The Nintendo 3DS's $250 price tag will be slashed to $170 on August 12 in the U.S., after only being on the market for a little over four and a half months. This is either a really smart move by Nintendo or a really desperate one. We'd wager it's the latter.
We argued in the past that the Nintendo 3DS was just too expensive and now it appears Nintendo agrees. The video game giant is now in a situation where the 3DS has failed to catch on as quickly as its DS and DSi predecessors did.
Come August 12, the 3DS will be the same price as the oversized DSi XL. Nintendo didn't say whether it would discontinue the DSi XL.
But what if you bought a 3DS when it first launched and is miffed by the $80 price cut so soon? Nintendo's giving away 10 free NES virtual console games by September 1 (must log-in into the Nintendo eShop at least once before the date) and 10 more free exclusive Game Boy Advance virtual console games by the year's end.
Depending on your opinion, the 20 free virtual console games are either going to satiate your 3DS gaming needs or just make you cry a little inside for being an early adopter. It's important to understand that none of the 20 virtual console games that Nintendo is offering as freebies for current 3DS owners will be in 3D.
Basically, by being an early adopter, you bought 10 NES and 10 GBA games for $80 whether you wanted to or not, and that's only if you claim your 20 free games in a timely manner. We think for most 3DS owners, they'd much rather have used that $80 to buy two new 3DS games.
The 3DS's lineup has been rather bare since launch, but with great Nintendo titles such as Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, Kid Icarus: Uprising and Star Fox 64 3D coming out this holiday season, we think those $80 could have been better spent on these new games instead of a batch of old games.
After all, isn't the reason the 3DS has been so slow to convince gamers that 3D is cool mainly because there aren't any good 3D games out? Old games, as great as they are, in 2D, aren't going to convince anybody they need to jump to 3D.
With the PS Vita looming on the horizon at a comfortable $250 (Wi-Fi-only model), Nintendo needed to make the 3DS look exceptionally affordable and as the handheld with the greater value. Will you be picking up a 3DS, now that it's only $180?