Nintendo of America has announced plans to drop the 3DS price by $80, starting August 12th. For those who’ve already bought the device and those who do so before August 12th, an Ambassador program is being launched that will enable early-adopters to download 10 Virtual Console NES games, and 10 Virtual Console GBA games for free. To gain access to the Ambassador program, you must log in to the eShop on your system before August 11th at 11:59 EST. The entire lineup of free games has not been announced, but the following have been:
Virtual Console NES (Releasing September 1st)
- Super Mario Bros.
- Donkey Kong Jr.
- Balloon Fight
- Ice Climber
- The Legend of Zelda
Virtual Console GBA (Releasing by the end of 2011)
- Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3
- Mario Kart: Super Circuit
- Metroid Fusion
- WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$
- Mario vs. Donkey Kong
President Reggie Fils-Aime is optimistic about the price, stating, “For anyone who was on the fence about buying a Nintendo 3DS, this is 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.”
Aside from the games in the Ambassador program, Star Fox 64 3D releases on Sept. 9, followed by Super Mario 3D Land in November, Mario Kart 7 in December, and finally Kid Icarus: Uprising during the holiday season.
Analysis: First of all, a large number of gamers may be angry about this. $80 is a huge price drop and although the free games do total to an amount much greater than that (assuming $5 per game, that’s $100; but GBA games would probably sell for more, therefore making it over $100), not all of those games may interest those owners. That seems rather unfair.
On the other hand, for those that were planning to buy a 3DS (like myself), this is a rather enticing offer. Most of the NES games I can already play on my TV using a real NES, but I’m rather interested in the GBA games — especially if titles such as Metroid Fusion are included. Personally, I was going to wait until next month to make the purchase, but instead I think I’ll pick one up after work.
For those who were holding off due to the price, this is also good. $80 is a huge difference, and puts the price closer to what many feel it should have launched at. It will also the cover the cost of a bigger battery which, given the system’s 4-hours-on-average battery life, seems almost necessary. Probably should have thought that one over a little bit, Nintendo.