Nintendo slashes 3DS price, owners get free games

Nintendo has announced world-wide price cuts for its flagship 3DS hand-held console, dropping the price by around a third in order to drive sales and offering early adopters who have already shelled out for the device a consolation prize.

The price cuts - which have been officially confirmed by Nintendo's Japanese, American, and European arms - will see the cost of a 3DS drop by between 30 and 40 per cent, although actual savings made by customers will be lower due to most stores ignoring Nintendo's recommended retail price anyway.

The move comes as sales of the console, which has as its main selling point a glasses-free autostereoscopic 3D display on the top part of the clamshell case, stagnate after an initially impressive burst when the handheld launched.

To appease Nintendo fans who have already paid for the console at the far higher launch price, the company has announced the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador programme: gamers who connected their 3DS to the eShop any time between now and the 11th of August - the day before the price cut comes into effect - will become an Ambassador and receive 20 free games.

Sadly, they're not 3DS games: half are classic NES titles on the Virtual Console, while the remainder are Game Boy Advance games. While the European list has yet to be confirmed, US games include Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Ice Climber, and The Legend of Zelda from the NES and Yoshi's Island, Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare, Inc, Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong from the GBA.

Interestingly, while Nintendo has confirmed that the NES games will be available to purchase for those who have missed the deadline, it is indicating that the Game Boy Advance titles will be uniquely available to Ambassadors only.

The new price for the 3DS will come into effect on the 12th of August.