Nintendo has called it quits and has abandoned their markets located throughout Brazil. Brazil has increased their tariffs on electronic products coming into the country and the gaming corporation does not want to accommodate the changes. However, there are still ways for the South American nations’ residents to acquire Nintendo products, it will just become vastly more inconvenient.
Taxes and tariffs on major electronic entertainment devices in Brazil, compared to those here in the US, are indeed a good deal higher. Back in 2013, the PlayStation 4 was priced at $3,000 Brazilian reals (BRL) which translates to $1,800 in South America while it only cost $400 in their northern counterpart. The Xbox One was valued at $2,199 BRL, the equivalent of $1,005, but only maxed out at $500 with Kinect, $400 without, state-side. And with Nintendo being as reputable and successful as Sony and Xbox, prices have similar leaps. The Wii U sells for $1,899 BRL, which roughly translates to $700 in the United States.
Bill van Zyll, Latin America’s director of Nintendo of America, gave a statement on Friday about the challenges facing Nintendo’s future operations in Brazil. The high import costs coupled with their decision not to manufacture a local branch have made Brazil an unstable market for the gaming conglomerate. Mr. Zyll ensured Brazilian fans that they will continue to access to the franchise’s exclusive games, but acquiring their merchandise will only become more difficult as time passes.
Gaming do Brasil, a subsidiary with Juegos de Video Latinoamérica, GmbH, will no longer shoulder the distribution of Nintendo consoles and video games after four years into the partnership. The gaming company has held onto their partners in Latin America, as Juegos de Video Latinoamérica will continue to work as a distributor in that region.
This huge blow to Nintendo’s global markets will no doubt take some time and ingenuity to resolve, and the corporation must make amends for the many South American fans who will ultimately respond to this development negatively. Abandoning their Brazilian markets will immeasurably do some damage to Nintendo, but they have third-party distributors that can ship their goods to Brazil, but the shipping will cost immensely. But until they spend time monitoring the growth of the situation, they cannot, in good faith, make any decisions as to how to progress further.
Both supplier and consumer will suffer for a time, but this move could also impact Brazil negatively. Sony, who like Nintendo faces high tariffs, could decide to pull out as well. Xbox One, while close in retail price to the PlayStation 4 in North America, is remarkably cheaper in Brazil, mainly in part of the fact that Microsoft has a manufacturing plant in the nation.
So, either by concession and adding a plant of their own, or by simply adhering to the new import taxes on electronics, Nintendo could alleviate their abandonment of the Brazilian markets and continue to flourish. Hopefully the situation between the gaming corporation and Brazil resolve itself soon for the fans in the region quickly and efficiently.
By Matthew Austin Bowers
Photo by Brian Ng – Flickr License