Video game maker Nintendo has slashed the price of its glasses-free Nintendo 3DS portable by $80 due to slow sales, bringing the cost of the console down to $170 on August 12. Designed to boost interest prior to rival Sony system the PlayStation Vita’s arrival, the company hopes it will offset a limited software catalogue and ongoing complaints surrounding 3D features’ practicality and related health concerns.
Those who paid full price for the unit, or are open to doing so prior to the price drop, will be given 20 free classic Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Game Boy Advance games as a reward. They’ll also be awarded “Ambassador” status. To receive the free games, owners must connect via WiFi to online storefront the Nintendo eShop before August 12.
Ten free NES games will be made available on September 1 including old-school hits Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. Game Boy Advance freebies will arrive by year-end, with titles like Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Metroid Fusion among the games that will be offered. Nintendo claims that the Game Boy Advance games are exclusive gifts that will be made available only to Ambassadors.
Whether these measures will be enough to turn around sales of the handheld system, which have thus far underperformed, remains to be proven. Ironically, as one of the best-selling devices capable of displaying 3D video given the system’s low price and portability, it may be features such as recently-introduced Netflix online streaming that actually provide shoppers with real incentive to give the hardware a second look.