The Nintendo 3DS is back at the top of the sales charts in Japan. Though sales of the handheld dropped 50 percent after Nintendo President Satoru Iwata announced a major price drop for the system, the 3DS’s first week at its newly reduced price of 15,000 yen (down from 25,000 yen, or $250 to $170 in U.S. currency) has been quite fruitful. The handheld has sold about 215,000 units between August 8 and 14. The price cut took effect on August 11, but many retailers discounted the handheld days earlier to spur sales.
215,000 is not a number to laugh at. These sales are in line with how much the handheld was selling following its launch in the region, reports Famitsu (via the Washington Post). Before the price cut, the 3DS was selling roughly 30,000-40,000 units a week in Japan. It remains to be seen whether the strong sales will hold or if this is merely a short spike for the troubled 3DS. Retail sales figures showing the effect of the price drop in the United States have not yet been released as they typically take longer to collect than Japan.
If all it took was a price drop to get 3DS sales back on track, this fact will undoubtedly mute many of those demanding that Nintendo begin porting its games to smartphones and tablets like the iPhone and iPad. It should also serve as a lesson to the company that consumers are increasingly price sensitive in this poor economy and now that phones and other gadgets are getting so expensive.