The much anticipated Nintendo 3DS console has brought a new realm of gaming to the market. Consumers are now able to experience 3D graphics in a hand-held format without the need for special glasses. A recent teardown analysis revealed the Nintendo 3DS costs $103.25 to manufacturer, less than half the American retail price of $249.99. However, several customers have been complaining of sickness, dizziness and headaches when experiencing the console's 3D capabilities. So can Nintendo really justify charging $250 for the Nintendo 3DS when it is causing such distress to its customers?
Bill of Materials (Preliminary Analysis from iSuppli):
• Display/Touch Screen - $33.80
• Mechanical/Electromechanical - $20.81
• Apps Processing - $10.02
• Memory - $8.36
• User Interface - $6.81
• Camera - $4.70
• Battery - $3.50
• Other materials - $12.71
• Manufacturing Cost - $2.54
TOTAL COST - $103.25
The Nintendo 3DS largely uses components from suppliers based in Japan, although it is not clear whether the supply chain or manufacturing process has been affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami.
The console's distinguishing 3D top screen, manufactured by Sharp, is compromised of a conventional TFT element and a monochrome LCD parallax barrier which acts as a gate that allows light to pass through certain areas of the screen. Switching this gate in the right patterns at high frequency helps create the illusion of 3D.
Other components including the Apps Processor (probably made by Sharp) and the 3DS' NAND flash memory (made by Samsung), are significantly more expensive that the Nintendo DSi at the time of its release. The Nintendo 3DS' BOM represents a 33 percent increase from $75.58 in materials for the DSi, based on pricing from around two years ago.
Consumer feedback for the Nintendo 3DS has so far been mixed, with several customers complaining of sickness, dizziness and headaches. One Twitter user said: "The 3D gave me a headache, so I hated it," while another tweeted: "Bumped into a friend and we played with a 3DS but it made both of us feel ill."
Nintendo were quick to respond to negative feedback with spokesman Robert Saunders saying: "When viewing any kind of 3D images some people might experience minor discomfort. The effects are short-term and have no lasting effect."
However, several customers were happy with their revolutionary new gaming system with one Twitter user saying: “The 3DS is awesome - been playing mine all night! Nintendo have outdone themselves with this one, graphics are better than PSP by far!”
While opinion remains divided over the new Nintendo 3DS, some consumers may feel short-changed after the console’s cheap manufacturing costs were revealed. If the 3DS is also making these customers feel sick, Nintendo may struggle to live up to the hype and expectation of its latest gaming device.