Wow... the price drop is pretty telling as to Nintendo's situation.

#1HollowNinjaPosted 7/28/2011 7:49:42 PM
Let me begin by saying that I bought a 3DS two months ago for $250. I do not regret that purchase, and in light of the 20 free games that they're offering, I'm not upset and don't feel ripped off.

Now, once we've got that out of the way, let's think about what this price drop means for a second.

First of all, this price drop is not likely to be meant to simply stimulate sales like any other price drop. A massive price drop this early is an act of desperation. Nintendo's not stupid, at least, not enough that they don't realize that dropping the price this early by this much is going to both upset people and shake people's faith. That means that dropping the price is better than the alternative - keeping the price at $250. Something happened that made Nintendo go, "Oh, snap", and likely, this price drop has been in the talks for a good while. They didn't just discuss it last night and announce it today. They've likely been discussing the price drop for the past month. Keep that in mind.

Now, there are two things that I can think of that caused Nintendo to make such a bold decision. First of all, the falling 3DS sales. This is a simple situation - the 3DS sells like crap, so Nintendo decides to drop the price to boost sales. In this case, the price drop becomes an act of desperation.

This would be a believable explanation, however, I doubt that Nintendo's decision-making team overlooked two important factors:

- The price drop would shake confidence in them and be seen as an act of desperation
- This kind of price drop is unwarranted, given the 3DS's sales

Especially the last one. Sales haven't been so bad that Nintendo needs to do a drastic price drop. The 3DS has a small library due to being so new, and it would have been able to weather out and sell better during the holidays. The PS3 went through a much worse situation than this, and came out fine in the end. so, I doubt Nintendo's aim was a simple "stimulate our low sales" decision.

The other possible cause is the need to remain competitive. In this case, that would mean with the PSVita.
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#2HollowNinja(Topic Creator)Posted 7/28/2011 7:51:04 PM
Now, let's be honest. The 3DS, from a purely objective, hardware-based standpoint, has only one significant hardware advantage over the Vita. That would be 3D. We already know that in general, consumers aren't as interested in the 3D without glasses feature as Nintendo had hoped. In fact, in general, the 3D trend is losing steam. Especially in the case of the 3DS, the 3D is really not gaining any sales, and if it is, that gain is probably equal to the people who worried from the headaches you can get from the 3D effect (and who, obviously, aren't aware that you can turn the 3D off).

Now, when we compare the 3DS to the Vita hardware-wise, objectively, it's hard to see anything going in favor of the 3DS:

-The Vita has a significantly larger screen.
- Both handhelds have a touch screen.
- The Vita has a touch pad on the back, though likely, this will probably be used only for gimmicks, and won't see much use, similar to the PS3 controller's SIXAXIS functionality.
- The Vita has two analog sticks. A lot of people care about this, even if you personally don't feel that it's a major issue.
- Both handhelds have a camera.
- Both handhelds have a microphone.
- The Vita has much more powerful hardware, to the extent that developers are seriously talking about porting PS3 games to it.
- The Vita will have a model with 3G support (personally, I'm not interested)

Even when we get down to software, the Vita has the upper hand.

- The Vita will support Android apps.
- The Vita will have support for PSone Classics - the sames ones people have already bought for the PS3s and PSPs
- Both have backwards compatibility with their predecessor - though this isn't as equal of a situation as it seems.
- Sony has a much better online store (hell, online features in general. Ninendo just can't seem to figure out this whole newfangled 'online' - the marketplace is particularly atrocious).

The 3DS has better backwards compatibility with DS games than the Vita will have with PSP games, since UMD-based PSP games will not be supported in any way, but downloaded PSP games still work perfectly. This would seem impressive, until you consider how many people have a DS already..

It's hard to justify buying a 3DS when you already have a DS (I didn't, which is why I'm satisfied with my 3DS purchase - worst case scenario, I still have the DS's excellent library to fall back on). Nintendo's situation is a bit like Sony's was with PS2 backwards compatibility (with the 60GB models, before they scaled it back and eventually removed it), except without even the benefit of upscaling the PS3 offered. There's little reason for DS owners to move to the 3DS, in the same way that PS2 owners saw no need to move to the PS3.

