Nintendo cuts 3DS price in fear of PS Vita – weakens Sony’s position

July 30, 2011

Nintendo cuts 3DS price in fear of PS Vita – weakens Sony’s position Nintendo’s recent price cut of the 3DS shocked everyone in the industry. Not only was the price cut announced several months after the 3DS shipped, the amount that is being discounted is significant.

Nintendo recently announced that the price for the 3DS will drop from $249 to $169.99. This is a massive price drop when considering that it’s been only several months after releasing on market. Analysts believe that this is a move made in light of Sony’s Vita announcement and lackluster sales of the unit.

While this move may have been made in part by the Vita price point announcement ($249.99), analysts believe that Sony will have to make a move. Sony’s recent quarterly earnings report indicated that there was a massive surge in PSP sales almost doubling that of the 3DS.

Billy Pidgeon of M2 Research told IndustryGamers that Sony will have to reconsider the Vita’s pricing.

He stated:

When Sony announced PS Vita pricing at $249.99, 3DS price had to come down.. PS Vita pricing feels compatible with value now, but unless the economy improves more rapidly, a price cut should come sooner rather than later.

Jesse Divnich of EEDAR stated, “This price cut does put the Vita in a tough position. It all comes down to the content and if the Vita can deliver a library of high quality entertainment products, it should be able to thrive at the $249 price point.”

David Cole of DFC Intelligence stated, “They are really being aggressive. It is very unlike Nintendo to be willing to take such a loss.”

I think what it says is that they really feel the heat from the Sony Vita. I see it as a move to protect their market share and position in handhelds. I would not call it desperation but more a very aggressive defensive action by the market leader to hold on to market position.

Sony recently confirmed that the Vita’s memory had to be cut in order to make the price more competitive. This could mean that the company could announce a price drop before the device even launches. Welcome to the handheld Cold War.

25 Responses to “Nintendo cuts 3DS price in fear of PS Vita – weakens Sony’s position”

  1. CaptBirdman:

    Deezam.

    Nintendo with a nut punch, FTW.

  2. gunstar:

    Fact,
    1 is Sony won the first round when they announced the PS Vita this January, stalling many potential 3DS buyers.
    2 and the second round when they announced the $250 price tag again stalling more 3DS buyers.
    3 The third round would be the launch games line up.

    Its the same marketing strategy they used for the PS2 all over again.

    The 3DS is suffering from the same tactics that downed the Dreamcast.

    The problem with the 3DS is it also left the kiddie market that made the DS such a huge hit.

    So this time its a different story as Nintendo is dead set on capturing the hardcore market which still sees the 3DS as a toy for kids.

    Another factor that keeps the DS market away is the health hazard warning for young kids regarding the damage 3D has for their eye sight. Parents will likely not compromise their children’s health for a cheap 3DS.

  3. gunstar:

    I always felt that Nintendo was lucky with the Wii and DS price point and huge sales given the timing they had in 2008.

    And I also had that feeling their arrogance will get the better of them this gen for the 3DS & Wii U.

    Nintendo is a very conservative company and has become the Mr. Bah Humbug Scrooge of video gaming.
    They played it safe and cheap at the same time with the Wii & DS.

    But they became too arrogant & foolish to think the same strategy would work again – a cheap machine with out dated technology with glassless 3D screen icing & cherry on top at $250.

    I find this even worse that the PS3 launch price hence the results are pathetic.

    I thought they learned their lesson well with the Wii. But they lookt to me as a desperate company. Like I said before where did all the Wii & DS money went?

    May be in a pocket full of holes.

  4. gunstar:

    It’s indeed a Handheld Cold War Mike. Nice take on what’s going on.

    Although I think the PS Vita is well priced but knowing Sony’s history nothing they ever announced is final until the hardware is in your hands.

  5. gunstar:

    A sad day indeed for Andrew-DS :(

  6. CarlB:

    Don’t forget Nintendo is actually giving away 20 free games to those who already bought the 3DS with their “Ambassador” program, taking a page right out of Sony’s playbook with the Welcome Back program… unheard of for Ninty.

    “History Says the 3DS is Doomed”
    http://ds.ign.com/articles/118/1184980p1.html

  7. CarlB:

    “But the fact is, in short, that the core Nintendo and Sony audiences are different, and they’re the ones that will drive the market for Vita and 3DS forward. And pricing maneuvers won’t make a dedicated Sony fan want to play Kid Icarus any more than a hardcore Nintendo fan will suddenly want to give Killzone a go.”

    http://psp.ign.com/articles/118/1185012p1.html

  8. FahKinSuPah:

    “And pricing maneuvers won’t make a dedicated Sony fan want to play Kid Icarus any more than a hardcore Nintendo fan will suddenly want to give Killzone a go.”

    3DS will most likely gather the bigger portion of the casual gamer market, while Vita will have the larger portion of the hardcore gamer market.

    It’s just the way Nintendo and Sony do business.

