Nintendo has announced release details for its new 3DS handheld, only to witness its stock price drop dramatically.
The 3DS is to launch in Japan on February 26th, retailing for ¥25,000 – this would suggest a $300 US launch price, largely in line with expectations. The US and EU releases are to follow soon after, in March.
The pricing has been widely decried as too expensive – comparing the pricing for Nintendo’s previous portables it is easy to see why:
GB – ¥12800
GBC – ¥8900
GBA – ¥9800
GBASP – ¥12500
DS – ¥15000
DSL – ¥16800
DSi – ¥18900
DSiLL – ¥20,000
3DS – ¥25000
The 3DS was widely expected to launch in 2010 in order to meet the crucial Christmas sales period, but this was not to be. Nintendo has not announced the reason behind the later launch.
Along with the 3DS release, Nintendo also announced that it has more than halved its expected net profit for the fiscal year to ¥90 billion, down from ¥200 billion.
Nintendo laid out its reasons for the adjusted profits:
“The earnings forecast has been modified to reflect the trend of stronger-than-expected yen appreciation, current sales performance, the sales outlook for the holiday season, and the decided release conditions for the Nintendo 3DS.”
The “3DS release conditions” and “sales outlook for the holiday season” phrasing can likely be taken as an admission that the high price of the 3DS and missed Christmas sales are going to make a large dent in sales. The rapidly weakening position of the Wii likely also played a role.
The company’s stock price took a major plunge as a result of the unfavourable announcements:
Just in what measure this is due to the reduced profits versus the missed Christmas release is not clear.