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.

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