Nintendo 3DS price drops to $169.99, Nintendo tries to make it up to early adopters with free games

To Nintendo’s dismay, the launch of the Nintendo 3DS hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. Particularly, sales of the 3D handheld are well below Nintendo’s estimations, and so they’ve decided to do something about it. Something.. surprising.

Only four months after the handheld’s release in the US, Nintendo is slashing the price of the Nintendo 3DS to a shocking $169.99 over in North America on August 12. Our European friends are also said to be getting a price cut, but it isn’t yet known by how much.

In a statement picked up by CVG, Nintendo admitted they might lose some favor with fans over this move. The statement reads:

“Never in Nintendo’s history have we dropped a system’s trade price so significantly less than six months after launch. We are aware this may cause you, the loyal fans who supported Nintendo 3DS from the beginning, to lose trust in us, and this is not our intention in any way. All of you who have kindly supported Nintendo 3DS from the beginning are Nintendo’s most important customers.”

In an effort to win back any lost favor with early adopters, Nintendo is planning on introducing an “Ambassador program”, Game Informer reports. According to Nintendo’s statement, up to 20 digital titles are up for grabs, 10 of which are said to remain exclusive to “Ambassadors”. Here’s more on that:

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 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 11. These users will automatically be registered in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program. The program contains two elements:

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.

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