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E3: Namco Bandai Says Keep 3DS Faith
E3: Namco Bandai Says Keep 3DS Faith
June 9, 2011 | By Colin Campbell




Namco Bandai says Nintendo should keep the faith with its 3DS and resist calls to drop the system's price.

Carlson Choi, VP of Marketing at Namco Bandai told Gamasutra, "It's been a slow start, but that's similar to how DS went in the beginning. We're really close with all the first party companies, but especially Nintendo because our origin of business is in Japan. We know they'll invest heavily in it. It's a big platform they believe in and we believe in it too, so we're going to support it with our key franchises."

Despite a hot launch in March, sales of 3DS tailed off badly in April. Nintendo sold 400,000 units following the machine's U.S. launch in late March, but April sales fell to less than half that. Retailer GameStop recently expressed disappointment with 3DS sales, cutting its own sales forecasts.

Some have expressed doubt that the 3D stereoscopic machine can thrive at its $250 price, especially in a hostile competitive environment dominated by ubiquitous handheld devices like Android phones and iPads, running games that are cheap or free.

But Choi said Nintendo should resist calls to cut the price. "The moment you cut the price of the item the perceived value goes down. We'd love to have them retain the price because it keeps the premium status of that product and it allows us to bring premium games to that market."

A recent survey by Goo Research asked consumers why they had not yet bought the system. The number one reason was price.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata recently told investors, "We recognize that we are in a situation where we need to step up our efforts to further promote the spread of Nintendo 3DS."

At E3 Nintendo announced new 3DS games likely to fire up enthusiasm, including Star Fox 64 3D, Super Mario Bros. 3D and Mario Kart 3D. Namco Bandai has unveiled Ace Combat 3 and Pac-Man Party for 3DS as well as a Tekken game. Choi said, "We''re bringing some of our most cherished IPs to the 3DS."

Earlier this week, U.S. chief Reggie Fils-Aime, told Dow Jones Newswires, "To move a system, you need to have a pace of activity and a series of continuous launches that compels a consumer to say, 'I gotta have this'. For us, that pace starts now."

Choi added, "I think 3DS is going to have a very big Holiday season this year. Just look at the lineup Nintendo is planning. I think Nintendo feels confident. They're not going to take their foot off the pedal."


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