Helllllooooo, nerds, geeks, Vulcans, dorks, noobs, koopas, ladies, and Bulgarians! Ladies, my phone number is available upon request. Everyone else, stick around; we’ve got important things to discuss.
As you probably know by now, the 3DS is getting a HUGE price cut WAY early in its lifespan. On August 12th, Nintendo is slashing the cost of their latest handheld from a questionable $250 to an unbelievable $170. The system hasn’t even been out for six months! But I think we all knew Nintendo was going to have to do something to ramp up their sales. I mean, Sony sold twice as many PSPs as Nintendo sold 3DS’s last quarter. Twice as many! Who the heck is buying a PSP?! It just goes to show that consumers aren’t idiots (though they are fickle).
But all is not lost for Nintendo fanatics! Those of us that were silly enough to purchase a 3DS already (in my case, on launch day) will be rewarded for our lemming-like zealotry. As long as you go into the online store with your 3DS before August 12th, you’ll be given ten free NES games and ten free GBA games on Virtual Console by the end of the year. That’s twenty free games! The full list has not been revealed yet, but, of those that have been revealed, the most exciting for me is Yoshi’s Island for the GBA. The question is, do twenty free games make up for the feelings of betrayal or anger some early adopters might be feeling? If you have a lot of disposable income, you probably don’t care. Some people that have to scrimp and save for months, however, might be a little ticked off.
Nintendo will be taking a loss on every sale of the 3DS as soon as the price drop hits, which is a big deal for them, as they’re the only major console publisher that usually doesn’t expect to lose money on systems. They’ll be relying solely on pushing games out the door to make a profit, and this strategy may not be very reliable in the current market situation. The 3DS’s lineup isn’t terrible anymore, but it’s not good yet either. When people can just go buy a DS Lite or PSP for much less and get access to a humongous library of awesome games with it, it’s hard not to wonder just what is Nintendo thinking.
All that aside, I predict Nintendo will pull out of this slump and probably be top dog again as soon as they do. The 3DS still has a lot of potential, and I plan on keeping mine until the next model arrives (which, at this rate, may be a lot sooner than we think). The eShop has a ton of great old Game Boy games and Netflix is a huge plus. I still like Street Pass and I’ve recently been enjoying the 3D Pokedex. Now if they could just publish a 3D game I will play for more than a week. Here’s hoping Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked will be as good as its name is long.