Even before what can easily be considered the release of the year hit North American shelves, gaming critics bashed monolithic-developer Nintendo for placing a hefty price tag on their latest handheld.
At $250 each, the Nintendo 3DS costs the same as a new 4 gig Xbox 360 bundle. Last week, EuroGamer added potential insult to injury when they reported that the device itself cost less than half that to produce.
“According to a “preliminary estimate” handed to EuroGamer by David Carey, VP of technical intelligence for UBM TechInsights, the cost of the system’s raw materials comes in at $101 per unit (around £61.76). That equates to around a $15 (around £9.17) increase over the 3DS, which launched in 2009 for £149.
Compare that to the 3DS’s initial £230 asking price and you wouldn’t be blamed for smelling a rat.”
While EuroGamer do cite heavy research and development for the 3DS as a possible culprit, among others, for the high price, CHIPS retail CEO Don McCabe insisted to them that the device was in fact worth more than the asking price, and that asking for retailers to sell the 3DS for less than the suggested price would be a disservice to Nintendo itself.
“What happens is, your early adopters are going to buy the machine come hell or high water. It doesn’t matter whether it’s £200 or £230, they still would’ve bought it. But early adopters will not make the machine. It’s wave two and wave three that make the machine and the only way that’s going to happen is if people see it, feel it, touch it. 3D is very difficult to get across in a TV advert or in a newspaper. People need to experience it”.
Nintendo’s last game-play redefining hardware hopeful, the Wii, did not see a retail price break until nearly three years after release.