Nintendo to Sony: It’s on like Donkey Kong


Nintendo have realized that the price they set for the 3DS along with the really “not there” launch lineup were huuuuuuuuuuge factors for the system not selling as much as was expected from the Nintendo DS successor (the best selling portable of all times). About 720,000 3DS units were sold from April to June 2011… worldwide. That is NOT great news for Nintendo investors (they’re sorta mad) and with the Vita from Sony picking up several extra stops on the hype train route AND being priced at a “boy will Sony lose money per unit”$249.99 launch price for the Wi-Fi only model … what can Nintendo do? How about bringing the price down from $250 into a more consumer friendly $169.99 and giving early consumers a GREAT “thank you” by offering them lots of free NES/GBA games for their 3DS instead of being a douche and saying “though luck” to early adopters?

But free games sounds like “too good to be true” as they will probably be non-sellers and the like from the early NES/GBA launch lineup, right? Noooope., the free TWENTY games will include the following:

The 10 NES games include the following:

- Super Mario Bros.
- Donkey Kong Jr.
- Balloon Fight
- Ice Climber
- The Legend of Zelda
- And five others

The 10 GBA games include these:

- Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3
- Mario Kart: Super Circuit
- Metroid Fusion
- WarioWare Inc: Mega Microgame$
- Mario vs Donkey Kong
- And five others

Price cut is effective on August 12 and the free NES games will be rolled out on early september and then the free GBA will follow. What is even MORE interesting is that only the NES games have been confirmer for a release on the 3DS VC on a later date as the GBA ones will remain exclusive to early adopters.

So, what’s your opinion on this? Will Sony do a pre-release price cut to be closer to Nintendo’s new retail number? Will3DS sales finally pick up? What of consumer trust towards the Wii U which releases in early 2012?

As for me, I’ll be able to get a 3DS this christmas after all!

Thanks to Tiny Cartridge for all the info!


Written by: EdEN - PR / Contributing Editor


  1. #1 by Jason on July 28th, 2011 [ 27494 Points ]

    wow Well if they get the rumored monster hunter which is a huge if, Ill buy one. The vita looks cool but Im worried it will become a mini game device. I love my psp. I play a good 45 games religiously on it but its main use is my Monster Hunter collection. For $169 ugg hard to pass up on. Im sure the Vita will follow soon after launch making it more enticing. For $249 I can buy a slim ps3 at the Walmart sales every other weekend so that price personally is not making sense atm

    On another note. How long will you play the free games being offered? The current psp can play all those nes games via free non modified homebrew (doesnt require CFW)

  2. #2 by Dean147 on July 28th, 2011 [ 359 Points ]

    Playstation don’t really need to lower the Vitas price point, it’s new technology and is jam packed with tech features (led screen, 2 touch inputs etc). However the 3DS is last gen tech, and doesn’t really need to be at a high price point.

  3. #3 by EdEN on July 28th, 2011 [ 131303 Points ]

    @Dean147: Actually, the Vita is last gen tech as well as touchscreens and gyroscopes have been available for over 6-7 years now in consoles and portables.

    At $169.99 3DS sales should pick up and do crazy numbers during the holidays. If I was at Nintendo I would have waited until January to do the price drop to get one holiday at full launch price but that’s just me. Guess the Vita sorta launching this year (no real date yet) and investors not being happy made them jump the gun a bit.

  4. #4 by EdEN on July 28th, 2011 [ 131303 Points ]

    Did the math and I WILL be buying a 3DS this holiday season! At $170 I can get the 3DS, do the DSiware transfer and then sell my DSi for $100 and eat up the $70 difference.

  5. #5 by Jay on July 28th, 2011 [ 83111 Points ]

    Sounds more like desperation on Nintendo’s part. They’re obviously very concerned at the Vita’s popularity amongst developers, and the growing popularity amongst gamers, and that it looks more like a threat to the 3DS’s stance, especially at the Vita’s price point. Sure, the 3DS might pick up some slack, but I don’t think it looks good to see a price drop happen so soon after launch to anyone, from an industry standpoint (especially taking into consideration the sales numbers up until now).

  6. #6 by EdEN on July 28th, 2011 [ 131303 Points ]

    @Jay: They’re more scared about investors being angry than about the Vita itself, especially after investors (who are 90% of the time NOT gamers themselves) didn’t understand what the Wii U is (they didn’t know it was a new console). After selling 720,000 units worldwide in the period described above I see the console doing 1 million a month worldwide after the price drop and then jump to 4 million a month for the 2 month holiday extravaganza.

