Friday, July 29, 2011

You don't say.

So the 3DS price drops....and it's a move I didn't see coming.

Cue a raised fist to the sky, scream of anguish..

$169.99, eh? I REALLY didn't see this happening.

Really, none of us did. It's not like the system launched with a paltry lineup (even for a standard issue dry launch), no online shop or internet functionality, and a console comparable price tag that (m)any a reasonable person would see as a barrier for entry. Yes, Nintendo magic (read:gimmickry) be damned,there were plenty of reasons not to take the plunge.

...Unless you're me.

The sting of being an early adopter is strong with this one.

Oh, what's that, Nintendo? You don't want us to feel betrayed? Well excuse me. Perhaps, instead of trolling us all by releasing a console that clearly wasn't ready, with no killer app in sight wasn't such a good idea. Perhaps promising the fans a hardcore resurgence in the form of this handheld wasn't the best idea.

Perhaps the price wasn't such a good idea. At $249.99, it's a console $50 more expensive than a 360, $100 more than a Wii, and with an extra $50, hell, you can get a PS3. Smartphones, iPod Touches, need I say anymore? Who in their heart of hearts thought it was a good idea to sell us a portable Gamecube for that much money? Someone clearly trying to cut a profit, that's who. I understand that after reselling us a Gamecube with motion control 5 years ago, bucking the trend of early hardware losses became a new motto for the company, but perhaps you should've planned better before you expected lightning to strike twice.

Then again, we would've perhaps settled into the price point of a portable Gamecube with 3D if the Playstation Vita hadn't quintupled its power, stole the functionality of your forthcoming console, and threatened its fighting chance by releasing at the exact same price point. Somehow, buying a console you know is coasting on old technology with a selectively usable gimmick is less appealing than a portable Playstation 3 when they're THE SAME PRICE...

So I can see the impetus. I can also see the logic

This is a much better price point. It's affordable. It's not much more than a regular DSi, and less than a Vita. It'll make cautious adopters take the leap, now that the console is getting some decent software in. It feels more like a complete system now, with the E-shop, Internet Browser, Netflix, and Nintendo Video in place. Now the 3DS is here.

But can you convince early adopters that they participated in nothing but a very costly beta?
Can you shake the insinuation that comes with the price drop? You know, the one that the system really wasn't ready after all, and that the price really was too high?

Doubtful. I know I feel a bit stupid, and a little betrayed that at 4 months, this is possibly the fastest markdown for a console I've ever seen, but I know Nintendo is scared. Possibly, a drop was planned for the holidays, but the Vita is too much of a looming threat for the same price. The DS is still outselling the 3DS, and that's something scary when you're trying to get consumers to move on before the technology gap becomes too great. So I understand.

Bugs the hell out of me..

But we'll forget soon enough. Gamers have no lasting conviction, especially Nintendo fans, and will eventually crack. It's just the way things are. Good move, Nintendo, but bad form.

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