Nintendo takes a loss after 3DS price drop

It’s official, Nintendo are slashing the price of the 3DS handheld console across the globe. From August 12th, you’ll be spending a tiny US$169.99 on the device in the United States – and a comparable drop elsewhere (an estimated £150 in the UK, ¥15,000 in Japan, AU$249.95 in Australia, NZ$343.99 in New Zealand).

Nintendo 3DS in Aqua Blue

Now cheaper than ever

And if you’re thinking that price sounds too good to be true – you’re nearly right. Bloomberg Japan is reporting that Big N will actually make a loss on every 3DS unit sold after mid-August. (Andriasang, who translated the report, don’t have any firm numbers of just how much the hardware giant will be out-of-pocket.)

This is not an unusual move for console manufacturers – Microsoft and Sony typically sell their machines at a loss in the hope they’ll make up the money through game sales and peripherals – but it is the first time Nintendo is believed to have followed suit.

But what about if you’ve already got a 3DS? Where’s the benefits for you, who spent so much money on the fledgeling technology? Nintendo have you covered, with a special early-adopter program in two parts.

  1. Starting 1 September, 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.
  2. 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.: Minigame Mania 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.

That is – of course – on top of the handheld itself, and all the fun stuff that it brings – including Nintendo Video, the eShop and (if you live in the right place), access to NetFlix. Overall, not a bad deal – but it’s a good idea to snap it up now if you weren’t already on that particular bandwagon.


This story was featured in Episode 24, Season 2 of playerattack News:

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