Tesco offers cheapest 3DS deal at under £160

[UPDATE 15/02/2011 14:18]: They say that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is - and that appears to be the case with Tesco's bargain-basement 3DS offer.

"We are very sorry for the pricing error," a Tesco spokesperson told thinq_. "We have contacted the small number of customers affected to apologise and offer them a full refund," but not - it's important to note - a discounted Aqua Blue 3DS.

The predictable price war on Nintendo's upcoming 3DS hand-held console has entered a new phase with supermarket chain Tesco beating the previous best price by over £40.

The deal, which sees the retailer offer the Aqua Blue 3DS for a bargain £157.60 as a pre-order, handily beats the previous leading offer of £199 from rival supermarket chain Sainsbury's.

Tesco's offer isn't without its drawbacks, however: the pre-order deal is only available online via the Tesco Direct website, and then only on the Aqua Blue version of the console. If you had your heart set on another colour, you'll have to stump up closer to £197.

It's not clear whether Tesco's offer represents a permanent price reduction or if it's a time-limited promotion - but with the console costing significantly more in many high street chains, those who want one on release day would do well to get their pre-orders in sooner rather than later.

The 3DS, Nintendo's second attempt at a portable console featuring a 3D display after its poorly received Virtual Boy, is looking to be the must-have gadget of 2011 - and with a decent list of launch titles, it's unlikely to disappoint. Whether it can hold its own against Sony's upcoming NGP, however, remains to be seen.

If you're convinced, the Aqua Blue 3DS is available to buy now on Tesco Direct - but at that price, it's unlikely to stick around for long.