This week Nintendo announced new details for the launch of the 3DS handheld. It will be released in February 2011 in Japan and follow shortly after in March in the Western World. It will retail at Y25,000 in Japan ($300, £190, €220). We expect a price point of around $250 in USA, €250 (including VAT) in Europe and around £229 (including VAT) in UK.
Screen Digest had existing forecasts in Japan for the 3DS starting in late 2010 and from Q1 2011 in other regions. We have now pushed back the Japanese launch estimates to next year which has reduced the overall 2010 handheld hardware and software forecasts accordingly.
We expect the price premium over previous DS hardware iterations to impact adoption rates in the early stages of its lifecycle. Furthermore, increased competition from non-dedicated handheld gaming devices such as smartphones will also result in less favourable sales comparisons with earlier pure-play handhelds. However, we remain positive about the ability of the new handheld to carve out a sizeable opportunity for itself even within this more competitive market.
We have assumed that software retail prices for the 3DS platform will be higher than those of the DS and DSi due to the potential increase of software development costs associated with the device.
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