How Does The Nintendo 3DS Price Stack Up?

How Does The Nintendo 3DS Price Stack Up?

Nintendo has revealed the launch price of the Nintendo 3DS, the company’s priciest portable yet at $US249.99. How does Nintendo’s stereoscopic 3D gaming handheld compare to the competition and its ancestors?

The cost of buying into Nintendo’s latest and greatest portable gaming systems has been on the rise since the launch of the DS Lite in 2006. The company released a smaller, lighter version of its wildly popular Nintendo DS system at a price lower than the original version. From then on, there was nowhere to go but up.

Let’s break it down, chart-style.


The Game Boy was Nintendo’s most budget friendly release, a platform that also included a free game, Tetris, in the package. Adjust for inflation, the Game Boy would cost about $US158 in 2010 dollars (based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index inflation adjustment calculator). The Game Boy Advance, released in 2001 for $US99.99 would set Nintendo fans back about $US123 today.

One Nintendo platform not on this list is the doomed Virtual Boy, which launched in 1995 for about $US180 would cost about as much as a Nintendo 3DS.

How does Nintendo’s new 3DS fare against the competition in terms of handheld pricing?


It’s at the higher end of the scale, matching the price point of the PSP and PSPgo’s respective launch prices in 2005 and 2009. It’s cheaper than an N-Gage at least!


  • If they charge more than $330 Its ebay for me

    Screw nintendo and their prices, they follow the same policy as Sony though you expect that from Jap companies

    Apple dropped their prices with the strong dollar why can’t Nintendo or Sony

    • I suspect the AU dollar hasn’t really changed much against the yen despite its steep climb against the US dollar. AU$ strong against the US$, but the yen is also very strong against the US$. So while buying stuff from US companies has (or should have) got cheaper, not much has changed vs Japan.

      That’s not to say we weren’t ALREADY getting ripped off, though…

  • It should be the same price in Aus, if the Aus dollar is the same as the US dollar, it should be $250 here too. If it’s not, then thats bollocks.

    But still, the previous DS versions were $300+ when they were first released, and that was in the day when the Aus dollar was no where near as strong as it is now.

    • Should….I like this word, it almost means something here. The actual fact is US$250 in a strong AU$ figure would work out to about AU$350. You have to remember that maths downunder is reversed.

    • Doesn’t work this way. An RRP is likely to stick for months, or even years after its initial announcement. It doesn’t just change depending on the temporary strength of the dollar. Otherwise the price of electronics would be fluctuating every day, like lobster at a restaurant ominously stickered as “Market price.”

      As much as I’d love a $250 3DS, Nintendo will want to protect their long-term bottom line from any unforseen circumstances.

      Making a conservative guess, I’d say $350 AUD seems likely.

  • Accounting for inflation, the prices in today’s US dollars are:

    Gameboy: $160
    GBA: $125
    DS: $175
    DS Lite: $143
    DSi: $175
    DSiXL: $193
    3DS: $250

    Atari Lynx: $339
    Sega Game Gear: $243
    Neo Geo Pocket Color: $114
    Nokia N-Gage: $360
    Sony PSP: $300

    So, the 3DS is expensive for a Nintendo handheld, but cheap for a handheld generally.

  • Wow. $100 USD for a GBA > $120 AUD. and $150 USD > $200 AUD DS.

    I forgot how generous pricing has been in the past. It looks like that period where the Aussie dollar hovered at around 50-60 US cents is still haunting us.

    These days the conversion is closer to 3:5

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