Game Over for 3-D and Nintendo?


Sometimes in life you got to know when to call it quits. Such is the case with the $250 price point of Nintendo's (OTC: NTDOY) 3DS. After anemic sales, the video game giant announced a price cut to $170 starting Aug. 12.

My first thought: Find out how to short-sell a game console.

My second thought: Nintendo thinks 3DS sales are bad now, wait until everyone knows the price is going to drop in two weeks.

My third thought: Loyal Nintendo fans who paid $250 for the device at launch are going to be, well, angry.

Apparently Nintendo also had the last two thoughts. To compensate those who bought the 3DS at $250, and compensate those who will still buy a 3DS knowing that the price is going to drop Aug. 12, the company is going to give the $250 buyers 20 free downloadable games, including 10 games that people who didn't (or won't) overpay for their 3DS won't get access to. And voila, the company has replaced one group of disgruntled customers with an even larger and more varied group. Brilliant work, Nintendo!

It gets worse: The company cut its fiscal-year earnings forecast by 82%.

Ouch. And the stock was down 20% in Asian markets as of this writing. Double ouch.

Apple taking from Nintendo?
I can't help but think Apple's (NAS: AAPL) iPad had something to do with all this horrible news. The success of games such as Angry Birds might indicate casual gamers -- Nintendo's bread and butter -- are saving up for multifunction iPads as opposed to one-function 3DSes, which the company markets as featuring "real 3D graphics, with no need for special glasses."

I also can't help but think that RealD (NYS: RLD) and IMAX (NAS: IMAX) may want to reconsider their faith in 3-D. If glasses-free couldn't persuade video gamers to take up the third dimension, what hope is there for cumbersome 3-D glasses at the local five-and-dime cinema?

I saw Harry Potter 8 last Monday in 2D, and the theater was packed.

At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Chris Baines is a value investor. Follow him on Twitter @askchrisbaines. Chris's stock picks and pans have outperformed 89% of players on CAPS. Chris owns no shares of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Apple, IMAX, and Nintendo.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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