Nintendo Reveals New Price For 3DS and Gifts For Early Adopters
A few days ago, I woke up and thought I was dreaming. I had just read that Nintendo’s 3DS system price was being dropped from $249 to $169 in the United States. This was a huge surprise for everyone, since the system was released only four months ago. It features a stereoscopic screen that produces a 3D effect that can be seen without special glasses, as well as a touchscreen, two outward-facing cameras capable of taking 3D pictures and videos; a microphone, accelerometer and gyroscope.
It had been mentioned among the press that there were not many games out for the system, and the sense of Third Party Developers support had waned from the enthusiastic response the 3DS had generated at last year’s E3 Expo. Many games have been delayed further into the year, and the majority of Nintendo’s own First Party titles have been scheduled to be released in the third quarter of this year, starting with Star Fox 64 3D, – due in September – and continuing through the holiday season.
In a press release, Nintendo also mentioned that early adopters of the 3DS would be receiving twenty free games through its 3DS Ambassadors Program. Gamers who connect their 3DS systems to the online eShop before August 11, 2011, will be able to download the first batch of games come this September. The first games will be the NES classics Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Ice Climbers, and The Legend of Zelda. These titles will be updated in the future and released for paid download, but will still be free to the 3DS Ambassadors. The second group of games, which are scheduled to be released by the end of the year, are the Game Boy Advance titles Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Matroid Fusion, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames! and Mario vs. Donkey Kong. In the past, Nintendo has not mentioned GBA games being publicly available for the 3DS, and as of today, the games will only be available to members of the 3DS Ambassadors Program.
With the sudden price drop that goes into action for all regional territories and the current price of Nintendo’s highly successful DS line, I wonder what other price changes will take effect. This may not only be a response to Sony’s upcoming PlayStation Vita, but a reaction to the newly emerging portable market that has erupted for cellphones and tablets. I also want to note that when the original DS was released, the same situation arose, but a price cut did not come until almost a year from its US launch. This sudden change for the 3DS shows that in an area where Nintendo has dominated now appears to be on uneven ground, but it seems they are prepared to regain its lofty and leveled position in the handheld market.