By Jonathan Chen
One UP for the consumer.
Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) has announced that it will cut the price of its 3DS portable gaming console by $80 to $169.99, and will in fact give the first consumers of the product special updates of downloadable titles.
The early adopters, who are being called, "Ambassadors," are also getting 20 free NES and GBA games. That does not exactly sound like a great perk to me. I would rather have the $80 back in my pocket, or at least a gift card for something I actually wanted.
Here's a quote from the press release:
Once the paid versions of the games are posted to the Nintendo eShop later in the year, the updated versions will be available to Ambassadors for download at no cost.
Maybe this is why Nintendo's Satoru Iwata (the company's current president) is voluntarily cutting his salary by 50%.
Without seemingly "unimportant" items such as good games, a high price tag, and a technology that seems to be more sizzle than steak, it is no wonder there is a price cut and extra perks for the early adopters.
Nintendo has failed to live up to the hype of its "Wii" gaming system from 2005, when it took the world by storm. You could not find a system anywhere at Christmas time for almost three holiday shopping seasons, nearly unheard of for a gaming console. It took American consumers by storm until the euphoria wore off.
The Wii was a radical change from the Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) XBox 360 or the Sony (NYSE:SNE) Playstation 3. It was fun. It got the family involved, from ages 8 to 80. Nintendo had gotten its "mojo" back. Now, it looks as though the "Wii U" and the 3DS have failed to continue to help Nintendo with its efforts to keep Mom and Dad spending their paychecks on Super Mario, Luigi and the rest.
Ninten "D'oh" is definitely applicable here. It looks like it will be "1 UP" for the consumer, and maybe a "game restart" for the Japanese-based company.
This is bullish for the early 3DS consumers. They will get perks from Nintendo, although it is not 100% known at this point what early consumers will get. It could be some good publicity for Nintendo, which sorely needs it after the weak revealing of Wii U, and weak reviews on 3DS.
This is definitely bearish in the short and mid terms for Nintendo and 3D gaming. Nintendo is going to take write downs probably and not generate as much in revenues from the 3DS as initially expected. Having used the 3DS, I can attest it is annoying and it hurt my eyes first time I used it. It also questions the future of 3D. Does it really have a future or is it just a fad?
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.