Since its appearance at the Nintendo E3 press conference earlier this year, the gaming world has been on the edge of their collective seats, waiting for news regarding pricing details and a confirmed release date for the upcoming Nintendo 3DS. In an interview with Bloomberg Japan earlier this week, Nintendo announced that everything we need to know will be announced on September 29th 2010.
As of yet however, there are few valid guesses we can make about the system's eventual release date. When the 3DS was first announced, it was confirmed that the handheld would release "during the fiscal year ending March 2011". This has led some speculators to believe that the system will launch in Japan by Holiday 2010, with a worldwide release coming early 2011.
Judging by previous system launches, I can definitely understand where this line of thinking is coming from. However, I believe that Nintendo would be foolish to miss out on the holiday rush and will make it their aim to capitalize on the hordes of tired parents looking for something to buy little Jimmy for Christmas.
The more interesting point of speculation (at least, in my opinion) is the issue of the 3DS's price. It's got to come in at a price that appears affordable, whilst simultaneously making a profit for Nintendo. Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities has recently predicted that the 3DS will cost $250. But honestly, I'm not so sure. $250 is a lot of money and a big psychological barrier -- especially considering that it's the same price the Wii was at launch. While I would certainly be happy to put down $250 for a 3DS, I don't believe that the so-called 'DS audience' would be as happy to make the leap.
Personally, I believe the 3DS will launch at $220. It's still quite expensive (for a handheld), but the key thing to note is that it's still closer to $200 than it is $250. Usually, when consumers buy things, they'll relate it to a price that they know and use often -- it's the same reason why almost every luxury product sells at a multiple of $5/$10. When looking at a $220 price tag, the consumer will likely make a mental connection to $200 (it's only a $20 difference, after all) and the price will seem reasonable. Selling it at $230, as some speculators have said, will force a connection to $250 and it will seem far less appealing.
Of course, none of this speculation makes any sort of difference to the final outcome. Come September 29th, we'll know the truth about the 3DS launch date, and we'll know a definite price for the system.
What about you, reader? Do you agree with Pachter, and would you be willing to pay $250? What date do you believe the 3DS will launch? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: Bloomberg Japan (via Gamespot)