Nintendo slashes 3DS prices

Handheld price drops to $169 in North America, by "around a third" in Europe; Nintendo to give 20 free GBA and NES Virtual Console games to early adopters.

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In response to a financial statement that slashed the firm's full-year profit forecast and announced disappointing launch sales for the 3DS, Nintendo today announced it was cutting the price of its new handheld globally by up to 40 percent. These price cuts will come into effect on August 12, Nintendo said.

The 3DS price is being cut globally.
The 3DS price is being cut globally.

In Japan the price of the handheld is dropping 40 percent to ¥15,000; in the US it is dropping 32 percent to $169.00; and in Australia gamers will see the price drop 29 percent to AU$249.99. Gamers in Europe will hope to see similar reductions; Nintendo UK confirmed to GameSpot that the trade price of the console will be dropping by "around a third" but did not offer concrete information since exact pricing is set by retailers.

By way of compensation to those who have bought the handheld at the higher price, Nintendo also announced that it will be giving 20 free downloadable games for existing 3DS owners. While half of the games released as part of the so-called "Nintendo 3DS Ambassador" programme will be available on the Nintendo eShop at a later date, the company said, the other half will be exclusive to the early adopters.

Ten NES virtual console titles--including Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Ice Climber, and The Legend of Zelda--will be released first to members of the programme and will appear on the Nintendo eShop at a later date. Programme members will also get 10 GBA virtual console games--including Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$, and Mario vs. Donkey Kong--that Nintendo says it has no plans to release to the general public. Any 3DS owners who connect to the Nintendo eShop before midnight US Eastern time on August 11 will be automatically entered into the programme.

More details on the programme will be announced "in the future," Nintendo said.

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