  7. #7 by Jay on July 28th, 2011 [ 83111 Points ]

    I doubt even with this price drop, we’d see an increase in sales THAT high. There is no indication at the old price point that sales would benefit by that much at a lower price point. $80 isn’t all that much of a difference. 720,000 in 4 months would mean, on average, the system only sold 180,000 a month. How is that $80 drop going to translate to a ~555% increase in sales? Obviously the interest for the 3DS hasn’t been there since the get go.

  8. #8 by EdEN on July 28th, 2011 [ 131303 Points ]

    @Jay: It’s 720,000 units on three months, not four. That comes down to 240,000 units a month and not 180,000. A 400% is still wishful thinking on my part but with all the first party releases set up for the next couple of months AND all of those that will prefer the free $150 of games versus the $80 price cut SHOULD increase sales considerably. My sister, my brother and I are all getting a 3DS in the next 2-3 months so that should help as well hehehe.

    Would be interesting to see the 3DS pre-order numbers vs the Vita pre-order numbers once the system launches.

  9. #9 by Jay on July 28th, 2011 [ 83111 Points ]

    It launched in late March, that was 4 months ago

  10. #10 by Pedro on July 28th, 2011 [ 39949 Points ]

    Well I guess it was an obvious choice since for $250 anyone with more than two brain cells would choose Vita… it’s a good thing for those who are planning on purchasing it, but honestly, from the “industry” point of view this is terrible news as it shows the interested in the 3DS is very low, so I wouldn’t expect many games being developed and that kind of stuff…

  11. #11 by Jay on July 28th, 2011 [ 83111 Points ]

    oh wait, I was counting July as well lol, sorry

  12. #12 by EdEN on July 28th, 2011 [ 131303 Points ]

    @Jay: Yep, no July numbers since the month is still here! Hehehe. By holiday 2011 I’ll get a $170 3DS along with Super Mario 3D Land, Ocarina of time, Ghost Recon Wars and 2-3 3rd party games along with $100 in eshop credit. Vita will have to wait until it’s at the soon to be current 3DS price before I get it.

  13. #13 by dragon290513 on July 28th, 2011 [ 7218 Points ]

    this is nintendo way of admitting’s its handheld early defeat and bad marketing

  14. #14 by Darklurkr23 on July 28th, 2011 [ 17556 Points ]

    Well it sure is cool. But man Nintendo must be hurting with 3DS to give away 20 free games (That people can play for free on their computer at home anyway) to try to get people to buy. If ANYTHING, I’d give out a Free Wii when you buy a 3DS. That would boost sales. You gotta get games for both systems! :D. But still for the average joe who can’t buy 1000 games, it’s sweet.

  15. #15 by Eddie on July 29th, 2011 [ 44542 Points ]

    I don’t believe the Vita had much to do with the 3DS pricecut. The Vita is still an unkown as far as how it will sell and its popularity. Its essentially offering the most versatile hardware in history with the most developer bliss so it has potential to blow up. Only time will tell. Its price factor is generally looked at as worth it from my musings where as the 3DS was looked at as over priced. Looking hardware to hardware you can see why. That doesn’t mean one is better than the other however.

    If anything…this shows how out of touch Nintendo really is with consumers right now.

    Either way I think the price drop will help. Lets see how much.

  16. #16 by EdEN on July 29th, 2011 [ 131303 Points ]

    @Eddie: They should have priced the 3DS at $199 from the start and everyone would have been happy but it IS at least refreshing to see a company admit they screwed up and do their best to NOT screw over early adopters and instead be thanking them for their support.

    For my brother, my sister and I this has been GREAT news as $80 less means 2 more games with our system purchase!

    Mmm, should I get the black, the cosmo blue…or wait for the red one?

  17. #17 by Eddie on July 29th, 2011 [ 44542 Points ]

    black one looks best imho.

    I still think the games offered sucks horribly though. Nintendo has nothing to be sorry for, but I think they are taking the only path they have to salvage what they have and try to kickstart it in a new direction.

  18. #18 by Sakinah on July 29th, 2011 [ 26489 Points ]

    This kind of price cut is expected around the Holidays but for Nintendo to slash the 3DS’ price so soon after launch means the company isn’t used to their hardware selling slowly and are rather desperate.