On the other hand, Sony's situation with the Vita is closest to what the Xbox 360's original Xbox downloadable rereleases (hopefully, with higher compatibility...). Many people missed out on them the first time due to the original console's poor sales (and most likely they didn't know that the PC version of said game would probably run better, but that's beside the point), so they become a bit of a novelty for people to download.
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#3HollowNinja(Topic Creator)Posted 7/28/2011 7:52:18 PM
The other major failing of Nintendo is the poor online. Okay, let's be honest. The 3DS's eShop is pretty bad. Things are arranged in arbitrary categories. It's hard to find what you want. Also atrocious is the fact that your purchases are linked to your system, not your account. If your 3DS is lost or stolen, well... sucks for you, you lost your game. This is worse than Sony's arbitrary "5 activated systems only" download limit. This is worse than SecuROM, and that's saying something.

Before we get off the subject of software, let's review one more thing - games. The 3DS launched with very poor software support in the form of games. This is something that Nintendo has acknowledged. Currently, the DS's single strong title is a port of a 14-year-old game. It is essentially a retextured environment with updated character models and remapped controls. More thorough mods that do basically the same thing are commonly released for PC games, for free, by fans. The music hasn't been rearranged - it's still in its N64 form - and no new content has been added. Despite the strength of the original game, it's hard to praise Ocarina 3D - I can't even call it a remake. If you want to see a remake, go compare the PS2 version of Tales of Destiny to the PS1 version.

The 3DS's current lineup isn't too impressive either. Kid Icarus looks like it has promise. There's a Star Fox 64 remake, Mega Man Leg - oh, wait, Crapcom decided to cancel that. Not Nintendo's fault, but they still have to clean up for them. And... I can't think of any other big-name releases. I'm personally interested in Tales of the Abyss, Devil Survivor, and Bit.Trip Saga. The first two of those, even, are ports, the former of which I've already played on my PS2. Bit.Trip isn't exclusive, it's getting a Wii version. There aren't many system sellers here. I don't imagine Star Fox will move units that Ocarina of Time didn't, and Kid Icarus is just one game. Exactly one exclusive non-remake. Let's not forget that every week, one more 3DS game seems to get cancelled - not promising when you look to future 3rd-party support.

The Vita, on the other hand, seems to have a promising future ahead of it. If Uncharted's a launch title, that's already a stronger start than Nintendo's off to. Developers have thrown their support wholeheartedly behind the Vita. With its release date being yet unannounced, many of those developers haven't announced their games. Also, the console's hardware features seem to be, for the first time for a handheld, appealing to the stereotypical FPS gamer. Like it or not, these people make up a big chunk of the market, and will drive sales if they are tapped properly. However, make no mistake - by November at the latest, the list of games will grow. Make no mistake, the Vita will see a crapton of ports, probably more than the 3DS. However, there's a good reason I say developer support on the Vita looks promising.
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#4HollowNinja(Topic Creator)Posted 7/28/2011 7:52:26 PM
Now, take all this into consideration. Now, realize that the Vita's cheaper model, which only differs in lack of 3G support, was the same price as the 3DS. Look mainly at hardware features here - 3DS buyers would pay $250 for a system with hardware capabilities that are lesser than the competitor's - but said competitor is selling their more powerful, more novel product for the same price.

Oh, snap.

I imagine when Nintendo announced the 3DS, they were gambling on Sony to, in typical Sony fashion, assume that they are the big cheese and that everyone would be perfectly willing to pay FIVE HUNDRED NINETY NINE US DOLLARS if they tried to sell the crap out their asses to you. They wanted to sell the 3DS at the highest price possible, while still remaining underneath the competition. They got greedy. They made an assumption about their competition, and pulled their guns out early - but they didn't expect Sony to pull an AK-47 against their Glocks. Instead of things going as Nintendo had planned, Sony turned around and announced that their product would sell at the same price as Nintendo's. They gambled, and lost their bets.

