Nintendo: Shove it, Kinect - we'll sell 4 million 3DSes in a month

Microsoft hasboldly statedthat itplans to sell 3 million Kinect units in two months. That would be a blisteringly high level of launch sales, but now Nintendo is taking it a step further bypredicting 4 million 3DS salesin just one month. That's a lot of 'D's.

But can they do it? The interwebs are all abuzz today overthe just-revealed launch details, andfar and away the most surprising nugget of intel is the price - around $300 for the Japanese market when it hits there first in February.

Above: Will cash-strapped Americans fork over around double the launch price of the original DS for a 3DS?

Nintendo hates Virtual Boy comparisons, but one factor always cited regarding the Virtual Boy's demise was its high price ($180, 15 years ago). The preliminaryprice of the 3DS is even higher than the launch price of the $250 Wii, andthe $200 Gamecube, so if that $300 price tag does come over to the US, it'll be the most expensive Nintendo systemever to launch here. Even ifNintendo knocks down the price by $70 or $80, it'll still be the highest-priced portable console the company has ever introduced.

Above: One thing Nintendo does have in its favor - a potentially five-star launch game lineup

Back in June, analyst Michael Pachter said that he believes the 3DS willeasily sell 10 million unitsat any price below $300. And EEDAR games analyst Jesse Divnichisn't worried about the high price point, because hebelievesthe features are worth it:

"The higher price point allows Nintendo to incorporate new features such as 3D movies, camera, and game support as well as incorporating a more robust online network to aid Nintendo in evolving their product from a single-use, games only platform to supporting the plethora of media and entertainment options that consumers have become accustom to using on their handheld devices such as the PSP, Smart Phones, and Tablet Computers."

That all may be true, but for the sake of argument: Nintendo's a company with runaway success... then it launches an expensive, technologically impressive system and expects massive sales. We kind of remember seeing this before with the PS3. It didn't work out so well for Sony.

What do you say - would you buy a $300 3DS on launch day? Would it make a difference if it was less expensive?

Sep 29, 2010

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