Nintendo 3DS Price Drop & 3DS Ambassador Program

Nintendo 3DS price drops to $169.99, Nintendo unveils an early adopter program for 3DS, and Nintendo eradicates polio from the known world. Only one of these is false.

By Andrew Hsieh. Posted 07/28/2011 02:40 18 Comments     ShareThis

Turns out Nintendo’s been watching those steadily plummeting 3DS sales, not to mention the rather stagnant flow of games being released for the system– you can see for yourself how many games have been released yourself just by looking at our Now Playing feature, with the latest retail release being Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions. It also turns out Nintendo actually doesn’t want 3DS to be the next Virtual Boy or PSP Go. Which, all in all, seems like a good marketing decision. But let’s get to the point.

Nintendo’s lowered the price of its 3DS system to $169.99 USD, down from $249.99 USD, effective August 12– which is something that we all thought would happen right after E3, but hey, better late than never. For those of you cursing at yourselves for picking up a 3DS just this morning, though, don’t be so harsh on yourself– Nintendo’s also unveiling what it calls the “Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program,” for all current 3DS owners (and owners up till August 11), and members of the program will be able to download ten free NES Virtual Console games, and before they’re available to everyone else. Furthermore, Nintendo promises that ten GBA games will be provided to Ambassadors “by the end of 2011”, and claims that they will be exclusive to Ambassadors. All 3DS owners who use their 3DS systems to access Nintendo eShop at least once before August 11 will be automatically entered into the program.

This seems like pretty good news for both 3DS owners and 3DS wannabe owners, and just might tip over even the staunchest 3DS critics, just for the promise of free WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ or Balloon Fight. But will it make Nintendojoites happy? Let us know in the comments!

For more info, check out the full press release below:

July 28, 2011 07:30 UTC

Nintendo 3DS Price Drops to $169.99, as Great Value and New 3D Games Come Together

Star Fox 64 3D, Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7 and Kid Icarus: Uprising Prep Nintendo 3DS for a Strong Holiday Season

NOTE: Multimedia available here

REDMOND, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Nintendo of America today announced plans to drop the suggested retail price of its portable Nintendo 3DS system to $169.99 in the United States, as new games based on some of the world’s most beloved video game franchises head to the system. The new price, down from the suggested launch price of $249.99 and effective Aug. 12, makes an outstanding value even better and sets up a strong holiday season for the system.

“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.”

Nintendo 3DS has the strongest software lineup of any video game system this holiday season and the new price now opens up the glasses-free 3D experience to many more consumers. Building on the popularity of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, which launched June 19, the upcoming game calendar is a Who’s Who of iconic video game franchises. Star Fox 64 3D arrives on Sept. 9, followed by Super Mario 3D Land in November, Mario Kart 7 in December and Kid Icarus: Uprising during the holiday season.

In addition to great games, Nintendo 3DS has a host of attractive features* that make it the must-have video game system this season:

  • The new Nintendo Video service automatically delivers short 3D videos from the worlds of music, comedy, animation and Hollywood.
  • A free application allows Netflix members with unlimited streaming plans to instantly watch TV episodes and movies streaming from Netflix.
  • The Nintendo eShop is a digital store for Nintendo 3DS owners that provides access to a wide variety of downloadable content, such as original 3D software, classic games that have been re-mastered in 3D called 3D Classics, Game Boy and Game Boy Color “Virtual Console” games in their original 2D glory, and more than 350 Nintendo DSiWare games. Visitors can also view video game trailers, screen shots and product information for games, including those available at retail locations.

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.

More details about this program will be announced in the future.

Remember that Nintendo 3DS features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit

*Some features require a broadband Internet connection.

About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wiihome console, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo has sold more than 3.7 billion video games and more than 600 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi and Nintendo DSi XL, as well as the Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Super NES, Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCubesystems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Zelda and Pokémon. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at

Source: Nintendo

18 Responses to “Nintendo 3DS Price Drop & 3DS Ambassador Program”

  • 219 points
    Smith Stuart says...


    Okay, I’m done.

  • 18 points
    Bill Marcotte says...

    FutureShop in Canada dropped the price to $199 only. What gives?

  • 18 points
    Bill Marcotte says...

    Update: The sale is on now you don’t have to wait until Aug 12.

  • 1379 points
    xeacons says...

    Now THAT’S what I’ve been waiting for! Now, yes, we’ve been needing a price drop, so congrats to those who haven’t bought one yet. But that VC has been needing a boost! NES! GBA! I thought they were stuck on Gameboy! And we’ve had ONE, count’em ONE! GBC title. Hey! Where’s the Gamegear at? I can wait. Just don’t start slacking off again! That’s where your sales go, Reggie.

  • 690 points
    KisakiProject says...

    Well I feel like an idiot for buying on in march. Should have just waited and got it with Zelda in August.

    20 free game is cool though.

    Also only 830K sold in US LTD and 1.3Mil in JP. 3DS is in serious trouble.

    • 1379 points
      xeacons says...

      I just did the math.