    I don’t think it has anything to do w/the Vita ’cause shoppers around the Holidays would buy the 3DS at it’s original price point no matter what.

  19. #19 by EdEN on July 29th, 2011 [ 131303 Points ]

    Let’s not forget that Sony and MS also did a price cut on their consoles and portables a couple of months after launch. Nintendo just did it a tad sooner in my opinion as I would have waited until february 2012 to do it to get one holiday period at full retail but that’s just me.

  20. #20 by The_Nmac on July 29th, 2011 [ 39771 Points ]

    Nintendo is scared of what Sony can do. There’s alot of buzz on the vita and the 3DS had a substandard launch. They should have had a Mario title from launch.

  21. #21 by EdEN on July 29th, 2011 [ 131303 Points ]

    The 3DS is doing the same way as the DS when it launched. Investors expected 3DS sales to be at the top right from the start and stay there which is NEVER the case with any new hardware. To me the Vita seems like a nice handheld but not something to get at launch so it will be interesting to see how Sony does. Will they release BEFORE black friday or is that out of the question after all the delays in games due to what happened in Japan a couple of months ago?

  22. #22 by Eddie on July 29th, 2011 [ 44542 Points ]

    It wasn’t a “few months” It was 8 months for the PS3, and the PSP I believe was nearly a year and a half.

    As I’ve stated several times…the only reason the DS did crappy was because they couldn’t manufacture it quickly enough. It was nearly sold out for a year. It would have beat the dust off of the 3DS had the manufacturing numbers matched.

    It wasn’t “Investers” that over estimated the 3DS. It was Nintendo. They expected what? 14 million sales this year? They will be lucky to reach half that.

    I give you one thing though…I think it is similar to the PS3 launch. A company’s arrogance got in the way thinking they could sell their product at a high price riding on the coat tails of their best selling predecessor and thinking people would be ok with it without having a decent software lineup at launch or even in the near future.

    The Vita however is doing things NO handheld has done before it and thats be the most versatile system ever made. It has more input options than any hardware. It has more power than any portable and it will cater to several demographics right at launch with games from Playstation Suite, minis, PSOne, PSN and Vita games.

  23. #23 by Jay on July 29th, 2011 [ 83111 Points ]

    I think the Vita had something to do with it, at least as far as the amount of the cut goes. If the Vita wasn’t as appealing as it is, had a much higher price, or if Sony never announced it (and assuming the 3DS sold the same amount of units), the price cut might have only been about $50, bringing the price down to $199.99 instead of $169.99. But with the features and support the Vita IS getting, all at only $50 more (and a potentially better launch lineup, even potentially compared to the 3DS’s available titles at the time of the Vita’s launch) makes the Vita look like the better option at that high a price. At $80 more, however, some might question the Vita’s worth at that point, but we’ll see what happens.

  24. #24 by EdEN on July 29th, 2011 [ 131303 Points ]

    So, no price cut on the Vita before it launches down to $199 for the Wi-Fi model? Don’t see the Vita selling over 3 million copies in 4 months set at a $250 price when they haven’t announced a release date and either Europe or Japan might miss a 2011 release.

  25. #25 by EdEN on July 29th, 2011 [ 131303 Points ]

    As for the Vita itself the features that make me happy about it are being able to play the games I’ve got on my PSN account on it, FINALLY having trophy support on the portable side (same PSN account for trophies, right?) and the touchscreen. The extra raw power was a given from the start seeing how Sony decided to go with their last portable.

  26. #26 by Eddie on July 30th, 2011 [ 44542 Points ]

    Yea its the same PSN account. And if they have Monster Hunter near launch…it’ll sell 3 million in one month in Japan alone. Get news of a Call of Duty with full online support and it’ll do similar sales in North America as well.

    And actually Sony has long since confirmed a Japan release for 2011. They have also confirmed that the USA is a 2011 target release and Europe at latest will be January/February. With the price drop I wouldn’t be surprised if they forced launched this year for all territories.

  27. #27 by Eddie on July 30th, 2011 [ 44542 Points ]

    According to Famitsu polls just released…Japan is more interested in the Vita then they are the 3DS or Wii U.

  28. #28 by EdEN on July 30th, 2011 [ 131303 Points ]

    @Eddie: Polls are from last week so they don’t really count for this. Let’s wait until next week when they ask “will you get a 3DS with the new price?”.


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