Satoru Iwata explains Nintendo’s abrupt 3DS price reduction

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata today discussed with shareholders his decision to suddenly slash the price of 3DS. A price cut for a system so soon after it’s launch is obviously troubling news to investors, so much so that Iwata himself has taken a pay cut.

When asked why Nintendo decided to drop the price of the 3DS system so soon after launch, Iwata stated, “For us to maximize the effect of the anticipated titles of this year end, it is necessary to greatly expand the installed base so that the appeal of the new software will be able to spread to consumers in a short period of time.”

Iwata goes on to say that another partial motivation for the price reduction was to eliminate concerns that retailers and third-party software publishers may have of the handheld. With game publishers deciding which projects to allocate their resources, Nintendo is hoping this move will entice publishers to begin development on projects for its handheld. “Without creating such a circumstance, we would not be able to realize explosive sales in the year-end sales season,” Iwata says.

“In short, we have concluded that for Nintendo 3DS to expand enough to become the successor of Nintendo DS, we have to take a drastic approach,” Iwata explains. “We decided that if we take brave measures now, there’s high likelihood that many players can enjoy the Nintendo 3DS in the future.”

Do you think the price cut will provide the boost that Nintendo is hoping for?

Eugene lives in New Mexico and has been a life long gamer since getting his hands on an NES. Always partial to Nintendo, Eugene has made it a point to keep informed on all things Mario.


  1. Oh wow, that picture. That was around the Revolution days where it was still under wraps, if I remember correctly. The 3D glasses on the bob-omb almost prophetic? On the question, I don’t think so. It will increase sales, but not long term interest. All it needs is games, but the wound might be too deep already.

  2. Sales SHOULD pick up after the price drop goes into effect. Don’t know if they’ll reach 14 million units sold worldwide before march 2012 is over (it’s currently at 3.5 million units sold worldwide) but they could inch closer to 10 million after the holidays.

  3. I think this is a good thing that the price of 3DS is at $170. I honestly though that 3DS should have launched with that price, but I ended up buying it on the first thinking Nintendo would prove me wrong. But I am glad that the price drop came, even though it’s the same price as the DSi (which I think Nintendo could have skipped) was when it launched, I think it’s a good price for the system.

  4. It’s difficult to say, but history has shown that every time Nintendo put a price cut on their systems (N64, Gamecube), they only provided a temporary boost. The Virtual Boy got a price cut within two months, it didn’t even last a year. Of course, there is way more problems with the Virtual Boy than I’d like to go into (even though I liked the thing).

    A price cut is not the ultimate answer, it’s games. Nintendo’s upcoming games are going to have to pull out the stops to truly get this thing going. They lazily put out the launch with little to no great games, that’s a big N-O in today’s market. Third party companies need to be shown that they can make a profit on the thing. Some are willing to take that risk, others, not so much. Can’t really blame them.

    If they would have included Pilotwings Resort or some sort of game packaged in, I believe they would have had way more sales out of the gate. With that $170 price tag as well.

  5. The price drop is nice, but one thing I haven’t hear is if the games don’t get a price cut too, we will still kinda be on the same issue. Games are not selling well, and i know the games we have right now aren’t the best but for a reasonable price people will buy them.

  6. Are the 3DS game prices really all that bad? I mean we are really only paying $5 more than regular DS games in my opinion. Yes I agree it would be nice to see games at $30 though. On the other hand, I know for a fact that Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver both have an MSRP of $40

    I think that it is fantastic that Nintedno is cutting the 3DS price to $170. That will drive a huge steak to the PS Vita. Sony can’t afford to match that price, if they do, that would be ridiculous.

  7. It would make people think that the PS Vita is not much more powerful than the current PSP and hurt it’s sales in the long run. I think the 3DS will do fine. It may not beat the phenomenon of the regular DS in terms of games or sales, but I seriously don’t think Nintendo has anything to worry about, and if I did not have a 3DS already and knew that the price was $170 now compared to PS Vita’s $250, and the 3DS is getting Mario Kart, Mario Land 3D, Kid Icarus and Star Fox, I would choose the 3DS hands down. Being an early adopter, I am really looking forward to the 20 free games we are getting. . 🙂

  8. As much as the price cut for the 3DS is all well and good, I personally think it won’t help anything in the long run. Iwata’s idea of a price drop causing ‘explosive future sales’ seems utterly delusional, it’s the same flawed logic people like Pachter used when asked why the PS3 and Xbox 360 weren’t selling at Wii levels, and the boost in sales there was just as temporary.

  9. Yeah, a temporarily one. As Artefacto and Toadofski already said, it’s all about the games. I bet Nintendo could easily sell a handheld for 250 when there’s at least a handfull class A games available at launch and no draught after.

    Nintendo better start making some brilliant new games and think of new franchises. Stop wasting time and efforts on all the extra freebies, AR, 3D video, accesories only used for 1 game for now. Start focussing again on the games gaddammit.

  10. Maybe they should lower the price closer to a hundred bucks. Then price DSi XL at around 70 bucks. I think they would be in good shape then. That would offer an affordable alternative to the Apple and Android devices. Otherwise, hey if you can’t beat em join em. Make the N-phone and the N-pad. Or, (worst choice in my opinion) become an iOS and Android publisher (ick).

  11. At the San Diego Comic Con I played Nintendo’s line up of games for the fall… Kid Icarus, Mario Kart 3D, Super Mario 3D, Star Fox 64 3D… and they’re all really, really awesome. If the 3DS tanks, well then it’s sure going to go out with a BANG.

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar