Fans of the Monster Hunter series that live outside of Japan have been a little hard done by, casting envious glances to gamers in Japan who are looking forward to Monster Hunter 4, while the rest of us wait for the expanded version of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. While Ultimate is also coming to Wii U and promises the first taste of cross-play between the new console and 3DS, it seems the Japanese market is so blasé about this release that the handheld version will be available at a discounted "Best Price" rate.
As reported by Siliconera, Ultimate on 3DS is really a re-release of Monster Hunter 3 G in Capcom's homeland, so it's being repackaged on 15th November and sold at a reduced cost of 3,800 yen ($48). Perhaps more interesting is that it'll be made available on eShop on 6th December, and the download version will actually be cheaper, at 3,400 yen ($43).
Aside from complaints about Western gamers lagging behind in the series, and the fact that we're unlikely to see anything but the highest possible retail prices when these titles arrive in March 2013, the eShop pricing is interesting. Not only is Nintendo bringing another third-party onto the eShop retail scene — Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion will be available for download — but it's allowing a reduced price for the download. It's a small step, but could be a testing ground to see whether a cheaper price encourages greater eShop sales.
In any case, we can only look enviously towards Japanese Monster Hunter gamers, again.