Last week brought reports that Nintendo will slash the 3DS handheld gaming platform price tag by $80, bringing the cost down from the hefty $249.99 to a playful $169.99. The new price won't be effective until August 12, and was reported to be the result of a disastrous fiscal first quarter that forced the company to project a new annual operating profit forecast, the lowest its seen since 1985.
But despite Nintendo's financial woes, the 3DS pricedrop is certainly good news to those who previously weren't eager to shell out nearly $250. "For anyone who was on the fence about buying a Nintendo 3DS, this is a huge motivation to buy one now," said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America president. "We are giving shoppers every incentive to pick up a Nintendo 3DS, from an amazing new price to a rapid-fire succession of great games."
Following the new price announcement, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata answered a few questions during a Tokyo investors briefing on Friday. He said that the pricedrop was partially due to the Gamecube and the lessons the company learned from its mistakes in marketing the console. Iwata admitted that he – along with the company's entire management -- felt that they had a chance that wasn't utilized to its full potential. They didn't want to make that same mistake with the 3DS using its current price point.
Iwata also added that the success of the Nintendo Wii and DS platforms have given Nintendo a healthy cash reserve from which to take a few risky business decisions, namely the 3DS price hack.
Later Iwata revealed that Nintendo is currently preparing a paid item transaction model in both the 3DS and the upcoming Wii U console. This new system will be available to developers by the end of the year, and will likely allow gamers to purchase new levels and other premium features. Overall the company wants to beef up the current e-Shop so that it will have a "larger presence" and bring in more than the 5 to 10-percent increase in online digital sales it's currently bring in.