As many of you know, the Nintendo 3DS will launch this weekend with a launch price of $250. However, a recent report from Eurogamer.net shows that the Nintendo 3DS costs Nintendo under $100 to develop per system. So, essentially Nintendo is making over $150 profit per system sold. While the Nintendo 3DS is currently the cheapest and most accessible form of glasses-free 3D technology, if you somehow bought a 3DS and got another free Nintendo would still be making a profit. Personally, I find this absolutely insane, especially when you compare to the most recent console launches.
Back in 2005, when the Xbox 360 launched, reports showed the Microsoft was actually losing around $50 per Xbox console sold. But they opted to do this to get their console in the hands of consumers at a relatively affordable price. Hopefully, hardware manufacturers won't buy into this strategy that both Nintendo and Apple (where the iPad 2 is earning them over $300 profit per iPad) have taken.
If the Nintendo 3DS doesn't hit their expected launch numbers this Sunday, expect a price drop by early 2012. The original Nintendo DS had a price drop around April 2005, after only being on the market since the previous November. And with the estimated levels of profit Nintendo is making with the 3DS, they would easily be able to afford a price drop, early on in this handheld's life cycle.
My advice: If you're really not sure, if the NIntendo 3DS is worth the $250 plunge, wait for my review videos this weekend, which can be found on my YouTube Channel, at: YouTube.com/GamersCast
Otherwise, if you think you can hold off, wait till Q2 of 2012, as that's when I'm expecting a price drop by. But if Nintendo does hit their mark, it could take a while before we see one (eg: the Wii).