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Nintendo 3DS Reduced to $170, 20 Free Games For 'Ambassadors'
Nintendo 3DS Reduced to $170, 20 Free Games For 'Ambassadors'
July 28, 2011 | By Mike Rose

Nintendo has confirmed that the Nintendo 3DS is to receive a price cut next month, with those consumers who have already bought the console set to own 20 Virtual Console games for free.

The company revealed that the price of the handheld console will be slashed from its current suggested retail price of $249.99 to $169.99 from August 12 in the U.S.

The console's price will also be reduced in Japan, down from ¥25,000 ($317.70) to ¥15,000 ($190.62), and Nintendo of Europe confirmed with Eurogamer that it will see a price reduction in Europe of "around a third."

However, there is also incentive to buy the console before the August 12 date. Anyone who has already bought the console, or buys it before August 11, will receive 20 free downloadable games before the end of the year.

Those consumers who purchase the console before that date are classed as 'Nintendo Ambassadors', and on September 1 will receive 10 free NES games via the Nintendo eShop.

These games will include the likes of Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Ice Climber and The Legend of Zelda, and will then later be made available to purchase for all other 3DS owners.

Before the end of 2011, 10 Game Boy Advance titles will also be made available for free for Ambassadors. These will include Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames and Mario vs. Donkey Kong.

However, these games will be exclusively available for Ambassadors, with no plans to release them to the general public.

Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime explained, "For anyone who was on the fence about buying a Nintendo 3DS, this is a huge motivation to buy now."

"We are giving shoppers every incentive to pick up a Nintendo 3DS, from an amazing new price to a rapid-fire succession of great games."

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Jerry Bonner
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That's actually very cool...since I already own a 3DS and all.

Jamie Mann
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Shame they didn't release it at this price in the first place.

Then too, it's debatable how much of a difference this will actually make; in the UK, shops have long since reduced the price from the RRP of £229:

Game: £195 - approx 15% reduction - and they've sold new 3DS machines for as little as £150

HMV: £189 - approx 18% reduction - and they've sold new 3DS machines for as little as £180

Amazon: £169 - approx 27% reduction

CEX (used): £150 - approx. 35% reduction

Amazon (used): £145 - approx. 38% reduction

All told, the reduction to an official price of approx. £150 isn't going to be as significant as it would have been - it's unlikely that the retailers will be able to maintain their current levels of price-cutting when the price-cut comes in. Then too, this will put further pressure on the already saturated used market; prices there could drop below the magic £99 point!

Out of interest, does anyone know what the criteria will be to be classed as an "ambassador" (which is an interesting label in and of itself...)? I assume it involves registering the console with Nintendo, which in turn means that people could buy an "unregistered", used 3DS and get access to the games...

Chris Melby
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This price is much more reasonable. I have no regrets about paying $250 for my 3DS, but I know some of my friends were waiting for the price to drop, so hopefully this is a good incentive for them to buy.

Kamruz Moslemi
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I knew from the moment they announced the price that it was placed way too high. Hopefully this experience has bruised their success borne hubris enough to be more careful with the Wii U pricing and launch plans.

It always happens to console manufacturers after a generation or two of being the market leader that they will start to think they are invisible and start to do very stupid things. SONY is still recovering from their aloof missteps during the height of their PS2 era domination and we all know how they subsequently fared as a result.

Nick Kinsman
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While it's a cool compensation to those who already own a DS, there is no part of me that feels 10 NES games and 10 GBA games are worth dropping an extra $80 on the thing when odds are good you won't play most of them anyway.

I appreciate it, but I can hardly see the incentive driving up sales before the price drop.

*still probably won't look at buying one*

Vin St John
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For what it's worth, those GBA games are all great, very modern games and well-worth playing. I just played two of them very recently for the first time.

Nick Kinsman
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Don't entirely disagree. See my other comment below.

Cordero W
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Francisco Javier Espejo Gargallo
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Men, that compensation is not a good idea... Why I would want to download games that I already own? C'Mon Nintendo, let Ambassadors to choice in which games they want to spend these 80 € difference instead of giving them what they already paid for on a Wii or in GBA Cartridges...

Absolutely disappointing move from Nintendo.

Victor Reynolds
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they really didnt even have to do anything for early adopters you know...

Doug Poston
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The fact that Nintendo is giving us early adopters anything at all is great.

But I guess if you give a mouse a crumb...

Aaron Truehitt
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Sounds good to me. I wasn't even expecting compensation. I agreed to buy it for the price earlier. I'm glad they reduced the price.

E Zachary Knight
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People may not want some of the game provided, but at least they are all top tier games rather than some rinky dink games that Nintendo is trying to pawn off. Plus, if they are all valued at $5 in the eShop, that comes to $100 worth of free games. That more than makes up the difference from the price drop.

c anderson
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That's actually pretty cool of nintendo; certainly better than most game companies who ignore or treat with disdain early adopters.

Nick Kinsman
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Upon re-reading the article, the value may be even less?

It seems the NES games will be released at a later date and available for everyone. It's only the GBA games that won't be available for public purchase? If this is the case, I *really* can't see why anyone would bother.

Still a nice retroactive bonus for anyone who invested early.

Jamie Mann
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@Nick: the NES games will be available for purchase later, they won't be free. So there is an incentive - though it depends on whether or not you think the ten NES games are worth $35 (assuming an even split of the $70 price cut between the two sets of games).

Personally, I think the GBA titles are worth considerably more than the NES titles - there's some genuine classics there...

Nick Kinsman
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Oh I do understand. I think my problem is that MOST of us have probably played how many of these NES games how many times? I remember playing Balloon Fight and Excitebike for free in Animal Crossing. It's just tiresome at this point.

The GBA games ARE more interesting, no question. But I still own 2 GBAs and 2 DSs, so it would really be no more difficult for me to play the games already.

