By Jared Newman | Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 8:20 am
After 10 months of teasing, Nintendo has answered the biggest lingering questions about its next handheld: How much will the Nintendo 3DS cost, and when can you get it?
At $250, the Nintendo 3DS is almost twice the price of the DS Lite, and $100 more expensive than the DSi. It’s the most expensive handheld Nintendo has ever launched, and ties the Wii for Nintendo’s priciest hardware launch ever (if you don’t adjust for inflation).
In other words, the 3DS will be Nintendo’s toughest sell yet. That’s not to say it won’t sell — if the comments on Joystiq are any indication, there are plenty of Nintendo fans who think $250 is a steal — but 2D Nintendo DS systems aren’t going away, and they’re going to make great competition for as long as Nintendo sells them. For publishers, the base of existing Nintendo DS customers is too massive to ignore.
I think Nintendo gets all this. After launch, Nintendo will kick off a marketing campaign to put the 3DS in peoples’ hands at public events, the company told me during an interview I conducted at CES for PC World. Nintendo needs to show people the actual product, because 3D is hard to market in TV and print ads. Whether this outreach will match Microsoft’s marketing efforts for Kinect is unclear.
I’m not at the New York press event where Nintendo is revealing all its 3DS launch details, so I’ll defer to sites like Kotaku and Joystiq for the nitty gritty, but here are a few tidbits that I found interesting: