The UK games trade has praised Nintendo's decision to cut the 3DS price by around a third.
Retailers are expected to be selling the machine for anything between £99 and £150 come August 12th. The move is a shot in the arm for the UK games sector, which has been suffering one of its toughest years in terms of physical video game sales.
“The Nintendo 3DS is an exceptional product and we think that today’s announcement from Nintendo is really exciting news for customers," said GAME spokesperson Neil Ashurst.
"We will announce our new Nintendo 3DS price soon but we are always committed to offering the best value possible through competitive pricing, our trade in mechanic and offers on games.”
Asda's games chief Andrew Thompson added: "It's great news, and was a very welcome surprise this morning. It has been a very challenging trading environment for the games industry this summer, and this will give sales a much needed lift when the price drop hits in August. With a couple of quality Mario software titles in the pipeline I see 3DS being the must have Christmas present for anyone wanting a handheld console this Q4."
It's obviously big news for publishers, too. Namco Bandai, Ubisoft, Konami, Sega and Capcom have all backed 3DS heavily, launching some of their biggest brands on the machine and with more to come.
"Any action to increase the sales velocity of any hardware is always welcome," Sega's US and European CEO Mike Hayes told MCV. "Sega has four major 3DS titles arriving before the end of March including Sonic Generations and Mario and Sonic at the London Olympic Games. It is very likely that this reported price drop will assist the lifetime sales of these key titles."
Namco Bandai's Lee Kirton continued: "The price change is very welcomed indeed. We have a lot of great 3DS titles in development throughout the year and the price drop is important to increase the install base in the UK market."
3DS launched with a bang on March 25th this year and became Nintendo's most successful UK hardware launch to date. But a combination of a premium price and a lack of triple-A content meant that the launch momentum soon faded away. Nintendo is hoping that will all change this Christmas, with the new price plus a very strong line-up of two Mario games, Kid Icarus, Star Fox, Resident Evil and a whole lot more.
HMV's head of games Tim Ellis said: "Clearly this is great news. It's a significant price drop and will give the format a much needed shot in the arm. Good timing too, with the holidays just under way - the new price point makes it a much more justifiable purchase for parents."
The Hut Group's business development boss Sarah Jasper said: "As early adoptors can attest, the 3DS is a really fantastic machine, and a lower price point will enable that positive word-of-mouth to spread even further. This, along with Nintendo's terrific first-party Q4 software line-up, is sure to make it a must-have gift for Christmas."
Morrisons' games buying boss Nick Sultanti agreed: "This is a positive and responsible step from nintendo. The price drop will not only increase the penetration of this device to mass market but has now positioned itself and 3ds software into pole position for a great Q4."
Nintendo does not set retail prices for Europe, allowing retailers to choose the best RRP for their customers. This saw the 3DS' launch price range from £190 to £230.