether by choice or necessity …we are working and living in the media. (pp. 38-39).” Nintendo, probably, for the first time, listened to the community and it took a decision based on what the consumer really wants.

Nintendo recently has reported that after the price cut, the “3DS” started to sell well and they consider themselves satisfied with the result. (Harrison 2011)

From my perspective, the main reason why Nintendo had such a tremendous problem with this console is due to the yet “unknown” 3d feature. When HD Television came out, years ago, people were not really interested in it because they considered it something superfluous. The media industry, today, is facing the same challenge with 3D. They are flooding the market with this new technology (i.e.: 3D movies, 3D HDTV, 3D phones) but the consumers are still in the process of discovering this new feature. Nintendo by dropping the price, made this transition from 2D to 3D a little bit easier to accomplish.

-Fabio Monticone

PS: Yes, I bought the console and I paid full price. Good job Fabio.

Links:

 http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2011/07/nintendo-3ds-price-drop/

 http://www.tmcnet.com/topics/articles/208600-after-price-cut-nintendo-3ds-sales-up.htm

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2 Responses to “Nintendo 3DS: historical price cut!”

  1. Was the 3DS worth it? How is the experience?

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