Nintendo has priced the Nintendo 3DS, its glasses-free 3D portable, at ¥25,000. That is the equivalent of US$298. Forget the crummy exchange rate for a moment, because the pricing could be different for the West.
The real question is how the Nintendo 3DS stands up to the pricing of other Nintendo handhelds.
The Nintendo DS launched in 2004 and was originally priced at ¥15,000. This was followed up by the Nintendo DS Lite in 2006. It was originally priced at ¥16,800.
Nintendo then launched the Nintendo DSi in 2008 and originally priced it at ¥18,900. This was followed by the Nintendo DSi XL in 2009. It was originally priced at ¥20,000.
In the wake of the upcoming Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo has since reduced the prices of the handhelds it currently offers. However, the company's portable pricing continues to climb and climb. Granted, its handheld gaming devices have gotten increasingly complex.
For the sake of argument, the Nintendo Game Boy was initially priced at ¥12,800. Obviously, ¥12,800 in 1989 was worth more than today. However, as the value of the yen decreased due to inflation, the price of Nintendo's handhelds went down. So, the Game Boy Pocket was priced at ¥6,800 as was the Game Boy Light. The Game Boy Color was ¥8,900 at launch, and the Game Boy Advance was ¥9,800. Meaning? That the Game Boy Advance in 2001 actually cost less at launch than the original Game Boy in 1989.
While in the past the price of Nintendo's portables went down, they are now going up.
The Nintendo 3DS is going to launch at the same price that the Nintendo Wii did back in 2006. The Nintendo 3DS might print money. It also costs a lot of it.