Nintendo Compensating 3DS Early Adopters because of Price Drop

A bit of good news for everyone interested in the Nintendo 3DS comes in the form of an announcement that the Nintendo 3DS price is being dropped to $169.99 (down from $249.99).  What about the people who bought it before the drop like us?!  Well, Nintendo is compensating their “most loyal customers” by giving away 20 free games to each and every one.

1. Starting Sept. 1, Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NESâ„¢ Virtual Consoleâ„¢ games at no charge and before they are available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public. These games, including Super Mario Bros.â„¢, Donkey Kong Jr.â„¢, Balloon Fightâ„¢, Ice Climberâ„¢ and The Legend of Zeldaâ„¢, 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 Islandâ„¢: Super Marioâ„¢ Advance 3, Mario Kartâ„¢: Super Circuit, Metroidâ„¢ Fusion, WarioWareâ„¢, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kongâ„¢. 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.

It’s quite obvious to us that this was done to contend with the Playstation Vita which was announced to have the same price point as the 3DS.  Whether or not Nintendo takes a huge hit because of the new price, it’s hard to deny that at $169.99 the 3DS is an amazing system.  Being an early adopter means accepting the risk of a price drop.  In the technology industry it is to be expected.  Look at the iPhone or any graphics card or computer components as great examples.  You buy early, you pay the premium.

Doing some easy math, the 20 games Nintendo will offer more than makes up for the ~$80.  Graev and I have done some hunting lately to find Game Boy Advance games (well before this since Graev has been wanting to play some of the oldies) and they can be priced anywhere from $7 to $24 and up.   Just do a quick search for Yoshi’s Island GBA on Amazon and you’ll see they go for $48 new and $9.99 used.  For those that don’t pirate games on emulators, this is awesome.  Don’t forget the fact that these (GBA games) will not be made available to the general public.  To us, this is actually a better deal than the $80.

Their slogan, “It’s a great time to own a Nintendo 3DS!”, is actually pretty valid.  We love ours.

  • I might have to pick one up now. The old price point was way too much for a mobile system…

  • The is good news since I never wanted to pay $250 for the system. I am still hoping for some type of new Castlevania game, seems like it has been a few years since the last one.

  • Considering that the system has sold less than a million units in the U.S. and is generally doing horribly worldwide, I’d say this is more of a stopgap to ensure the 3DS doesn’t become another virtual boy. Check out Kotaku today. These offers come on the heels of very, very poor sales reports.

    That said, I think the system will be fine in the long run. Though Nintendo has mishandled the system since launch, I’d wager it’s more a matter of exposure than anything. I, too, have one and love it, and most other people who’ve spent any time with it can say the same.

    Here’s the thing, though. I really hope Nintendo takes this as a wake-up call. They’ve made a habit out of applying a “Nintendo knows best” mentality to their consumer interactions and offerings since the DS skyrocketed. Times have changed and it’s about time Nintendo starts meeting consumer expectations of a large gaming company in 2011. It’s not denying people localizations based on arbitrary, easily refuted justifications. It’s not giving early adopters Tennis and other 20 year old games through an e-shop. It’s about making your customers feel heard and valued. It’s a shame it took this initial nosedive for Nintendo to realize that, but if that’s what it takes, so be it. The fact that they’re opening up NES and GBA ports on their virtual console after they previously stated no plans to do so seems like a direct concession. It’s a great first step. Here’s hoping they keep it up.

  • The “tennis and other 20 year old games” are some of the best. Yoshi’s Island is among many people’s favorite game. The virtual console is awesome and providing even more fun than most current titles. The value is there.

  • Right. I don’t mean to imply that games from that era are inherently bad. Not at all, actually. I think you and I, and the rest of us twenty-somethings, are part of the Nintendo generation. I meant more along the lines of what’s been released thus far. Their approach to the 3DS e-shop has been to release a handful of good games and a plethora of shovelware. Tennis was just a lackluster way to open their shop considering what a catalog of classics they had to pull from. I mean, out of all the awesome stuff that released on the NES, for example, their next release is Xevious? There has to be a better option than that. It just seems out of touch.

    The upcoming games they mentioned in this press release are much better. I personally can’t wait for Yoshi’s Island, the original SMB, and Metroid: Fusion.

  • It can’t have helped sales that all the early reviews stated “Within an hour of use the 3D causes eye-strain and will be switched off never to be used again”.

    I know all the people here considering getting one for their kids read that and ran.

    Right, time to see about this Vita thingy…

  • I wouldn’t touch the handheld even at that price. Other then a miracle, the 3DS is going to flop.

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