Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nintendo Slipping, iPad Gaining

Can this really sell at $299?
The handheld game market is changing fast, and Nintendo appears to be losing ground. They just announced the ship date for the 3DS would be March (end of February in Japan) and the price point will be 25,000 yen (which would be $299 at the current exchange rate). Analysts are disappointed, and Nintendo has cut its profit forecast for the fiscal year in half. Though they are still figuring they'll sell 4 million units in that one month of sales... which is probably sell-in, not sell-thru (retailers will order that many, not all may be purchased by consumers in that time frame).

Meanwhile, another analyst is estimating that Apple will sell 21 million iPads in 2011... nearly 2 million a month. Compare that to Nintendo's estimate of 4 million 3DS units sold in the first month... no doubt to drop thereafter. Another interesting thing to consider is that the iPad is at a minimum $500, and the 3DS is $250 at least (retail price has not yet been announced for the US market, but they may try to retreat from the $299 price point). Also of note is the fact that Apple is selling about 3 million iPhones per month, and a million or two of the  iPod Touch... that's a whole lot of iOS devices. Also note that the iPod Touch is $229 for the 8 GB model, and $299 for the 32 GB model. Compared to what you get, the 3DS doesn't look like a great deal... the 3DS plays games; the iPod Touch does that, and also takes high-quality photos, hi-def video, plays music and videos on an amazing screen, and has 250,000 Apps available for it, many of them free.

If Android is more to your liking, then it's good to note that as of August Eric Schmidt said that 200,000 Android devices were being activated each day... which pencils out to about 6 million per month. That's a lot of mobile gaming devices.

Of course, Nintendo doesn't really acknowledge iDevices or Android devices as competition. I guess denial is more than just a river in Egypt...

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