The 3DS costs ¥25,000 – and it’s your fault for getting excited about it at E3.
At a press conference yesterday morning, Nintendo revealed that its highly-anticipated 3D handheld would come with a ¥25,000 price tag. Thanks to an incredibly strong yen that is trading against the dollar at levels not seen in 15 years, this directly translates to a slightly-uncomfortable Western price tag of $298.
According to Bloomberg Japan (and translated by Andriasang), Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata spoke with analysts following the announcement and discussed the handheld’s price. When someone suggested that the ¥25,000 price might be near the upward bound of what consumers were willing to play, Iwata said that Nintendo had based the price on a number of factors – including the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the system upon its debut at E3.
Granted, it’s clear that this was only one of the contributing factors in the case – and Nintendo likely had to consider other things like how much it costs to make the damn thing – but is that really the sort of thing you admit out loud? “Yeah, we saw that people liked it a lot, so we thought we’d make it a bit pricier.” Iwata seems a bit more business-savvy than that.
All in all, though, I’m still not convinced it’ll be that bad. Nintendo has yet to announce a North American or European price for the handheld, and it seems extremely unlikely that the hardware giant would go for a direct yen/dollar conversion here. Both the Wii and the original PSP also launched at ¥25,000 in Japan, and they were $249 and $199 when they made it over here to the West, respectively.
Personally, I think we’ll end up seeing the system with a western price tag somewhere between $229 and $249, which would be much easier to swallow, no? I mean, I’m still going to buy it even at $300, but the lower price means I get more games to go with it.
Just remember, the next time somebody reveals cool new technology, act disappointed.