Nintendo puts 3DS in bargain bin

Nintendo has announced that it will be flogging its 3DS devices on the cheap after cutting its profit forecast for the year.

Despite the 3DS’ release to much fanfare, it looked destined for the bargain bin from the start. Nintendo’s profits have been hit due to, in part, woeful sales of the gaming system it wanted as the big seller.

The Japanese company announced that it had recorded losses of $327 million in the three months up until the end of June, with sales dropping 50 percent.

Now Nintendo has been forced to slash its profit forecast for the year, falling 82 percent to $257 million, down from $1.4 billion.

Annual sales targets were hit by 18 percent, dropping to $11.5 billion.

Nintendo will now have to make an extremely embarrassing price drop to recoup losses made on the product .

In fact, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata has even issued a grovelling apology to customers who have already paid full whack for the device.

“Never in Nintendo’s history have we lowered prices to such an extent, less than half a year since the product launch,” he said in a statement.

“But we have judged that unless we move decisively now, there is a high possibility that we will not see many of our customers enjoying a Nintendo 3DS.”

Nintendo has sold just 710,000 units in the three months up to June, included in the total sales tally of 4.32 million, according to the New York Times.

This was roughly the figure that Nintendo had expected to sell in the first weeks of its release.

But it seems that its portable 3D device was not able to set the world alight in the way other Nintendo products, such as the Wii, have in the past.

It is the glasses-free 3D technology which drew stinging criticism.

As we reported there were huge concerns from parents and even their children over its affect on eye sight, and the nausea that followed a session.  For some, the 3DS is uncomfortable to use almost from the get-go.

It is something of an indictment of 3D technology.

Its various guises in gaming, home viewing and cinema certainly point to the technology being heaped onto the consumer.

The expectation that the technology will serve in itself as a gimmick – rather than as a way of giving a new way to enjoy innovative content – is arguably proving itself.

It was only recently that DreamWorks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg blamed lazy Hollywood’s greed on driving cinema goers away in their droves.

It would be unfair to say that Nintendo has been lazy in its approach to the 3DS, but it does show that the public will not keep on handing over cash purely to be dazzled for five minutes by 3D functionality, followed by half an hour of a migraine. 

In terms of the TV market there is a feeling that 3D is becoming more difficult to market as a unique selling point. It’s not doing the trick like HD or flat panels have in the past.

Of course there are other problems which have hit the 3DS, such as a lack of titles, but we can’t help but feel the jarring use of the much vaunted 3D struggled to match the hype.

The 3DS will retail in the US from $249.99 to $169.99.