Nintendo blames the media for high 3DS price point

If you think the 3DS is expensive, then blame your favorite video game magazine because their positive hype helped lead to Nintendo deciding to make it the company’s costliest system ever.

When Nintendo announced that the 3DS will retail for around $300 in Japan, eyes bugged out all over the world. Never before has Nintendo released such an expensive device. Previously its highest-priced console was the Wii, which launched at $250.

The Gamecube was $200 when it was released. The DS was less than $150. The Virtual Boy, which was harshly criticized for being too expensive, launched at $180 (in 1995).

Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata said there were a “number of factors” that led to the price decision, but specifically called out the positive reaction from reporters and readers at this year’s E3 convention.

There’s no doubt about it – the 3DS got immensely positive coverage at its worldwide debut event, and people lit up message boards with their unabashed curiosity of the device.

But you know what? Those same media outlets also were expecting a price point of around $200. No one could have expected it would be around DOUBLE the price of a Wii.

You could write a book on electronic devices that failed because they were priced out of the market. Nintendo’s taking a gamble here that the same story won’t happen to the 3DS.