Since Nintendo hasn’t given any official word on this subject yet, Joystiq was kind enough to look into retailer price listings for 3DS software. From what we’re seeing, it looks like anywhere from $40-50 a pop for a 3DS game card – or in other words games priced at relatively the same cost as Wii games. Now, considering we’re getting more for our money, this certainly isn’t surprising, but with game prices climbing this high it’s hard to say that handheld gaming is shaping up to continue to be the affordable alternative to consoles.
Now, on the other hand, you could say that Nintendo’s probably going to shift its focus to 3DS, meaning less software for Wii. The money we could save by not having a high volume of must-have Wii software certainly could help alleviate the higher costs of 3DS software. Of course, it’s not hard to imagine the ramifications of this: less Wii software is still less Wii software, not to mention the inevitable next-gen home console that’s sure to out-price the 3DS both in terms of hardware and software.
I’ll put it to you straight: I can barely afford to keep up with current Wii and DS software as it is. And I imagine that a large chunk of Nintendo’s audience consists of people like me: middle-class students just trying to get by who enjoyed games as kids and now like to use them to relax and to amuse ourselves in-between our more pressing responsibilities. As much as I love Nintendo and its games, the relatively cheap costs of their products has been one of the only reasons I’m still able to keep my hobby going. And while the 3DS certainly isn’t too expensive considering what we’re getting for our buck, I worry that soon gaming in general may be too expensive for me.
After all, I’m young, I’m married; I’ve got a household and someday a family to maintain. The economy’s still not that great – which is why I’m eternally grateful to Nintendo for keeping prices as low as they are! – and unless a miracle occurs and I get my dream job as a full-time game journalist or something, I may someday no longer be able to justify keeping up with the pastime I have loved for so long.
This isn’t a complaint; more of a reality check. I can’t blame Nintendo. As technology advances, its costs will increase – we’ve seen it with pretty much everything from telephones to computers to cars. And eventually we all wind up as the old fogies who get left behind.
Am I being too dramatic? You might say so. Do I have a right to be concerned? Truth be told I’m mostly curious if anyone else is concerned. Penny for your thoughts.