I'm sure you've heard about it by now, either from Joystiq, another awesome blog, or Nintendo themselves, but the 3DS is going to drop to a 'reasonable' price come August 12th. That's right, a scant four months after release, a price drop of Eighty Dollars has been scheduled to hit in under six months into the system's lifespan. This is....well, for Nintendo, I'm pretty sure this is fairly unprecedented, and to most people, it could be seen as a bad sign, but come on. This is fucking Nintendo; the 3DS wasn't going to push them out of handheld relevancy, nor was/is the Vita. It was only a matter of how friendly this new climate of the Portable Wars would be to the Vita in regards to the juggernaut that is Nintendo's Handheld dominance.
And news of this price drop just makes the Sony side of the battlefield seem a little darker.
|Yes, I stole this from Chance. I regret nothing!|
Which, I'm sure we can all understand that's exactly why Nintendo did this. Sure, the 3DS isn't selling like hotcakes - but it was always going to. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy that if you release a nintendo handheld, it will sell to people. But this move just makes it seem like Nintendo's jumping the gun for very arbitrary reasons. Well, from a purely consumer-oriented standpoint, that is. It makes fairly sound business sense, Nintendo's moves usually do, but not as much sense as another, different move that we all expected would have.
I, as I'm sure most people, expected Nintendo to drop the price to $199.99 out of the blue, right before the Holiday rush to capitalize on the most sales as possible. Quite simply because you don't announce a price cut in advance. Which, hey, Nintendo did. Doing that would have made sense, because, hey, it would've spurned on sales a bunch, moreso than it would have without the price drop. And nobody ever expected the 3DS to go up against the Vita at the same price, unless Nintendo did a two game bundle or something. "Increased value" and the like.
But a price drop this severe, this early, and this, honestly, poorly-thought-out is just really weird, really frustrating for anyone hoping the Vita would've had even ground from the start, since it just shifts the playing field for no other reason than to do it. And it's really hard to actually say this is a bad move, because it really isn't, it's just a move that I, someone who you all know is looking forward to the Vita like a man obsessed, don't like because it's going to screw over the Vita in some fashion, whether it be just a mild effect, or whether it inspires DS vs. PSP levels of distrust all over again.
Basically, the core of my thinking, which is just what I should say to put it out there, rather than attempt dancing around it, is that this is the equivalent of Nintendo, in a Sports Car, shooting out the tires of Sony, in a....I don't know, a non-sports car before a race. It's an unnecessary level of insurance that will have absolutely no real repercussions on Nintendo, because it's not a matter of People weren't sold on the 3DS, they were simply biding their time. The Vita isn't as guaranteed to sell as the 3DS is. So to do this, to cut the price of the 3DS so low that they're not even making a profit on it anymore, is unthinkable and honestly frustrating, as I can't stop saying.
I admit I'm openly flying my fanboy flag here; though I'm not saying it's specifically for Sony (even though well, I do swing more to the Sony side than anything as my lack of a current gen console other than the PS3 will attest to), but it's really for the Vita, simply because it's a nice device that I know will have games I want because Sony just so happens to have some great first and second party studios who are willing and ready to support this thing. As long as it sells. Which might just be in question now.
Sure, Nintendo's going to garner some flak from the 'Gamers-in-the-know' in a sense, but they're not actually doing a lot wrong here. If you buy the 3DS before August 12th, you get free games for being a 3DS 'Ambassador'. If you buy it after August 12th, you save $80. For anyone involved, this is pretty much win-win, save Nintendo as, again, they'll be selling 3DS's at a (likely marginal) loss. But they'll make it up and then some, so we don't have to worry about them. It's just a weird situation. Certainly not one I could've expected, and certainly not one I like. We'll just have to see what sort of impact it has.
Edit: For some reason, I kept typing September 12th instead of August 12th. I blame rage. Fixed now, though.