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Talking Point: Does PlayStation Vita Have Nintendo Worried?

Posted by Corbie Dillard

The portable gaming war is about to heat up

Very seldom do you see a company like Nintendo drop the price of its brand new console by $80 less than 6 months after release, but with sales of the system lagging over the past few months Nintendo's taken the drastic measure.

On 27th July, Nintendo announced that 3DS will drop to $169.99 in North America, with similar price drops in other regions too, beginning 12th August. And before everyone that's already purchased a system grabs their pitchforks and torches, it should be noted that anyone who's logged onto the eShop will get 10 free NES games and 10 free Game Boy Advance games as compensation for their loyalty, not a bad deal when you consider such titles as Yoshi's Island and Metroid Fusion are among the available free games.

But now comes the question of why Nintendo, having crested a wave of video game success over the past several years, would suddenly and drastically drop the price of a system that just a few months ago it touted as likely to break even the Wii's massive sales records? In truth, there are likely a number of reasons for the price reduction, but the upcoming PlayStation Vita likely played at least a small part in the decision.

So is Nintendo really that concerned about Vita? What company wouldn't be at least a little concerned that a competitor's new handheld was about to launch with their own unit struggling sales-wise? Having said that, it doesn't seem like that was the driving force behind the price drop: that would seem to be more about trying to jump-start sales leading into the holiday shopping season and giving gamers more incentive to pick up the unit.

Now the question turns towards Sony and what this radical 3DS price drop does to the upcoming Vita release. Will the $80 difference turn gamers towards the 3DS rather than the Vita? It very well might, especially for consumers who were on the fence about which machine to pick up for Christmas. But let's face it, most gamers who are excited about PlayStation Vita weren't that concerned with the price difference to begin with. And if Sony can deliver with the rather impressive set of launch titles we took for a spin at E3, gamers will likely find little trouble ponying up the extra money for Sony's impressive new portable toy, regardless of what happens with 3DS .

In the end, it should be a lot of fun to see Nintendo and Sony go head-to-head this holiday season and watch the two compete for gamers' attention along the way. Nintendo has definitely given consumers incentive to consider their handheld and now it's going to be up to Sony to deliver a portable gaming experience at a price that will allow it to be competitive. We know we're excited about the prospect of two amazing portable game systems to choose from and we look forward to watching it all unfold in the coming months.

So what do you guys think of the Nintendo 3DS price drop and do you think it will affect you or other gamers' decision to pick up the PlayStation Vita when it launches later this year? We'd love to hear your comments on the issues.

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User Comments (15)

Cowlauncher

#1

Cowlauncher said:

I think those that planned on buying Vita from the start are still going to stick with Vita however low Nintendo goes. This machine is gonna be a monster powerhouse with some very good looking games.

hamispink

#2

hamispink said:

This hasn't changed anything for me. I'm still going to buy the vita, and I will still buy the 3ds, when we get a slim version(or one with higher quality hardware and a better battery). though the $170 price tag is very enticing. . .

DrCruse

#3

DrCruse said:

Nintendo didn't stand a chance with the $250 price tag. I would say that the Vita was a major factor in their decision to lower the price. However, the price reduction doesn't mean anything to me. The 3DS still doesn't have a single game that I want.

Dynetheous

#4

Dynetheous said:

some how ill buy the psvita...and monster hunter, its just a matter of saving the money. but i really hope sony brings the price down to 200 for wifi and 250 for 3g. that way i can buy it with out breaking my wallet :) im already spending 50 for skward sword, 60 for skyrim, and 80 for mario land 3d and mario kart 7...

ToadFan

#5

ToadFan said:

I do think that mostly people who are attached to PS Vita will still buy it this Hoilday over the 3DS. But people who are 50/50 may indeed buy the 3DS as a cheaper way to play. As for me, I am getting the 3DS this Hoilday, and the PS Vita in early 2012 when some good RPGS are on it. :C

turtlelink

#6

turtlelink said:

Not stopping me from buying the Vita. I never understood why Nintendo overpriced the 3DS. I can see it being $200 but $250 is really high. Anyway, I still hope both companies do well in the end.

zezhyrule

#7

zezhyrule said:

Nope, I still want a Vita over 3DS. I'm sure I'll get a 3DS eventually, but not any time soon.

