It looks like all of those Canadian price drops of the Nintendo 3DS meant something after all. Nintendo is turning to Plan B in the quest to jump start sales of its 3DS system by dropping the price of the product from its current $249.99 (which it has cost since its March debut) down to $169.99 effective August 12 in North America and down to ¥15,000 in Japan (Europe will get a similar cut around the same time). This will certainly... whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on a minute! What about all of us who bought into this whole 3DS thing just four months ago? Are we just out $80 for our troubles? This is the Virtual Boy all over again! Why, the only way that Nintendo could make things right is to offer a bunch of free games to current 3DS owners, but that is highly unlik-
Nintendo is looking to reward early adopters of 3DS, or at least incur a last-minute sales burst before $80 (that's over 30 percent!) comes off the system, bringing it down to $170 on August 12. 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.
3DS ambassadorial duties mostly involve playing a bunch of free games. The status grants you access to 10 free NES Virtual Console games on September 1 before their general release (these include The Legend of Zelda, Balloon Fight and Ice Climber), along with 10 more Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games. The GBA games -- like Yoshi's Island, Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames and Mario vs. Donkey Kong -- will not be available to anyone else. Is all that enough to ameliorate early buyer's remorse?
Those are all damn good games and I'd love to have them on my 3DS. Buying them all separately on the 3DS's Virtual Console service would cost... let's see... five dollars times ten Nintendo Entertainment System games plus let's assume four dollars times ten Game Boy Advance games... $90. Short of sending out refund checks, this has to be the best way to fix the customer goodwill issue that this price drop will certainly create. However, I think everyone involved has learned a valuable lesson here. Nintendo has learned not to price its new hardware so high during tough economic times, while customers have learned not to be an early adopter when new hardware is priced just slightly outside of reasonable (unless a new Super Mario game is available at launch, of course, as then no price is too high).