Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nintendo 3DS cut from $249 to $169

Nintendo debuted the Nintendo 3DS in North America on March 27, 2011 to much fanfare but a mere four months later, the price of the 3D-capable handheld is being slashed from US$249 to US$169. If you're one of the 830,000 early adopters who bought a 3DS on launch day and in the past few months, don't feel  too bad. Nintendo is consoling owners of the 3DS with a choice of 20 free games that may be downloaded from the Nintendo eShop. The generous move is called the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program and the company's statement reads as follows:
Starting Sept. 1, Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NES Virtual Console games at no charge and before they are available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public. These games, including Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Ice Climber and The Legend of Zelda, are slated to become paid downloadable games, but Ambassadors get them early for free. Once the paid versions of the games are posted to the Nintendo eShop later in the year, the updated versions will be available to Ambassadors for download at no cost.
By the end of 2011, Nintendo will provide Ambassadors with 10 Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games. These include games like Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ 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. 
The new price of US$169 for the Nintendo 3DS takes effect on August 12, 2011. Nintendo recently reported a 25.5 billion yen (US$328 million) net loss and 37.70 billion yen ($485 million) pre-tax operating loss in its quarterly report for the April to June 2011 period. The company also slashed its annual profit forecast from 175 billion yen (US$2.25 billion) to 35 billion yen (US$450 million). Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told reporters, "we feel the price change and several prominent software releases by the end of the year will definitely change the situation."  Nintendo expects to meet its  target of selling 16 million 3DS systems by March 31, 2012 which is the end of its fiscal year.

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