In a move that echoes the price drop of the N64, due to poor consumer demand, only weeks after release, Nintendo is offering free bonus content for customers who purchase a 3DS prior to August 11 and register the console with eShop. This maybe a preemptive strike against Sony's PS Vita, prior to the lucrative holiday season, but the announced games are AAA titles.
Since Nintendo 3DS launched in the United States on March 27, more than 830,000 people in the U.S. alone have purchased one to enjoy 3D visuals without the need for special glasses. These Nintendo 3DS owners represent some of Nintendo’s most loyal customers, and Nintendo is rewarding them for getting in on the action early with 20 free downloadable games from the Nintendo eShop.
These free games are available to anyone who owns a Nintendo 3DS system and uses a wireless broadband Internet signal to connect to the Nintendo eShop at least once before 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 11. These users will automatically be registered in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program. The program contains two elements:
Starting Sept. 1, Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NES™ Virtual Console™ games at no charge and before they are available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public. These games, including Super Mario Bros.™, Donkey Kong Jr.™, