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.

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  • ImSpartacus - Thursday, July 28, 2011 - link

    $80 for 20 exclusive games is a decent deal. The same early adopters that would get a 3DS would also probably pay $4 for a few NES games, so it works out great.

    And the rest of us get a price cut. Hard to dislike those!
  • vision33r - Thursday, July 28, 2011 - link

    At $169, it is the upgrade Nintendo should've put out 1-2 years ago when they had the market and they kept putting out re-colored DS Lite and then DSi and DSi XL which shows a complete lack of competitiveness.

    Now, the 3DS just looks like an outdated gimmicky dedicated console like the Wii. The 3D works but not a serious feature not for everyone and at 2D mode, it is just slightly better than the NDS in graphics because the resolution is so low and lack of AA in most games. It has to beat the PSP in graphics(7 year old handheld) and it does not.

    This will leave NIntendo scrambling to speed up the next version or gen. If they want to stay competitive they have better pack hardware comparable to the Sony Vita or atleast current gen iPod Touch which blows the 3DS out the water in terms of graphics capabilities.

    I know fanboys will continue to dough out money for re-splashed old titles. C'mon Oscarina of Time even with the update still looks like Minecraft graphics.
  • SilthDraeth - Thursday, July 28, 2011 - link

    "C'mon Oscarina of Time even with the update still looks like Minecraft graphics. "

    That right there proves you are a troll. Makes it hard to take anything else you said seriously.

    However, you did have a few valid points. Mainly your first paragraph.
  • Sebec - Thursday, July 28, 2011 - link

    Well crap, I just bought one...
  • ViperV990 - Thursday, July 28, 2011 - link

    Where did you buy it? Find out if they will price match.
  • steven75 - Thursday, July 28, 2011 - link

    How does Nintendo compete in this typical family situation? Consider a family of 5 with 3 kids. They can get 3 3DSes and multiple copies of each $40 game (if you want to play multiplayer or even single player at the same time).
    They can get 3 iPod Touches at a lower cost than the current price of the 3DS, buy ONE copy of a game, and everyone on the same Apple account get it for free, including the parents if they happen to have iPhones/iPads.

    So what if we agree the game is only 60% as good, doesn't have hardware buttons, etc. Not only is each game on average 40x cheaper, you then get to multiply that savings by the number of people in your family using iOS. Those savings are too big to ignore.
  • Alexstarfire - Thursday, July 28, 2011 - link

    All depends on your situation really. Plus, wouldn't hurt if the kids learned how to share properly. You'd have cost savings going the iPod route regardless, but it's not always about the money.

    Cost savings be damned. Think of the children!!!
    /end sarcasm
  • sc3252 - Thursday, July 28, 2011 - link

    What does 60% as good even mean!? IOS/Android games are plain bad, they are only fun for 5 minutes at a time at most, thats why they only cost 2.99 or less. I don't own a Nintendo ds, but when I own a gameboy at least I could play pokemon for 5-10 hours and have fun, these games barley pass as fun(most are throw away after 5 minutes).
  • tipoo - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link


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