What the 3DS Price Drop Means for Us
Simply put, when I heard the news about the 3DS massive price-drop, I was got pretty pissed off about the whole thing. It's a fairly understandable reaction: Nintendo of America basically told their core consumers to "bugger off" for the second time this summer.
So I did some research: surely, I thought, there must be some way for me to recoup the $70 USD I lost by buying a 3DS in the later days of June.
But, as it turns out, there's nothing to be done. As asinine as Nintendo's attitude may be, and as pisspoor as their relationship with their customers has become, the price drop of the 3DS (so soon, to boot) was more than an inevitability: it was an utter necessity.
Here's the deal:
Well... we all know gaming stuff depreciates absurdly fast. The 3DS is no exception. If you were to sell a 3DS on ebay, you'd be lucky to get $180 for it. If you included a case, some downloaded games, you MIGHT get $190 or $200 for it.
But then you'd have to give $9% of that to ebay. So if you manage to sell one for $200 (and yeah, shipping is included in all of this) you'd have to give eBay $18. So you would only get $182 at most, if you're lucky, but more likely around $163.20.
Use paypal, they'll take at least 1.9% (plus $0.30) of whatever you get. So if you sold it for $200, you'd only end up with $147.12. That's the MOST you could get. As I said, the $180 selling price would be most likely--and that would only leave you with $131.89. So, basically, the current "real" value of a 3DS to the consumer is only a meager $130, which is basically half of the initial MSRP.
There's no denying that value is awful.
So there's no way to try and recoup the loss. Part of the reason why the 3DS price is dropping to begin with is because of poor sales, yes, but another part of it is how MUCH the hardware has depreciated since launch, coupled with the fact that the market is currently saturated with used copies. There are currently, for example, over 400 separate listings for 3DS systems on eBay right now.
So, yeah, for all of us early-adopters, for all of us Nintendo-loyals, this is a second giant "**** You!" from Nintendo of America in the past month or two... but unlike Operation Rainfall, there's really nothing we can do about it. Right now, Nintendo is trying to get out of a corner they've been forced into by the 3DS's poor launch and lackluster library of games. The 3DS needs to be priced to compete with not only the existing DSi systems, but also the massive number of used 3DSs on the market.
The only thing left to consider is what this may mean for the future: with the 3DS depreciating so rapidly, with 3rd party support already draining, and with Nintendo trying to slog through a summer filled with nothing but negative press, the future of this tiny handheld--and the giant corporation that spawned it--may very much be in doubt.