Now, you can imagine this caused some uproar internally at Nintendo. I imagine that as soon as Sony announced the price of the Vita at E3, Nintendo execs have been planning this price cut. I find that people often don't realize that companies have secret meetings, and that the results of these meetings are not public. People always seem to assume that if they don't know about it, it didn't happen. I have to spell this out, Nintendo didn't just pull this out their asses this morning. They've been planning the price cut for a while. A decision to slash the price of a 6-month-old product by 30% of its price is not an easy one.

What does this mean? Well, first of all, that Nintendo is seriously worried about the Vita. This isn't going to be the PSP vs. DS again. Nintendo's not screwed, but they need to step up their game. They need to draw in both the casuals and the core fanbase. I didn't mention this earlier, but the 3DS's library is pretty poor for casual games as well. There isn't much to get the 12-year-olds buying a 3DS here, nothing for female gamers. Sony doesn't rely on that fanbase much, instead focusing on core gamers, but Nintendo does, and they'll feel the hurt if they lose the Wii demographic. They need to hire

Someone who can set up an online storefront; hell, a decent, unified, user-friendly online service similar to Xbox Live or today's PSN. I thought Sony's PSN was bad when it first launched, and yet, incredibly, Nintendo's online is even worse - and they aren't improving it. Sony's at least been fixing it from where they started. Nintendo isn't making progress.

Ultimately, though, you and me are the winners. More competition usually results in better products for the consumers (I say usually since the fiasco between EA and Valve is an example of competition that screws users over). Both sides will need to step up their game, and Nintendo's going to work extra hard to make up for the fact that their selling point didn't catch on. Unlike the PS3 vs. 360 war going on right now, we will probably not be seeing crossover between the offerings on the systems.

I was planning to buy a Vita anyways, but now, I'm certain I'm going to bite. The handheld console war just got hot, and it's high time I got some popcorn while I watch.
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#5ffdghPosted 7/28/2011 8:00:26 PM(edited)
Honestly...they shouldn't have rose the price due to positive feedback in the first place.
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#6HollowNinja(Topic Creator)Posted 7/28/2011 7:56:15 PM
ffdgh1 posted...
Honestly...they shouldn't. Have rose the price due to positive feedback in the first place.

Shouldn't what?
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#7Soccer009Posted 7/28/2011 7:57:47 PM
ok i didn't read all of that but in one word the price drop is BRILLIANT! marketing wise this could not come at a better time a few months between the Vita's release and in these times if anyone is on the fence about 3DS or Vita they're going to get 3DS because of this!
#8HollowNinja(Topic Creator)Posted 7/28/2011 8:12:54 PM
Soccer009 posted...
ok i didn't read all of that but in one word the price drop is BRILLIANT! marketing wise this could not come at a better time a few months between the Vita's release and in these times if anyone is on the fence about 3DS or Vita they're going to get 3DS because of this!

I agree, actually. I think that overall, the 20 free games are fair compensation for those of us "Ambassadors" (I hope that those unannounced games are something good. I'm praying for Fire Emblem and Golden Sun, but knowing Nintendo...), and the drop is large enough to entice new customers into buying a 3DS.
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#9MetaKirbyFanPosted 7/28/2011 8:39:19 PM
Oh look, more lol gurlz only play shuvelwere assumptions. Aside from that, though, you sound like you know what you're talking about.
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#10HollowNinja(Topic Creator)Posted 7/28/2011 8:51:54 PM(edited)
MetaKirbyFan posted...
Oh look, more lol gurlz only play shuvelwere assumptions. Aside from that, though, you sound like you know what you're talking about.

I didn't mean it in that way. My mistake. I know plenty of serious female core gamers. When I typed that, I was thinking of the girls who get excited when they think about Justin Bieber.
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