What a difference a price cut makes.Sales of Nintendo's beleaguered 3DS handheld were up a whopping 260 percent in August (compared to July) after the system's $70 price cut went into effect. Even more impressive, that price cut was only in effect for part of the month.
In a statement, Nintendo said it sold more than 235,000 3DS units last month -- 185,000 of which were moved following the Aug. 12 reduction.
"Consumers are responding very positively to the new suggested retail price of $169.99 for the Nintendo 3DS," said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing.
The 3DS was Nintendo's top selling device last month by a fairly wide margin. 190,000 Wiis were sold, while the Nintendo DS sold 165,000 units. Both systems received price cuts of their own earlier this year.
The big question, of course, is whether Nintendo will be able to maintain this momentum into the critical holiday sales period. When the 3DS first hit stores, it was a hot seller, but by week two, those sales began to taper off significantly — and it took the company a while to figure out why.
Ultimately, two factors were blamed: The system's high price and the paltry software lineup. Now that the price has been adjusted, Nintendo is focusing on delivering a strong assortment of triple-A games before the end of the year, with 3DS entries in the Star Fox, Super Mario and Mario Kart franchises leading the way.
Any momentum for the 3DS could be hampered, though, by whispers that are already circulating about a pending redesign of the system. Nintendo is well known for redesigning its handheld systems (for instance, the Game Boy Advance became the GBA SP, then the GBA Micro), but it usually waits a couple of years before doing so.
But the confirmation of a new peripheral adding a second control stick and a planned press conference next week has set the gossip circuit ablaze.
Regardless, the company must certainly be breathing a sigh of relief that consumers are reacting enthusiastically to the price cuts.