updated 10:35 am EDT, Mon August 30, 2010
Nintendo DSi and DSi XL drop in price Sept 12
Nintendo this morning unveiled a surprise price cut to its gaming handhelds. Starting September 12, the DSi will drop $20 to $150 while the DSi XL will decrease by a similar amount, to $170. Pricing for the DS Lite will stay at the same $130.
The cut is partly to move the DSi line before it sets a 3DS ship date September 29 but has also come about a month after Nintendo revealed that DS sales had plunged in the past year. With Sony having much smaller market share and its own declines, the drop has been mostly credited to the iPhone and iPod touch, millions of which ship every quarter.
Even after the 3DS ships, both Apple devices will have faster hardware and will have significantly stronger game libraries. While Nintendo has the advantages of its own titles and key third parties, the iPhone and iPod library overwhelms DS titles. Combined, Nintendo's entire DS game lineup of the past six years includes 1,500 physical and online titles; with more than 250,000 iOS apps total, Apple saw 2,503 games submitted in July alone. Its store also has the advantage of much lower pricing -- often a quarter of the $30 to 40 Nintendo asks for some games -- as well as a significantly more advanced interface and at least 8GB of storage. Nintendo is forced to save to small amounts of internal memory and SD cards.
A September 12 price drop could help create a much needed price gap that keeps some gamers onboard with Nintendo less than two weeks after Apple's September 1 music event likely brings a new iPod touch.