PatrickElliotStaff

#8

PatrickElliot said:

I think Nintendo cutting the price before Vita's launch was super smart. By placing the Wi-Fi Vita at the same price point as the 3DS, Sony really gave Nintendo a reason to worry. Everyone heard the high-priced rumors and such, but I was pretty astounding when the real price came out. In the end, competition like this is awesome, and is a win-win for anyone considering buying either device...or both :)

R-L-A-George

#9

R-L-A-George said:

I will buy Vita if I can, when I heard the price. I did feel the earth shake a bit, but I knew 3DS would survive. Your right Patrick.

J-Forest-Esq

#10

J-Forest-Esq said:

If Nintendo hadn't lowered the 3DS price, the Vita would have swept it to the side like a rotten apple. That was a very necessary move. Either way, I've already bought the 3DS and I'd already decided to get a Vita so nothing has changed, for me at least. Do I think the Vita will eat into 3DS sales? Probably not, in fact I'd say the 3DS only has itself to blame if it doesn't sell well. The same people who bought the PSP will buy the Vita, plus a few others like myself, but it's possible many people who bought the DS won't buy the 3DS, which will level the playing field. While I don't think they're going to impact each other too much, the handheld race is still going to be a lot closer.

Unca_LzStaff

#11

Unca_Lz said:

I don't see the Vita going down further. Sony's already losing a lot from each system from what I understand :O

Also, 20 free games ftw! :D

Scissors

#12

Scissors said:

I'll buy a Vita for the eventual release of Project Diva (love that game so much), but I bought a 3DS at launch so I'm going to be playing games on that for a while, and I still have plenty of games to play on my PSP & PS3.

Strider_Hiryu

#13

Strider_Hiryu said:

@ turtlelink ("I never understood why Nintendo overpriced the 3DS"): well, because that has been their policy since the Gameboy. From a technological standpoint, all of their handheld machines has always been overpriced, but it's the absolute leader of handheld gaming we're talking about, so most people has been fine with this strategy until now.

Nintendo knew that at some point, a competitor would come and challenge them by offering more for the same price, so lowering the 3DS price mustn't have been too much of a hassle. It was foreseeable, after all.

I'm with you when you wish the best to both Sony and Nintendo, just because the future of dedicated consoles for portable gaming really is at stake nowadays. A repositioning of all prices, from hardware to software, was and is still the main condition for survival.

gamrgod5

#14

gamrgod5 said:

3DS is still gonna outsell Vita, therefore repeating history. The system with the best games (not necessarily the bloodiest) always wins: 3DS and Wii U. Sure the Vita will sell millions upon release, but it's all about game quality and not quantity.

Rambo-Hamster

#15

Rambo-Hamster said:

@gamrgod5, okay I half agree with you :p

Yes, the 3DS is very likely to outsell the Vita due to name and price alone. However, I do feel that this is a completely different ball game, very unlike the DS vs. PSP battle of old.

I also agree that it is all about game quality and not quantity. The DS showed us that quite handily. However, the 3DS isn't doing that so much. Almost nonexistent 3rd party support means that the only good games you'll find on it are Mario, Zelda, Metroid (once they get around to it), and maaaybe Kirby (it's been pretty lately though). Four quality games is okay, but it's four quality games that are just rehashes or remakes. Nothing reaaaally new. So in terms of game quality, the 3DS dropped the ball. And is picking it up real slow, unfortunately for 3DS owners. I mean, the only games really worth critical acclaim on a 3DS are over a decade old, have been redone before, and bring nothing new.

The Vita has taken what the 3DS did at launch and flipped it, becoming almost obsessive with providing a kick launch in 2011/2012. Yes, there are a great deal of quality remakes on the Vita, but the reason it differs is because it offers a good mix of rehashes and new titles. Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush, Ruin, and Escape Plan all look amazing and are all new games. Final Fantasy X, Zone of the Enders, and MGS Collection also look great.

So Vita has struck a good match and will definitely change the game for the better. So should Nintendo be worried? That's the wrong question. We know they're worried. Their "revolutionary" new system kinda sorta flopped on launch and their only competitor in the market is pulling out all the stops to capitalize on Nintendo's failures. The real question is, what can Nintendo do in light of the Vita hitting all the right notes? The answer, unfortunately for Nintendo, is little to nothing .They've played their hand. Now all they can do is sit and hope.

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