To many, it might have seemed an obvious prediction that if you release a new console with a pitiful amount of games for that platform, sales will dwindle. The fact of the matter is that 3DS sales have stalled somewhat, and Nintendo is preparing drastic action to encourage purchases of their new portable by cutting global prices by around a third.
Speaking to VG247 this morning, a Nintendo rep confirmed that Europe would see a drop in price for the 3DS of around a third on August 12th, although a specific figure was not yet named. In other territories, the US will see the console's price go from $250 to $170, prices will be down from AU$350 to AU$250 in Australia and from ¥25,000 to ¥15,000 in Japan a day earlier on August 11th.
'I can confirm that Nintendo of Europe will be reducing the European trade price of Nintendo 3DS to retailers by around a third from August 12 2011, as part of a global trade price reduction initiative,' said the rep. 'The ultimate price to consumers is, of course, determined by retailers, however we look forward to consumers benefiting from much lower retail prices very soon.'
Considering the dearth of current killer apps for the system, and considering the widely touted first and second party titles on the horizon that Nintendo have be trotting out on the expo circuit, it might be understandable to feel a little disgruntled as a day one buyer. But Nintendo have that covered too. A new initiative called the 3DS Ambassador Programme is being offered to existing owners who bought the console at full price, gifting 10 NES games and 10 Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games for free if they log on to the Nintendo eShop before the August 12th.
A spokesperson for Nintendo of Europe said that 'the free software will then be made available at a later stage. More details on the programme will be announced on the Nintendo of Europe website shortly.'
Nintendo published their Q1 figures this week, and it didn't exactly make for happy reading. Wii hardware sales dropped by nearly 1.5 million units (from 3.04 million in the previous financial year to 1.56 million), net sales dropped from ¥189 billion to ¥94 billion, but most tellingly of all, the 3DS only managed to ship 0.71 million units in the three months before July.
Can Nintendo rise from this slump to deliver? Will the 3DS be firing on all cylinders by the end of the year? Does this bode well or worse for the Vita? Let us know your thoughts below!