I think the value is good for people who have never played the games before and might at least fiddle around with them. It's also nice to give people options while waiting for 3DS games worth picking up to actually come out.

All I'm saying is that it feels like someone is offering me this AWESOME deal where I can buy a car I want for $5000, or I can get it and ANOTHER car (that I can NEVER re-sell) for $6000. It's an excellent deal on paper, but at the end of the day I could save my $1000 to invest in the ONE car I want and I would probably be better off for it. Saving $80 is nothing to sneeze at, moreso when it amounts to 2-3 games I have NEVER played before as opposed to 20 games that have been played to death.

I know it's a matter of perspective, but I expect very few people will look at this and say, "Oooh, 20 classic games for $80! Better buy a 3DS now."

Jonathan Jou
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For all the Nintendo naysayers out there, who said the PSP was on track to compete with the 3DS, this is why the PSP will always struggle to target Nintendo's market: the 3DS was a price drop waiting to happen. I'm actually quite grateful for the initial increase in prices--the way I see it, this takes money out of ebay reseller's hands and transfers the proceeds to the people who are responsible for keeping momentum going. I was one of those sad people who watched Wiis be sold only on ebay in the US for months and months. This time around I never had to wait.

I know why I paid $250, and it's great that there will be some compensation for what everyone knew was a rather steep asking price. I hope they can figure out how to get the prices down under the $150 range by streamlined manufacturing and decreasing hardware costs. Everyone I've shown the 3DS to has said it was cool, but very few of them looked interested when they found out it was $250.

Ujn Hunter
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Paid $80 too much for a 3DS? Have some ROMs! #Profit! I'd like to see Nintendo just throw in the towel on this thing and go back to making good games for the DS personally.

Fábio Bernardon
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Really poorly move by Nintendo. I knew it was too much to spend $250 on this thing, and now they proved my point. What is worse? The WiiU will likely trail the same path. So customers that are aware of it will not buy the system by its release price but will instead wait for a price drop. And you know what that means? Less users -> less sales -> less games (third parties, at least). Nintendo made itself a tremendous disservice with the 3DS.

About the new price point, I will still hold out until (1) a price cut to less than $150 (granted, not that much more) and (2) more interesting titles.

Kevin Patterson
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I worry for Nintendo, if they arent careful, the Wiiu could be a dreamcast situation, where everyone holds off waiting for the next big more powerful consoles. If Sony or MS announce anything next year console wise, it could be very painful for them.

Carlo Delallana
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This move is much better than "sticking to your guns" bravado that companies tend to do. Fail forward and adjust. Swallow your pride and do what's best.

Russell Carroll
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Nintendo lowers price = Lots of complaints

Seriously, I don't think Nintendo could do anything that would make people who hate them happy. (maybe that is just inherent in hatred, but I can't see why anyone would hate games? I get hating famine and dictatorship and loss of liberty, but games? seriously?)

For my part I was happy to pay the $250 on day 1. I've totally loved my system and hope more people will get to play it. It's my first time playing Ocarina and I'm loving it. I think it's easily better than any other handheld game I've EVER played. My 40 game DS library doesn't have a better title than Ocarina in it. The circle control stick makes me very happy I'm not using my phone's silly touch pad that tries (badly) to emulate a physical controller.

I've been looking at buying a copy of Metroid Fusion as well, so that's a well-timed bonus for me, I love free stuff! (and since I had already agreed to pay more and was happy to pay it originally, that is all the new stuff is for me, free stuff!

Doug Poston
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" I can't see why anyone would hate games? I get hating famine and dictatorship and loss of liberty, but games? seriously?"

First World problems. ;)

Jason Withrow
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I think the best news here is that Nintendo is acknowledging that the 3DS can play console VC games. Which was obvious, but seemed to be something they were avoiding, with the rigidly clear console/portable divide between the Wii and 3DS. I'd love to play some of the games I have on my Wii on the go. The reverse would be pretty cool, too. Being able to move the games over would be the real ideal but one step at a time (and that step seems like a Wii U step anyways, since it's supposed to have 3DS compatibility).

Eric Kwan
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I wonder if they will drop the price again when they release their next revision.

Josh Foreman
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I think this is fantastic. I'll be buying one now, and I'm sure a LOT of other folks will be as well. I DO think it will hurt their WiiU initial sales as people will be holding out for a price reduction on that, but I wouldn't say it will be fatal to the system.

Steve Peterson
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This is really quite a stunning admission from Nintendo that 3DS sales have been hugely disappointing. Nintendo usually resists dropping prices well past the point when they should have; look how long it took them to drop the price of the Wii, when sales had been falling for months. I expected a price drop prior to the PS Vita release, perhaps to $199. Dropping the price now, and all the way to $169, basically says that their new 3DS software releases have not revived sales the way they hoped, and that Nintendo is very concerned indeed about 3DS sales for the rest of the year and beyond.

If this price drop and new software titles don't boost 3DS sales conspicuously for Nintendo, they are looking at a very grim 2011 and beyond. Reports of 3DS title cancellations are not making things look very positive for them, either.

Mike Smith
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I'm happy about the price drop even though I already purchased it. The free games gesture makes me want to love Nintendo even more! Stuff like that helps secure your fan base... even if it's a mere token and doesn't justify the $80 price difference.

Mark dogg
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Big surprise with the price cut as it is too early. But 3DS for 250$ and games line up was not great to start with.

Cassio Carmo
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You know, I'm proud to be one of the "Ambassadors". Come 'on, it takes a lot to admit a wrong move, takes even more to try to make up for it. Nintendo had to be very brave to release the first 3D handheld, it is still an uncertain market.

Well, I'm a VERY poor Brazilian but I'm happy with my 250usd 3DS!