Nintendo 3DS Gets $80 Price Cut on August 12by Andrew Cunningham on July 28, 2011 9:00 AM EST
Those of you on the fence about Nintendo's 3DS, your wait may soon be over: Starting August 12, the price of the system will fall from its current $249.99 to $169.99, an $80 cut. The price drop, which is also coming to Japan (a cut from 25,000 yen to 15,000 yen on August 11) and Europe (a cut of "around a third" on August 12), is undoubtedly meant to boost sluggish 3DS sales ahead of the holiday season, and to give the 3DS a comfortable market lead over the PlayStation Vita that launches later this year. It is one of the largest single price cuts in the company's history.
To appease early adopters who paid significantly more for the system, Nintendo is planning to make free games available to anyone who logs into the 3DS eShop before the price cut takes effect. These customers, called Nintendo Ambassadors, are eligible to download 10 NES Virtual Console games and 10 Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games at no cost, and to sweeten the deal, the company says it has "no plans" to make the Game Boy Advance games available to the general public at any cost.
This drastic price cut followed by a move to reimburse early adopters has some precedent: in 2007, Apple reduced the price of the original iPhone from $600 to $400, and gave early adopters a $100 Apple Store credit in an attempt to mollify them. It's a smart move on Nintendo's part, and since Virtual Console games are very rarely changed in any way from their original versions, the Ambassador program's cost to the company will be slim.