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Sales of Nintendo’s latest handheld console, the Nintendo 3DS, rose 260 percent after the company slashed the price of the device by 40 percent.
Nintendo sold 185,000 Nintendo 3DS units after the company lowered the price of the device to $170 from a launch price of $250. Those sales represented nearly triple the number of units the company sold in the same 19-day period from July 12 through the end of the month. Nintendo lowered the price after it admitted sales of its console were slow. The company also sold 165,000 units from its last generation of handheld consoles.
Nintendo faced slower sales thanks to the emergence of games like PopCap’s Plants vs. Zombies and Epic’s Infinity Blade, both of which appeal to casual as well as hardcore gamers and which are priced much lower than the typical $40 cost of games for the Nintendo 3DS. The games aren’t on par with Nintendo’s super-powered franchises, but it’s hard to argue against a 99-cent price point for some incredibly popular games on a device you already own.
The console uses a new type of screen that employs a Parallax Barrier, which gives the illusion of a 3D image that pops out of the screen. It launched without major titles from the company’s first-party franchises. The company’s first major first-party release, Star Fox 64 3D, comes out tomorrow with a new color model of the Nintendo 3DS. That game has so far picked up a score of 84 out of 100 across 17 reviews on review aggregating site Metacritic.
Nintendo said it has a big lineup of games coming to bolster the 3DS, including Super Mario 3D Land in November, Mario Kart in December and Kid Icarus Uprising during the holidays. Nintendo is also launching Nintendo Video as a service, giving users short 3D videos. It has also launched the Nintendo eShop as a digital store where 3DS owners can download new titles.
Nintendo said more than 830,000 people in the U.S. have bought a 3DS since March 27. But that was not enough to prevent a loss for the parent company.