Nintendo DS

Iwata: No DS Lite Price Cut For Now


imageNow that the DSi has launched in all three major territories, people have been wondering how long it will be before Nintendo decides to lower the price of the DS Lite.


However, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata seems to have no plans for a price cut, at least for the time being. In the company’s 69th financial results briefing Q&A for the fiscal year gone by, Iwata fielded a question along just those lines.


Q: I’d like to ask you about price. You once said that you do not want to cut price because doing so would make early purchasers feel like they lost their money. But I think you may want to consider a price cut of Nintendo DS Lite in order to increase domestic sales. Including myself, those who have purchased a Nintendo DS Lite early on have also purchased a Nintendo DSi, so they should not feel regret even if you cut the price of Nintendo DS Lite. What is your current thinking on price cuts?


Iwata: First of all, thank you very much for purchasing several of our products. When I was referring to this subject the last time, it was in the context that it would not be a good idea for price cuts to be expected as a regular practice in the industry. Of course, I have never said that cutting the suggested retail price is not in the cards. However, price cuts in one country can certainly affect other countries. For example, when you say that we should cut the price in Japan due to the current domestic market situation, once the suggested retail price is cut in Japan, people outside Japan will anticipate the same around the world.


10 or 15 years ago, each country could decide its own price policy in the video game market, as you know, however, price policy has become a global subject in the recent years. So, any price policy must be considered with the aim to maximize our global business. Because of this, we do not think just in terms of Japan.


Also, while the price cut is said to surely increase demand, it must be clear from a variety of analysis so far that the effect cannot last very long. Accordingly, if we really do enact a price cut, it must be exactly when it can maximize the business. At least for now, I have no specific ideas about the price cut at all.


There are bound to be a fair number of people that aren’t completely sold on the DSi yet and might just end up picking up a DS Lite instead. Indeed, Nintendo of America’s executive vice-president of sales and marketing, Cammie Dunaway has also stated that she believes the DS Lite and DSi can co-exist on retail shelves for some time.


Taking this into account, it’s obvious that a price cut might not be in the company’s best interests right now, given Nintendo’s global view on pricing.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.