Is Nintendo’s 3DS too expensive?

Nintendo’s 3DS is expected to cost between $249 and $300. But is that too expensive for a handheld console?

Well, EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich believes the initial (launch) price-point will do little to discourage consumers from purchasing the new gaming system.

“The higher price point allows Nintendo to incorporate new features such as 3D movies, camera and game support – while enabling them to incorporate a more robust online network,” Divnich told TG Daily in an e-mailed statement.

“[This will help] Nintendo evolve [its] product from a single-use, games only platform to supporting the plethora of media and entertainment options that consumers have become accustom to using on their handheld devices such as the PSP, smartphones and tablets.”

Divnich also noted that Nintendo’s decision to forego a 2010 holiday launch was a positive one.

“We believe that a 2010 holiday [debut] would severely impact both the quantity and quality of titles that could be made available by November 2010. 

“[Of course], there is both a short term benefit (by not placing a third new device into the holiday line-up for consumers) and a long-term benefit (by allowing publishers and developers additional time to create compelling content) in the selected launch timing for the 3DS platform.

“[Clearly], Nintendo’s 2011 launch decision has little to do with manufacturing limitations and everything to do with [the company’s] decision to ensure a strong third-party launch line-up.”

Divnich emphasized that third-party launch titles have historically

underperformed compared to their first-party counterparts – which he attributed to severely limited development schedules.

“[So], by allowing additional development time through March 2011, a superior product lineup should be available at launch, something all gamers can appreciate. 

“[In addition], with an already packed holiday season, a Spring 2011 launch of the 3DS hardware and software will provide incremental revenue to the industry and will likely be a catalyst for positive growth both in hardware and software for the first quarter of 2011.”