Nintendo has issued a press statement for both US, Europe, Australia, and Japan. For all regions, the 3DS will receive a very substantial price cut. On August 12th In the US, it will be cut from $250 to only $170. It is receiving a similar cut in Japan from 25,000 yen to 15,000 yen on August 11th. Australia will drop from SRP AU$350 to SRP AU$249.95 on August 12th. Europe is getting a cut as well of "about a third" off the original price, not yet known officially (though it's official). These cuts are due to both incoming competition from Sony and lower than expected sales thus far. This is good news for late adopters of the handheld. Nintendo is also counting on their holiday first party software lineup to garner more 3DS sales as well. Super Mario 3D (title tentative), Kid Icarus Uprising, and Mario Kart 3D (title tentative) are all scheduled to release by the holidays for this year and are expected to make a big splash. Clearly, Nintendo is stepping up the game to compete with Sony and put a kick in thus-far lower than expected 3DS system sales.
Also announced were plans to bring Gameboy Advance AND Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) games to the 3DS' Virtual Console service. GBA was rumored since the system was announced, but NES games come as a rather big surprise. In addition to this news, there is a very special gift for gamers who connect their 3DSes to the eShop before August 11th, 11:59pm (EST). These gamers who do so will be registered for the "Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program" via their console ID. Likely to give a special treat for people who paid full price for the system before August 12th, Nintendo is offering some free VC games to those who do this. There will be 10 FREE NES VC games made available to these members. The full list hasn't been released yet, but five of the games include-
- Super Mario Bros
- Donkey Kong Jr
- Balloon Fight
- Ice Climber
- The Legend of Zelda
- +5 more unknowns
This is a limited time offer, so don't forget! They will later be available as paid downloads for non-early adopters (though any updates to the games will be offered free. In addition to these NES games, 10 free GBA games will also be released on the 3DS' VC service by year's end. They will be exclusively released for gamers subscribed in the Ambassador service. Some of these games-
- Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island
- Mario Kart Super Circuit
- Metroid Fusion
- Wario Ware Inc Mega Microgame$
- Mario vs Donkey Kong
- +5 more unknowns
The GBA games will be free downloads but are exclusive to Ambassador members for the moment. Nintendo has stated that there are no plans to release these 10 GBA to the general public. No word on whether Nintendo will in fact release a GBA VC service to other people, but it's highly likely to happen eventually. Just a very nice little gift to early 3DS adopters who purchased the system early for the full $250. You can read both original full Japan and US press statements about the price cuts and the special offers below in the sources provided.