Nintendo slashes 3DS price from $249 to $169, existing owners get 20 free games

Nintendo has announced that it is to slash the price of the 3DS handheld games console from $249 to $169 from August 12.

Nintendo has announced that it is to slash the price of the 3DS handheld games console from $249 to $169 from August 12.

I'm not surprised by this sudden price cut. It comes at the right time to boost for the critical holiday season.

But wait, there's more!

If you were one of the 830,000 people in the US then you're getting something for nothing - these lucky folks will be getting 20 free downloadable games from the Nintendo eShop. These free games are available to all 3DS owners connect to the Nintendo eShop at least once before 11:59 pm ET on Aug. 11. These users will automatically be registered in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program.

The games come in two hits:

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.

So, if you've been holding out on buying a 3DS you have a choice:

  • Buy one before Aug 11 and get the free games
  • Wait until Aug 12 and get the cheaper console

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