Nintendo 3DS Price Drop Spells Trouble for the Handheld Platform

Nintendo 3DS Price Drop Spells Trouble for the Handheld Platform

Nintendo has sent out official word that in two weeks, their latest gaming platform, the Nintendo 3DS will be having its first price drop. Usually price drops happen once a system has been available for an extended period of time and the initial sales spike begins to falter. Unfortunately for Nintendo, their 3DS never had an initial spike.

A few years ago, the Nintendo DS was the chart topping selling system, even overtaking the next-gen XBox 360 and PlayStation 3, many times beating the Nintendo Wii and completely crushing the PlayStation Portable. Since its March release however, the 3DS hasn’t even hit the 1,000,000 seller mark and it has not been for lack of systems available to consumers.

Now in what looks to be a desperation move to entice consumers to purchase the new portable, Nintendo is dropping the MSRP a full $80 from $249.99 to $169.99. Never before has a Nintendo console had such a massive price drop, especially in such a short time since its release. The lack of software available to consumers is most likely the reason for the system’s subpar sales. Even with the price drop, it will be the software that ultimately will drive sales to the system.

The main problem with the 3DS is the main software available to it has been the porting of classic titles with 3D capabilities to the system with no major new releases on the horizon for it.

In an effort to make good with people who have already purchased the system, Nintendo is giving a pack of 20 games downloadable from the eShop. These 20 games include both NES and Game Boy Advance Virtual Console titles which unfortunately further perpetuates the stigma of the system for just recycling classic games instead of creating new ones.

Take a look below at pieces of the Nintendo Press release.

“For anyone who was on the fence about buying a Nintendo 3DS, this is a huge motivation to buy now,” said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. “We are giving shoppers every incentive to pick up a Nintendo 3DS, from an amazing new price to a rapid-fire succession of great games.”

Since Nintendo 3DS launched in the United States on March 27, more than 830,000 people in the U.S. alone have purchased one to enjoy 3D visuals without the need for special glasses. These Nintendo 3DS owners represent some of Nintendo’s most loyal customers, and Nintendo is rewarding them for getting in on the action early with 20 free downloadable games 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 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:

1. 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.

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.: 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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