Nintendo President apologizes for 3DS price drop

nintendo president apologizes for 3ds price drop reggie fils aime

If you are among the not quite one million people that ran out to purchase a Nintendo 3DS, despite its numerous flaws, odds are you are a little bit steamed right now. When the 3DS was introduced, it launched with a handful of titles but none of them were particularly major, plus the system’s software was half complete. The promised Netflix app was nowhere to be found, the Nintendo e-store wasn’t up yet, and the web browser was AWOL. But hey it was 3D! Yay. True, Nintendo fans took it with a smile and assumed that soon their loyalty would be rewarded with the updated software and a wide selection of new games.

But then came the price drop. People that originally purchased the 3DS shelled out $249.99, but due to poor sales and overall poor profits for the company, Nintendo decided to lower the price to $170 starting August 12. So basically, the reward for the people that have purchased a 3DS since its March launch is an $80 fine. Fans were not amused.

And Nintendo recognized that. Nintendo fans are a traditionally loyal bunch and frequently have taken chances on Nintendo’s hardware even when it is contrary to what the other console makers are doing. The Wii obviously became a massive hit, but before people had a chance to play with it, no one was entirely sure how the radically different controller and underpowered system (compared to the 360 and PS3) would fair. Nintendo needs and wants those early adopters to help generate buzz and move systems, so this massive price drop just five months after the release of the system—especially considering the still lackluster library of games, and the only recent addition of the software upgrades—was a slap in the face to those that were willing to gamble on the new tech.

In way of an apology, Nintendo began the Ambassador program which awards people with a 3DS before August 11 ten free downloadable NES games and 10 Game Boy Advance titles. To further emphasize the apology, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has issued a public apology on the Nintendo Japan website, which the website GiantBomb.com translated. In the letter, Iwata thanks the people that purchased the 3DS, and claims that the company understands the feelings of those that purchased the 3DS at the original asking price.

“We are all too keenly aware that those of you who supported us by purchasing the 3DS in the beginning may feel betrayed and criticize this decision.” Iwata said.

He also stated that the price drop was a necessary move in order to gain popularity for the 3DS and ensure its survival. Without a larger user base, the handheld system could be in danger he claimed, but the focus of the letter was to apologize for, not justify, the decision.

“Those customers who purchased the 3DS at the very beginning are extremely important to us,” Iwata stated. “We know that there is nothing we can do to completely make up for the feeling that you are being punished for buying the system early.”

A similar, but uncredited letter appeared on Nintendo’s European site, but nothing from the American side yet.

Iwata and Nintendo have a lot riding on the success of the 3DS, but more importantly, the company’s future rests with the upcoming Wii U. The new console will feature an original new controller, and be slightly more powerful than the current PS3 and Xbox 360, but it will be nowhere near the next generation of consoles that will debut in the next few years. Because of that, Nintendo needs to cultivate and nurture its loyal fan base and get them excited for the Wii U when it is launched. Nintendo needs people to buy into the system, and quickly in order to gain a lead in the next console battle before Sony and Microsoft can release systems that are more technologically advanced. If people are put off and considering waiting to buy the Wii U because of fears of a badly handled launch similar to the 3DS launch, it could spell trouble for the gaming giant.

Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for October 2018

Looking to score Nintendo's latest hybrid console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on stand-alone consoles as well as bundles that feature games like Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games out right now

More than four years into its lifespan, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Gaming

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Gaming

Have problems with your Xbox One? We have the solutions

The Xbox One has evolved over the years, but so have its problems. Thankfully, we have solutions for some of the console's most enduring problems, whether you're experiencing issues with connectivity or your discs.
Computing

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.
Gaming

Why are game studios run like sweat shops? The human toll of ‘crunch time’

After the revelation of 100-hour work weeks in Red Dead Redemption 2’s development, we spoke with a number of developers about what it’s like to work in crunch culture in the game industry.
Computing

Choose your weapon wisely -- these are the best keyboards for gaming on your PC

Your PC isn't complete without one of the best gaming keyboards on the planet. We have a list spanning full-sized models to compact versions from Razer, Cooler Master, Corsair, Logitech G, and more.
Gaming

How you can give your PS4 a fresh start with a factory reset

Learn the many ways you can factory reset your PS4. From reverting your settings to factory to doing a full wipe and reinstalling the latest PlayStation firmware, we cover it all here, step by step.
Gaming

The Xbox app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox app can't do it all, but it does allow you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift, HTC Vive head-to-head: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual-reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I.-powered cat toys, wallets, food containers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

It's got game. But the Razer Phone 2 is still crippled by its camera

The Razer Phone 2 will impress with its gaming prowess and 120Hz screen. But if you care at all about taking pictures on your phone, skip it. While Razer has improved the camera, it’s still short of the competition.
Gaming

The 'Fallout 76' beta starts tomorrow! Here's when it starts and how to join

Want to get into Bethesda's Fallout 76 beta? We don't know when the program will launch, but we provide instructions on how to get ready. The game officially launches on November 14.