Hello there reader, you don’t know me, but I’d like to talk to you about the Nintendo 3DS today. As you’ve probably been made aware by the gaming community creaming its collective internet pants this morning, Nintendo held a press event to cover the “features” of their new 3D handheld device. While I could list out all of those “features” for you I’m pretty sure you’ve either already looked at them, or are going to be doing so between now and the 3DS’s March 27th release date; so I’ll spare you all but one detail.
I’d like to discuss the one feature that a had me doing a spit-take of Cinnamon Toast Crunch all over my monitor this morning, and that is the 3DS’s $249 price point. Think about that for a second, let it soak in and stomp around your brain. You did in fact read that correctly, TWO-HUNDRED AND FORTY-NINE U.S. DOLLARS. (Or for you European folks, £229.99.) Nintendo wants you in this tough economic time, to pay almost three-hundred dollars for a handheld gaming device. Apparently they didn’t learn from the PSP Go fiasco, and decided that your hard earned income is entirely disposable.
To better put the 3DS’s outlandish price point into perspective, I’d like to point out that you can get a brand new 250gb Xbox 360 Slim (online) for less than the price of a of a 3DS ($234.99). The same can be said for a new 120gb PlayStation 3($167.99), and that thing plays Blu-ray movies. The most advanced consoles in the history of gaming are both cheaper than a hand-held device that features three-dimensional gaming without glasses. Don’t get me wrong, the 3D without glasses thing is cool, but not $249 cool. For the love of Kratos, it doesn’t even play movies like it’s overly-expensive-until-recently counterpart the PSP does. Am I the only one who thinks Nintendo has crossed the line here?
Yet despite the blatant high-way robbery that Nintendo is about to commit, almost no one seems to be talking about just how insane this is. Have we as a community become so complacent with companies forcing us to take astronomical price points right in the keister, that we just don’t care anymore? Or has Nintendo really suckered most of the gaming world into believing that 3D gaming is worth your first born child, soul, and the deed to your house? Whatever the reason, I’m appalled more people aren’t as disgusted with the price point as I am. Seriously folks, wake up and realize you’re being screwed by a company that claims to love its fans.
Who knows, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the tech is so impressive that it justifies the George Bush level of stupid price point. If that is the case, I’ll be the first person to admit that I was wrong and write a retraction singing the 3DS’s graces. I highly doubt it though, besides the 3D gimmick, theres no feature I can imagine blowing me out of the water. Again, I need to stress the fact that minus the 3D gaming, whatever the 3DS does, my consoles and PC can do more and run in 1080p. Now before you get all excited and go “yeah but the 3DS is portable”, I’d like to point out that the Xperia Play (PS Phone) is also portable and will be able to play games that would make the 3DS explode, not to mention make phone calls. Now that is a device I’d be willing to pay two-hundred and fifty bucks for.
In closing, I’d like to encourage you to seriously stop and think about what Nintendo is doing here. Please keep in mind that there’s no evidence that a three-dimensional gaming market is even viable, let alone going to stick around long enough for you to get your money out of the 3DS. Are you sure that you really want to spend that kind of cash on tech that while albeit cool to look at, lacks any sort of substance? I know I for one will not be purchasing the 3DS, and quite frankly will be reconsidering the relationship Nintendo and I have had over the years.
Feel free to argue with me, (or maybe even agree) in the forums.
Kyle joins us from Minnesota, where he has been gaming almost his entire life. He is awesome and will be regarded as such.
Twitter – @Kmanchester