Seriously, Nintendo? Seriously? We at Radar UK have just collectively sat through Nintendo's European 3DS press conference (some of us actually there, some of us streaming it over the internet), and while the whole thing was rather exciting, there were only two pieces of information we really wanted. The release date and the price. But now that it's all over, we only have one of them.
Why? Because although Ninty has confirmed a $249.99 price point in America, it's allowing retailers to chose their own tags in Europe. Rearrange the letter 'W', 'F' and 'T' into a poular phrase an you'll have our reaction right there.
Nintendo rounded off the conference by confirming that the 3DS will be released in Europe on March the 25th, two days before the US launch date of the 27th. On the price though? Not a word beyond telling us that they've confirmed a trade price with retailers, and are going to allow them to set their own prices. Cue faces in the Radar UK office that are now as aghast as yours now is.
If you've ever bought a console in a high street store, you know the experience means one thing. Being ripped off to high heaven by being forced to buy the machine as part of a big expensive bundle of extraneous plastic crap, shit games and carry cases you'll throw in the bin as soon as you get home. When that kind of thinking is allowed to dictate a sale price, devoid of an official Nintendo RRP? We are afeared, readers, we are afeared.
Of course, there's a silver lining here. With no RRP, the market is open for bloodthirsty undercutting as well as overcharging. Once the high street announces its pricing scheme, we expect online retailers will have a field day slashing it down. GAME is set to announce its official price tomorrow, so keep everything crossed until then. With a US price of $249.99 and Europe's magic exchange rate for games hardware traditionally resulting in a $1 = £1 conversion, we're guessing £249.99 minimum. Any higher than that, and we'll be taking to the street with flaming torches and pitchforks. More than ever before, early adopters (particularly ones tied to a particular high street store via pre-order) may not be in for a great time.
What do you reckon? Worried? Not worried? Looking at your -order receipt with mistrust and contempt?
**UPDATE - HMV have announced a price of £229.99. Play.com, as predicted, have gone lower, with £219.99. The GAME group is yet to confirm anything**
**UPDATE 2 - GAME have now announced £229.99 as well, with a price of £39.99 for games. No word from GameStation yet, but they're calling a more sane £32.99 for games**