  9. ncaissie:

    The vita has nothing to do with it. I will be getting my kids vitas but only because they are young and I don’t trust 3D yet.

  10. Roca.:

    “3DS will most likely gather the bigger portion of the casual gamer market, while Vita will have the larger portion of the hardcore gamer market.

    It’s just the way Nintendo and Sony do business”

    True…and Microsoft is still trying to find its indentity

  11. navysteve:

    Sony sony wooooo yeah everyone else sucks. This an article about Sony and nintendo MS don’t even have a handheld but they suck wooooo.

    This is my summary of all comments roca has or is likely to make on this article.

    Roca feel free not to post anymore I have saved you the time

  12. Roca.:

    grow up idiot.

    No surprise you were the first Xbot to eat the bait, the sailor man who’s been frustrated by the lack of games on 360 and had to buy the overpriced camara for motion gaming to fill the gap…I feel your pain and understand why your comment are so dumb and immature

  13. FahKinSuPah:

    @Roca

    “True…and Microsoft is still trying to find its indentity”

    Nah, I think MS has an identity. It obviously is very strongly tied to FPS games since it caters to the CoD crowd more than Sony does and also Halo is a mega hit.

    MS already knows that it has all the CoD junkies and Halo fans aboard so of course its trying to get the casual people aboard with Kinect.

    Kinect. Roca’s mom loves it :D

  14. navysteve:

    Actually my comments are like all yours although mine are done in humour.

    You are getting boring bashing MS even on none MS related articles. Plus I’m proud of being a submariner in the best navy in the world

    And for the record I wouldnt be frustrated by a lack of games as i have both consoles and whilst I enjoy gaming it really isn’t my life roca

  15. Roca.:

    Gaming isn’t your life… Yet you are the bait and acted as it my comment hurt your xbot feelings.

    Grow up…

  16. navysteve:

    Obviously I lack the writing a kills to convey my message, so I’ll make it easy.

    I really really dont care about any mega rich company and who’s better I don’t work for them and I’m sure they don’t care about me. So long as I get what I want from them.

    I didn’t bite as you say I just find your posts boring and repetitive, being the nice guy I am I tried to save you some time by summing them up.

  17. MAK:

    Might aswell call him “babysteve” because he cant act his age or status.
    Either he’s a fake or see sickness got to him.
    Shouldnt be acting like that, man.

    As for the article:
    It says that the 3DS got a price drop, but in reality, it was overpriced from the start by over/under 50%.
    Greedy fucks.

    Sony put so much tech into that system and made it the lowest they can. They could have acted like Nintendo and made it 600 dollars.

  18. Roca.:

    LOL @ MAK
    Xbots usually act this immature and are so sensitive to flamebait comments

  19. gamer_thumb:

    Although I’m sure Vita’s competitive pricing had some bearing on Nintendo’s decision, Both companies have to be feeling pressure from ios and mobile platforms. For many people portable gaming is done in short sessions and thier ipod/pad or smartphone fills this need nicely. The types of games many people are looking to play on the go are also offered much cheaper from app stores. IMO both Nintendo and sony need to focus less on hardware pricing and more on software distribution and pricing if they want to avoid becoming irrelevant.

  20. ncaissie:

    The 3ds isn’t worth $150. It should be $120 MAX! (not MAK)

  21. ncaissie:

    ” For many people portable gaming is done in short sessions and thier ipod/pad or smartphone fills this need nicely.”
    I agree it is short but smartphones? Not a chance. Sony did it right with the xplay but as usual they are not supporting it enough.
    Touch screen in OK on a 10 inch iPad not iPhone. The play kicks ass old school but the new games need better xplay support.

    I have a play, iPhone, iPad 2 and iPod touch. I also have hundreds of $ in games on all of them (except the play because it’s newer) so I know from experience. I also have a DS lite and PSP fat (GOW FTW!) I may not be good at gaming but I play when I can.

    Btw captain America and Thor rock on the iPad and are only $.99

  22. gunstar:

    This is why I admire Sony’s integrity and dedicated commitment on hardcore gamers. Unlike Nintendo and Microsuck who ditched their hardcore following for in favor of casual games. After all the fads, and bombardment Sony received from Nintendo and Microsuck they didn’t even budge.

    Now that the PlayStation brand has proven its worth for the core gamer it is now in the enviable position to bring forth the most well balanced platform that appeals to both hardcore and casual gamer young and old alike, with the PS Vita.

  23. gunstar:

    Like I asked before, why is Nintendo falling where did the Wii & DS money go?

  24. CarlB:

    Down the casual poop chute and into Apple’s hands.

  25. Ivan_PSP:

    Sony sets the standard for all things video games.

    Sony’s games are mostly always record breaking and game of the year and superior at everything.

    Sony’s console are beast it can do it all at no extra add-on cost.

    Sony made the slim PS3 Microsoft copy and still needed the power brick lmfa noobs.

    PlayStation should be the new word for Video Games.

    I’m buying the $300 PSV so i will have verizon and at&t wow lol

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