Nintendo 3DS Price Drop Imminent, Plus Free Games for Early Adopters

Geek Culture

Aqua Blue 3DSAqua Blue 3DS

Still not blue, but $80 cheaper.

As the proud owner of a Nintendo 3DS, I can’t help but notice… a glaring lack of other 3DS owners. To its credit, Nintendo seems keenly aware of this problem, and it looks as if they’re taking strides to correct the system’s most grievous missteps.

A primary complaint among current 3DS owners relates to the handheld’s lack of must-play games. Sure, we all dig Ocarina of Time 3D and Super Street Fighter IV, but these are rehashes of older titles and probably not the exclusives warranted by such an interesting new piece of tech. To that end, Nintendo has pledged to release Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7 and Kid Icarus: Uprising (not to mention another classic retread, Star Fox 64 3D) over the coming months.

The barrier for potential 3DS owners likely has more to do with the system’s $250 price point. Today, however, it was announced that beginning August 12th Nintendo’s latest handheld will receive a sizable reduction to its MSRP – to the $170 mark. This puts the price of the 3DS at the level currently occupied by the DSi XL system. Moreover, it also serves to take the wind out of the sails of the forthcoming competition from Sony, the PlayStation Vita, which still lists at its original $250 price for the Wi-Fi-only model.

In short, this means that if you’re planning to buy a 3DS you should wait a couple of weeks. Still, my fellow early adopters need not commence with the weeping and the gnashing of teeth, as Nintendo also has some treats for us. Calling us “Nintendo’s most loyal customers,” the same price reduction press release lists a reward of 20 free downloadable games from the eShop for “Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors.”

Anyone who owns a 3DS system and connects to the Nintendo eShop at least once before 11:59 p.m. EST on Aug. 11 is eligible for the following:

1.Starting Sept. 1, Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NES™ Virtual Console™ games at no charge and before they are available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public. These games, including Super Mario Bros.™, Donkey Kong Jr.™, Balloon Fight™, Ice Climber™ and The Legend of Zelda™, are slated to become paid downloadable games, but Ambassadors get them early for free. Once the paid versions of the games are posted to the Nintendo eShop later in the year, the updated versions will be available to Ambassadors for download at no cost.

2.By the end of 2011, Nintendo will provide Ambassadors with 10 Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games. These include games like Yoshi’s Island™: Super Mario™ Advance 3, Mario Kart™: Super Circuit, Metroid™ Fusion, WarioWare™, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong™. These games will be available exclusively to Ambassadors, and Nintendo currently has no plans to make these 10 games available to the general public on the Nintendo 3DS in the future.

And with that, the console handheld wars again take an interesting turn.

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