Nintendo 3DS drops price to $170 on August 12

It must be Christmas in July as Nintendo just announced a price cut for the 3DS from $250 to $170 (a $80 savings), just four months out of the gate and with the launch of the Sony PS Vita looming.

It must be Christmas in July because Nintendo just announced it will be dropping the price of the 3DS from $250 to $170, starting August 12. This $80 discount is not exclusive to Americans; media outlets in Australia and Japan are also reporting the same deal, which can only point to poor global sales for the 3D handheld console.

Given that the handheld gamer was just launched in March, Nintendo is clearly desperate to move 3DSes out the door so that its upcoming franchise titles like Super Mario 3DS and Mario Kart 3DS can become huge hits this holiday season. According to the press release, Nintendo has only sold about 830,000 3DSes in the U.S., whereas it sold 653,000 DSes in just one week in America back in 2007 per Wikipedia. With some 3DS games due out in September and the Sony PSP Vita also landing this fall, no wonder Nintendo's price cut is kicking in so quickly.

When Nintendo slashed the price of the DS Lite to $99 and the Wii bundle to $150 in May, the discounts hardly raised eyebrows; after all, those are old devices that Nintendo need to clear inventory anyway to make room for the 3DS and next year's Wii U. But offering such a significant discount, this soon after launch is practically unprecedented. I wonder if pricing the 3D handheld system at $170 would force Nintendo to sell the device at a loss.

Of course, Nintendo's loss is the your gain, especially if you are "on the fence" about the 3DS and can wait a few more weeks to bring one home. To be able to have pocket-sized, glasses-free 3D games and videos as well as Netflix on the 3DS for just $170 is a quite a steal. But is price alone enough to convince you to snap up a 3DS come August 12?

[Source: BusinessWire, Wikipedia, Nintendo]