      Without tax, a 3DS at 169.99, and assuming all the VC games are going to be 4.99…

      (4.99 X 20) + 169.99 = 269.79

      Throw in tax (depending on your state; CA is over 8% nowadays) and bumping the GBA up to 7.99 (the equivalent of SNES) and you get over $300. Don’t feel dumb.

      If you haven’t already, if I were you, I’d buy it NOW!

    • 1379 points
      xeacons says...

      Ooops! Missed that part! Looks like they ain’t sellin’ the GBA games. Never mind.

    • 1332 points
      Andrew Hsieh says...

      Twenty free games should be good enough for any current 3DS owner ;) Just kidding. Should get at least forty. NEVER SATISFIED

      (Though the GBA games are apparently exclusive to 3DS Ambassadors, which is … curious, to say the least.)

      • 1379 points
        xeacons says...

        You know what they’re never satisfied about? The JRPG Trinity (Xenoblade, Last Story, Pandora’s Tower). They will just NOT shut up about those.

        I tell ya, you know what Nintendo should do, is tell everyone that when 3DS sales break 1 million (in US) they localize them. THAT should make everyone happy AND boost 3DS sales!

      • 393 points
        James Stank says...

        lol Andrew, but seriously…..this is a TERRIBLE deal. Early 3DS owners like me got seriously screwed. Paid $250 for a system that doesn’t have any of it’s own original games yet, only to see a $70 price drop a few months later. Then they offer me NES games that I already own on Wii and GBA games that I will probably already own/ have owned. Sucks to be us. Why not give us eshop credit so I can buy new games? Right……that would be too fair. On top of that, Nintendo will most likely choose the games, and I probably would only be interested in half of the GBA games they offer. I don’t care if it saves us money in the eshop. I want real games, the games that were promised at last year’s e3. Not a bunch of games I already own / have played. I’d rather have the $70. I will NEVER again buy a Nintendo console on day 1 if the software isn’t there. I should have listened to Noah. I got my hopes dashed for the last time……..

  • 432 points
    dmgice says...

    @James Stank

    I suppose your brilliant sarcasm is worth noting. *slow clap*

    That said, I bought a 3DS at launch and have no regrets. It was a bit slow getting out of the gate with content; but I spent my time testing out older DS games on it. (By the way, they improved the graphics filter in the last few updates.) Once the eShop opened up, the 3DS really started to pick up speed. There’s a few bumps here and there; but I’m rather happy with the system. I also -thanks to sales and coupons- own seven 3DS games. (Super Street Fighter 4 3D, Dead Or Alive: Dimensions, Blazblue CS2, Super Monkey Ball 3D, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars, and Rayman 3D.) I’ll shop around and pick up Ridge Racer 3D, RE: Mercs, and Pac-Man/Galaga Dimensions in the future. For those wondering, I have -technically- purchased more games than the value of the system already. The amount of eShop stuff is great too. I enjoy Virtual Console titles and I like what they did with Netflix, Nintendo Video (While awkward and clunky, it has promise), and I’m glad they are giving us an early beta of GBA/NES Virtual Console.

    The real value of downloadable versions of games you may already own on physical media is the portability of it. Also, these are FREE. You’re complaining about a product offered to you FREE from a company that didn’t need to give you jack squat.

    • 393 points
      James Stank says...


      to use your words, Nintendo has been giving us “jack squat” on Wii and 3DS this entire year. Wii is as good as dead, and 3DS is pretty dead too. Nintendo better be worried, because Sony isn’t going to make these stupid mistakes. Instead of virtual console games I already downloaded on Wii, and GBA games I already own, I want new games. Not ports. Not remakes. New original games. Well, at least I’ll get my wish in just 4 more short months.

      • 432 points
        dmgice says...

        The 3DS came out in the end of March. So, literally, it has been FOUR MONTHS since it came out. Okay. That’s hardly a year of Jack Squat. Last I checked, a year is TWELVE MONTHS. Twelve is substantially larger than Four. The eShop launched in June, Netflix/Nintendo Video in July. Within the span of four months, the system amassed only about 30 or so retail titles and only (including DSi Ware) about 400 downloadable titles. So, after a launch with 18 titles and a stream of about 12 titles in the following 3 months. (This averages at least one new title a week in retail, which is more than the Wii or PSP, and almost on par with what the PS3 and XBox 360 in that time period.) This is NOT including the DS library of titles which is over 1,150+.

        So, you are bored with a system that launched with over 1,150+ compatible titles to choose from, over 25+ exclusive titles, and then added over 400+ titles three months later in it’s life cycle.

        The problem is that you can not seem to find a way to be entertained with a system that has a library of over 1,500+ games. I wonder if that is really Nintendo’s fault.

  • 18 points
    Bill Marcotte says...

    To clarify:

    Price reduction from Nintendo starts Aug 12.

    FutureShop and BestBuy in CANADA have the 3DS on sale for $200 now (4 days only).

    Saw the list of games, played/own half of them! I knew it. Hope they offer others. I never played Castlevania for example but that’s not a Nintendo IP.

  • 697 points
    Adam Sorice says...

    Still taken aback by Nintendo’s shock announcement from yesterday? Be sure to check out our staff round table on the news, now on the home page.

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