The High Price of Nintendo's 3DS, and Why We're Responsible

Nintendo 3DS

Be careful what you wish for, it might come back to haunt your wallet.

Commenting on a Bloomberg Japan biz story, Japan newswatcher Adriasang reports that Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata tried to explain the Nintendo 3DS's steep price as derivative of a "a number of factors, including reactions to the system's E3 reveal."

At 25,000 yen (US$300), Nintendo's 3DS isn't cheap. Because we couldn't keep our hands off the the thing at E3. Because the reaction to it was unexpectedly overwhelming. Blame Americans. I mean, where else will people pay $40 for a bottle of water?

Couldn't have had anything to do with the truckloads of weirdly gleaming, grinning girls marching offstage during Nintendo's press conference, carrying demo units on platters like prizes on The Price is Right. Oh no. Or the we-can't-show-it, you-have-to-see-it hype about no-glasses-3D, which sure, is cool for the first minute or two, until you realize you're watching pin-sized objects zip and zoom on a pair of pygmy low-res screens. I'm not as down on tiny-screen moviegoing as David Lynch, but it's definitely not for me. And if you think it's for your kids, the jury's still out, but even Nintendo's warning off children under seven.

Okay, I'm betting Nintendo prices the 3DS at $250 in the U.S--still steep, but not unreasonable. And my guess follows precedent. As noted yesterday, the DSi launched for 18,900 yen (US$226) and currently sells for 15,000 yen (US$179). The DSi currently sells for $149.99 in the U.S., so apply the percent difference to the 3DS and presto, $250 (it seems Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter agrees).

$250 plus a game? Fingers crossed, but if I'm right about the U.S. price when this thing finally launches stateside next March or April, I won't push my luck.

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