Nintendo 3DS Price Cut! Free Games If You Paid Full Price

Is the Nintendo 3DS a bust? The portable gaming machine is only four months old (having arrived to much fanfare for $350 on March 31), but it just got cut to $250 — about the same price as an 8GB iPod Touch, an increasing popular gaming device. Coincidence? The 3DS hasn’t gone guns in Japan, Metal Gear Solid 3D is delayed, and Nintendo is worried. But maybe this new pricing will stir your appetite?

To soothe the wrath of early 3DS buyers, Nintendo has created a new “Ambassador Program” for anyone who buys the handheld before August 12. Fall into this category and you’ll score 10 NES and 10 Game Boy / Game Boy Advanced titles for free. Details below.

It’s worth noting that the big price cut is global. In the US, they’ll be paying just $170 (so yes, Aussies still get bent over a barrel), and in New Zealand, the 3DS will now be $344. Ouch.

Now if only the 3DS got more decent games…

More: Nintendo 3DS Buyer’s Guide

Nintendo announces that effective 12 August, Nintendo 3DS™ will be available for only SRP AU$249.95*. Previously Nintendo 3DS was SRP AU $349.95.

*All prices quoted are Suggested Retail Price (SRP) in Australian dollars.New Zealand price for Nintendo 3DS from 12 August will be SRP NZ $343.99

Nintendo Australia plan to offer an exclusive Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program to consumers who have purchased the Nintendo 3DS at the original launch price. The program will enable those Nintendo 3DS owners to download 10 NES™ games and 10 Game Boy™ and Game Boy Advance™ games for free from the Nintendo eShop.

These free games are available to anyone who owns a Nintendo 3DS system and uses a wireless broadband Internet signal to connect to the Nintendo eShop at least once before the price drop on 12 August. These users will automatically be registered in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program. The program contains two elements:

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.

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