Nintendo 3DS price slashed from $250 to $170 amid weak sales

By on July 28, 2011, 6:00 PM

Prompted by weak sales, Nintendo has announced plans to drastically reduce the price of its latest handheld console. The Nintendo 3DS launched less than six months ago for $250 with a goal of selling 16 million units by March 31, 2012 (the end of its fiscal year), but things have kicked off to a slow start with only 830,000 US gamers purchasing the console. To meet its original sales target, the company has slashed 3DS prices by $80 to $170.

The new price is already offered at Amazon, and although you can purchase a 3DS at that rate, it won't ship until August 12 when the change becomes official. "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."

Although the new price will undoubtedly lure new customers, Nintendo realizes that existing 3DS owners might feel a bit cheated having paid the full price of admission only a few short weeks or months ago. As compensation, such customers will receive 20 free downloadable games from the Nintendo eShop. To claim your downloads, you'll have to log into the eShop at least once before 11:59PM on August 11. By doing so, you'll be enrolled in the "Nintendo 3DS Ambassador" program which contains two parts:

  • Starting September 1, Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NES Virtual Console games at no charge before they are available to the general public in the Nintendo eShop. The titles will include Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Ice Climber and The Legend of Zelda. When the paid copies are added to the eShop later in the year, Ambassadors will be able to download the updated versions for free.
  • By the end of 2011, Nintendo will provide Ambassadors with 10 Game Boy Advance 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. These titles will be available exclusively to Ambassadors and Nintendo has no plans to release them to the common 3DS users in the near future.

Nintendo reported a 25.5 billion yen ($328 million) net loss alongside a 37.7 billion yen ($485 million) operating loss in the recently ended quarter. That prompted the company to lower its annual profit forecast 82% from 110 billion yen to 20 billion ($257 million) while projected annual operating profit has been cut from 175 billion yen ($2.25 billion) to 35 billion ($450 million). Nintendo has also slashed its expected fiscal year 2012 sales for the Wii and DS from 13 million to 12 million and 11 million to 9 million.

User Comments: 10

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Raswan Raswan said:

Would've taken Sony a month of heavy consumer backlash before offering the 20 downloads to recent customers. Tip of the hat to you Nintendo. I might just go buy one to encourage your beneficence.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

raswan said:

Would've taken Sony a month of heavy consumer backlash before offering the 20 downloads to recent customers. Tip of the hat to you Nintendo. I might just go buy one to encourage your beneficence.

This is a different scenario. They are reducing the price of an item that costed more to early buyers; it is only rational for them to compensate the consumers.

In Sony's case, nobody actually lost money for not being able to play online. Sony gave away those freebies to every single PS3 user, including those not even minimally affected by the hack. Again, different scenario.

Alternatively, $170.00 is not bad at all. Funny how its MSRP is $250.00, but they just reduced it to $170.00. Why not $150.00? For some reason (other than the logical one, of course), to consumers $150.00 just <i>looks</i> better than $170.00.

Guest said:

Finally a price drop. I can't wait to not buy one.

Seriously, if it says nintendo, it's a DO NOT WANT in my book.

Guest said:

I thought it was way overpriced to begin with. I bought a used one from a yard sale for a 100 bucks with 2 games. Gave it to my boy well he got tired of it in a couple weeks. Him and his friends are too hooked on garry's mod to play anything else, go figure. I fiddled with it for awhile well far as im concerned just junk to me. Im sure i can resell it for close to what i gave for it after the price drop.

Timonius Timonius said:

I might consider it now for the upgrade from my DS Lite. Though I'm definitely NOT happy about the battery life of the 3DS. I'll probably still use the DS Lite as a backup for extended gaming sessions on non-3DS cards.

On another note I have yet to see a 3DS demo unit in any store that sells them. I wonder why? Surely that would boost sales?

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Having never owned a DS, i decided to pick up a 3ds last month. It might not have a ton of games but with the entire DS library open to play i could care less. I am extremely happy i'm getting 20 free games!

tehbanz tehbanz said:

Also they are GOOD games, not piles of garbage! I'm really psyched for the free games as well.

I've kind of been on the fence about my 3ds, haven't played it since i beat ghost recon, so i was going to sell it. Then I checked the upcoming games list and saw 2 metal gear solid games, one is exclusive.. I can't pass up on that!

Mindwraith said:

wow, nintendo is the only company i know that legitmately cares about not ripping off early adopters. well done indeed

Guest said:

Wont be getting this even if price drops further. Nintendo needs to stop with the old rehash games an move on to new things. How can you launch a new system without games an expect it to sell? Not to mention their 3D glasses free crap. No wonder parents arent buying will go blind.

Same thing will happen to the Wii-U, DOA if they dont launch it with GAMES an no more zelda mario or wateva other recycled games. Give us fresh new games and a better more powerful HD system.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I have yet to see a Nintendo 3DS. The initial price kept me from upgrading my DS Lite to the 3DS. Now that the price is lower, I still don't think it's made it into that attractive point for me. As Guest above mentions the technology and the games haven't really improved, and I'm not jumping on this 3D bandwagon just yet.

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