Jacob Zinn :: journalist + photographer

Nintendo 3DS needed a price drop

Posted in Electronics, Opinion, Video Games by Jacob Zinn on August 2, 2011

Last Thursday, Nintendo announced that after August 12, the Nintendo 3DS portable gaming system would drop in price by 32%, from $249.99 to $169.99.

In its five months of release in North America, the 3DS hasn’t met sales expectations. Less than 900,000 units have been sold in the United States, prompting the unusual price adjustment.

This is good news for on-the-go gamers who have been holding out on Nintendo’s 3D technology. With the steep price drop, they save $80, which can be put towards 3DS titles that retail for $30 to $40 plus taxes.

Similar Price Drops

Launch Price
Current Price
Price Drop
Price Drop (%)
PlayStation Portable
(March 24, 2005)

Nintendo DS Lite
(June 11, 2006)

Nintendo DSi
(April 5, 2009)

Nintendo DSi XL
(March 28, 2010)


However, $170 is still pricey. A brand new Nintendo Wii costs $150 and comes with a Wii Motion Plus controller, Nunchuk, Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort.

But the 3DS is a powerful handheld, and it may take a steep price drop such as this for many to see that. The system itself is preloaded with a 3D camera, MP3 player, augmented reality cards and the Nintendo eShop, an online store that hosts Virtual Console and DSiWare games to buy and download.

Current 3DS owners have until 11:59 EST on August 11 to use the eShop on their 3DS to become eligible to redeem a select 20 free games. By connecting to the shop, they will automatically become “Ambassadors,” Nintendo’s term for early adopters, and get to download 10 NES and Game Boy Advance games to their systems for free.

The entire list of games hasn’t been announced, but the following Virtual Console games have been confirmed for release in the coming months:

NES Virtual Console

  • Balloon Fight (1984)
  • Donkey Kong Jr. (1982)
  • Ice Climber (1985)
  • The Legend of Zelda (1986)
  • Super Mario Bros. (1985)
3DS Game Boy Advance Virtual Console

  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit (2001)
  • Mario vs. Donkey Kong (2004)
  • Metroid Fusion (2002)
  • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ (2003)
  • Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3 (2002)

So if you were debating on spending $250 on the Nintendo 3DS or the upcoming PlayStation Vita, perhaps an extra $80 in your pocket will guide your decision.



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