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3DS price slash: Nintendo chops a third off RRP

Weak sales pre-empt surprise move; Cut coming next month

Nintendo will chop around a third off the price of 3DS worldwide next month, following lacklustre sales in the early part of 2011.

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3DS' RRP will drop from $249 to $169.99 in the US on August 12. A cut to the European trade price will come on the same day. Nintendo is yet to confirm the exact drop for the EU, but has told CVG that it will be "around a third".

Australia will also benefit on August 12, with 3DS dipping from $350 to $250. Meanwhile, Japan will see a price drop on August 11 - to 15,000, down from 25,000.

Nintendo announced it first quarter (Q1) results this morning, revealing sales of just 0.7 million for the 3D handheld console in the three months ending June 30. 3DS was released in March in the US and Europe and February in Japan.

The Japanese firm said that the markdown had been made to "create momentum for Nintendo 3DS and accelerate its market penetration toward the year-end sales season, when the lineup for the applicable software shall be enriched".

A European Nintendo spokesperson told CVG: "[We] can confirm that Nintendo of Europe will be reducing the European trade price of Nintendo 3DS to retailers by around a third from 12th August 2011, as part of a global trade price reduction initiative. The ultimate price to consumers is, of course, determined by retailers, however we look forward to consumers benefiting from much lower retail prices very soon."

Despite the slow hardware sales, 3DS has still managed to shift over 4.53 million software units since its release according to Nintendo's results.

Nintendo's Wii also suffered in the Q1 financial quarter, with sales down from 3.04 million in 2010 to 1.56 million this year, while its equivalent software sold 13.44 million units in the same period.

Nintendo's standard handheld the DS, sold some 1.44 million units during the same time, almost half of the 3.15 million it sold last year, although again 12.44 million DS software sales managed to offset some of that loss.

Nintendo's HD Wii U is still on course for a release in 2012 though and the full financial report is available for you to view here.

While 3DS unit sales are undoubtedly disappointing for the Japanese giant, a fact which it blamed on the strength of the yen and an 'inventory markdown', a significant price cut could be just the ticket to stimulate 3DS sales in the run up to the busy holiday period.

What do you think readers? Would a price cut tempt you into a 3Ds for this Christmas and how much should it be?

Or does it need more compelling software to tempt you into the world of 3D handheld gaming?

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