Nintendo’s DSi, DSi XL Get Price Cuts

August 30, 2010

Nintendo's DSi, DSi XL Get Price Cuts

Nintendo’s latest iterations of its portable hardware are getting their first price reductions: the camera-equipped, digital download-ready DSi will get a new $149.99 tag, and the upsized, larger-screened DSi XL will be priced at $169.99 — representing $20 knocked off of the price of each.

The earlier DS Lite will stay at $129.99, the company says. Price reductions in the most recent models are consistent with Nintendo’s past strategy in the evolution of its hardware.

Historically, the company announces upgrades, then price-reduces earlier models to drive install bases. In this case, the price cut to newer models follows a promising showing of its upcoming 3DS at E3 earlier this summer.

Gamasutra analyst Matt Matthews observed recent NPD data and concluded that sales of these newer DS models have reached the point where their sales outperform the earlier DS Lite. Combined, the sales remain fairly constant at 300,000 units in most recent months, even as other hardware platforms have seen significant unit sales declines.

However, Nintendo DS software hasn’t remained so steady, seeing visible contractions overall in a once-booming market, particularly on the casual and kids side.

In general, price cuts to hardware motivate software sales, and often are instituted with specific intent to do so. However, for 2010, the system’s software is thus far only down 6 percent year over year, comparing favorably with the NPD-observed 8 percent decline for the overall game software biz.

Nintendo says total hardware unit sales for the entire DS family to date have reached 42.3 million in the U.S. alone, according to NPD data.

This post has been written by Leigh Alexander on August 30, 2010 couresy of gamasutra.com.

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