Reggie wanted the 3DS to launch at $200

The big man wanted big savings

04 May 2022
by rawmeatcowboy 5
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The 3DS was a considerable success for Nintendo, selling nearly 76 million units worldwide. You might remember that early on, it seemed like the 3DS was going to have a very tough time finding a place in the market, and a lot of that was due to the portable’s price.

The 3DS originally launched at $250, and this proved to be an amount too high for the vast majority of consumers. The 3DS sputtered right out of the gate, and Nintendo was forced to right the ship by cutting the portable’s price by $80. If only Nintendo’s other higher-ups had listened to Reggie before launch.

In Reggie’s book, Disrupting the Game, we learn that Reggie was pushing for a $200 price point for the 3DS prior to launch, but Iwata pushed back with a $250 price. Iwata did ask Reggie if he’d consider $219 or $229 for North America, but Reggie was adamant about hitting the $200 mark. It’s obvious that Iwata won out in the short-term, but Reggie’s initial suggestion of a lower price point proved to be the path forward.

You can see Reggie describe the situation himself in the book excerpt below.

Retail margins on hardware are typically slim - around 4 percent. So even if we were to suggest $219 or $229, retailers instead were likely to price at $249 on their own and take a higher margin. This would create a missed opportunity to maximise our profitability and potential future problems as retailers would never want to revisit a 4 percent margin on next-generation Nintendo hardware.

The entire experience reinforced for me the need to move decisively when face with an issue or an opportunity. With 3DS, we did not let the poor sales performance linger. We moved quickly to create a plan and implemented it with excellence.

The episode also reinforced the need to consider fully the needs of your best and longest-term customers. By implemented the Ambassador’s Program, we kept our strongest fans engaged with Nintendo 3DS even when the price of the hardware was cut dramatically. They remained advocates for the system and used social media to post positive comments about the digital games we provided as rewards for their loyalty.

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Comments (5)

Most Upvoted

linkedtriforce

Just a slight correction, the price drop was actually $80, from $250 to $170. I got the system right after this price drop, and it’s still one of my favorite Nintendo systems.

linkedtriforce

2M ago

@rawmeatcowboy

Just a slight correction, the price drop was actually $80, from $250 to $170. I got the system right after this price drop, and it’s still one of my favorite Nintendo systems.


kuribo

2M ago

I paid launch price for my 3DS and I don’t regret a single cent.


captaincolon

2M ago

$200 was still asking too much for the pitiful selection of games it launched with.

Between 2011-2012 I had bought 3DS, Wii U and PS Vita at each of their launches and felt none of them were really worth it and I should have waited.

Edited 1 time

socar

2M ago

I want to know his take on the 3DS eshop servers shutting down.


dematador

2M ago

Seems pretty odd that Reggie now seems to be implying that he had all of the right ideas and opinions about the Wii, the 3DS and everything else, but the silly Japanese kept overruling him.

Even if it's all true, feels pretty crappy of him to be airing all of this "dirty laundry" now that he's retired, while most of the people he seems to be speaking badly of are still active in their roles, and one of them isn't even alive to respond...