Sales of the Nintendo 3DS have not been up to the expectations of Nintendo and the company has announced that the 3D handheld is receiving a drastic price cut worldwide in order to “accelerate sales.”
The announcement came during a Nintendo earnings call where the company revealed that the 3DS would be slashed to $169.99 on August 12 in North America, ¥15,000 in Japan on August 11 and a yet to be revealed price and date for Europe.
“So that we will be able to create momentum for Nintendo 3DS and accelerate its market penetration toward the year-end sales season, when the lineup for the applicable software shall be enriched, the Company has decided to make this markdown,” said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.
However, Nintendo is rewarding those that have bought or will buy the Nintendo 3DS before the date of the price drop. Those who own a 3DS and connect to the Nintendo eShop before 11:59PM EST on August 11 will be automatically enrolled into the “Nintendo 3DS Ambassador” program which grants access to 20 free downloadable games.
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.
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.
“For anyone who was on the fence about buying a Nintendo 3DS, this is a huge motivation to buy now,” said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. “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.”
This news marks a sharp about face for Nintendo when Iwata said that the price point was determined in part by the reaction from the 2010 E3 conference. However, a number of setbacks have occurred since its stunning E3 debut including consumer distrust due to highly publicized eye warnings, a lackluster launch line-up and general lack of games and Sony’s PS Vita having a strong showing at conferences this year.
Will this change your mind about the Nintendo 3DS if you haven’t purchased one? And what do you think of the Ambassador program if you have?
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