Nintendo took drastic action in August to breathe some life into the 3DS. Suffering from anemic demand since its introduction in March, the $250 3D-enabled handheld became the $170 3D-enabled handheld in the US. The good news for Nintendo and its third-party partners is the price cut seems to be having its desired effect.
As part of NPD's US retail sales report today, Nintendo announced that, following the price cut, 3DS sales in August were up 260 percent over the comparable 19-day period in July. All said, the 3DS sold 235,000 units during the month, making it the second-best-selling gaming hardware during the month.
Of the 3DS's total hardware systems sold during the month, 185,000 came after the August 12 price cut. Those who purchased the system at the $250 price point prior to August 12 gained access to the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program, which awards more than 20 free games from the handheld's eShop. Nintendo also said that it sold 190,000 Wiis in August as well as 165,000 units in the DS/DSi family.
Sony, on the other hand, appears to not have received as significant a bump for the PlayStation 3 following its $50 price cut on August 16. However, that situation may be due more to supply constraints than consumer apathy.
"Despite inventory constraints at retail during the first half of August, PS3 hardware sales were very strong the last two weeks of the month following the $50 price cut and the new Infamous 2 bundle," Sony said in a statement. The company did not reveal hardware sales figures for the console.
As for who topped the hardware charts for the month, that distinction goes to Microsoft's Xbox 360. With 308,000 consoles sold during August, the Xbox 360 has now been the best-selling gaming hardware in the US for 14 of the past 15 months.