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Analysts: Nintendo "really feel the heat" from Vita

Analysts are convinced Nintendo has aggressively lowered the price of its 3DS handheld in order to best Sony's Vita when it hits the market.

Speaking with IndustryGamers, David Cole of DFC Intelligence said he believes Nintendo is prepared to take the initial financial battering with the price drop, just so it can be king of portables.

"I just looked at their revised financial forecasts and they are ready to take a hit," he said. "They are really being aggressive. It is very unlike Nintendo to be willing to take such a loss. I think what it says is that they really feel the heat from the Sony Vita. I see it as a move to protect their market share and position in handhelds. I would not call it desperation but more a very aggressive defensive action by the market leader to hold on to market position.

"Sony I think can possibly play this to their advantage, although the price difference is tough. Sony is going up against a very aggressive leader in Nintendo. I think we can say that competition in the portable space should really heat up. That could be good for consumers that can take advantage of these deals."

RW Baird analyst Colin Sebastian believes had Nintendo launched 3DS with enough compelling content to start off with, it wouldn't have needed to lower the price of its handheld so soon.

"It was clear that Nintendo had a problem on its hands with the 3DS, and I think they are acting aggressively to try and save the platform," he said. "For that matter, any new platform has to be very considerate of the initial price point, but that is art as well as science, so I am not sure whether Sony will find it necessary to lower the Vita price.

"In fact, the two handhelds are quite different. Content is always a crucial variable that is easy to forget - if game publishers had been able to make really compelling content for the 3DS with appeal to millions of gamers, then the story might have played out differently."

However, Billy Pidgeon from M2 Research and EEDAR's Jesse Divnich feel Sony may need to reconsider its Vita pricing, because at a price point of $250, the choice between it and the cheaper 3DS may not come down to content alone.

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