Nintendo's launch announcement of the upcoming 3DS was bittersweet yesterday as the release date and schedule of games were missing the all-important price tag of the system itself. With no final pricing currently determined for the U.K. and the rest of Europe, the majority of retailers have listed the handheld console in the region of £220 - £230, with Nintendo quick in defending the value of such a purchase.
Speaking to GamesIndustry, the General Manager at Nintendo UK David Yarnton said that due to the demand of the 3DS, retailers are happy with the price and Nintendo is expecting the launch of the 3DS to be its biggest yet in terms of hardware.
The DS for us was huge in 2005 and in 2006 the Wii was even bigger. Retailers - especially with the environment they are in - are right behind it. It's a new format. In the last ten years, the innovation that we've bought to the market, people may have looked at the price to begin with but it was soon forgotten because of the quality of the product and the content that's available.
Yarnton also seems confident that Nintendo and retailers will be able to satisfy the demand for the 3DS, with the two sectors working together in making sure that stock goes to where it needs to go in order to meet all the pre-orders. With nothing else on the market that compares with the 3DS, Nintendo is sure that quality will prevail. With Eurosport and Sky just two examples of television networks that have struck up partnerships with Nintendo in providing downloadable content for the 3DS, it's clearly just the beginning of what we'll be doing with the machine aside from just playing games. The downside with a product that deals with stereoscopic visuals is that you have to see it for yourself to truly understand what the machine is capable of, and Nintendo knows exactly how to enlighten consumers:
We've had huge sampling experiences on Wii and DS in the past and we properly started that whole touring the product, we've been doing that for years. With 3DS it's going to be the biggest sampling campaign that we've ever done... We're looking at between 4-500,000 consumer samples up to Easter this year. And because we're doing a combination of not only interactive in stores but also consumer events, and then samples in shopping centres... we see the opportunity as so important. How do we explain the 3D? We can paint a picture but until you actually experience it you're not going to see the full value of it. Sampling is huge, it's a major investment for us.
Do you think the price that retailers have set is reasonable, or do you think it needs to come down a little? The 3DS launches in Europe on 25th March, with a North American release scheduled for 27th March at a price of $249.99.