Infamous analyst Michael Pachter believes that $250 is too cheap for a system like the 3DS and Nintendo will regret setting it so low. He told IndustryGamers: “I thought the price point would be higher… but $249 is pretty good. I don’t think the uptake will be too quick on this.” Pachter added that Nintendo are well aware that the competition will be “converging devices” like the iPhone but the 3DS will have full game experiences whereas the others generally offer bite-sized gaming. Going back to the price, he said: “It’s going to sell out and they’re leaving money on the table. It’s not shareholder friendly, but consumers are going to love the $249 price point.” He added how the assumption was that the 3DS would cost at least $300 because of all the features it offers and for $249, consumers will think they’re getting a bargain. And because of this, Pachter thinks that a lot of consumers will “never see one in stores in 2011. It’ll be sold out forever. We’ll get like a million or 1.25 million, and so will Europe, and those will be gone in weeks.” It turns out that Europe are in for 900,000 units for launch so he could be right, at least about it selling out straight away.
Software prices are still up in the air at the moment and the only official price so far comes from Pachter’s (and my) favourite title; Super Street Fighter IV 3D. Capcom are selling the game for $39.99 in their store, potentially setting a precedent for all future pricing. Over here, retailers are fighting for our money setting their prices between £30-40.
Pachter clearly knows his stuff but this is quite a brave prediction – that people will love the price. I may have expressed my acceptance but I wouldn’t say I love it. Maybe because I’m in the UK and we’re not getting like-for-like pricing compared to the US and Japan. It’s doubtful people will be running to the shops because of the ‘cheap’ price, it’ll be more down to a new Nintendo system is on sale which, in recent years at least, appeals to all kinds of gamer and even those who aren’t traditional consumers of games. The DS won’t be ignored but the 3DS isn’t a slight progression, it’s a full tangible upgrade.