Nintendo’s next handheld will, apparently, sport games with bigger price tags. GameStop has been giving customers a list of suggested games upon their Nintendo 3DS pre-orders. This list runs down some of the major titles that have already been confirmed by Nintendo to populate the months between the 3DS’ release and the start of E3. The information included within, however, is exceptionally interesting.
GameStop targets approximate release dates for each title, with a heavy emphasis on June 2nd. These dates are nothing more than conjecture and not meant to be official. But the retailer also indicates the price of each game.
Most titles (Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, Nintendogs & Cats, Pilotwings Resort, etc.) are listed with a $39.99 price point. Current DS owners know that this is $10 more expensive than standard DS titles and $5 more expensive than first party Nintendo efforts. However, two games shown through this pre-order sheet are accompanied by a cost $49.99: Samurai Warriors Chronicles and Dead or Alive Dimensions.
These $50 prices are supported by GameStop.com’s listings for each title (Dead or Alive Dimensions, Samurai Warriors Chronicles). It’s hard to consider these numbers absolute, but it is worth noting that both games are from Tecmo Koei. So, it’s entirely possible that the price tags are simply what the publishers have given GameStop to serve as placeholders.
Regardless of whether or not these costs are 100% legitimate, they do raise some interesting concepts. Since its inception, portable gaming has been presented with a penchant of affordability. Games typically cost around half that of their console and PC brethren. The handheld systems themselves are also normally a fraction of the cost.
But the 3DS? This unit has been listed at $250 and is due out on March 27th of this year. The Wii, Nintendo’s home console, launched at the same exact price. I’ve played the 3DS, I know the system is worth the price of admission. But it’s scary to admit the fact that handheld gaming is becoming just as expensive as the more powerful, home-based stuff.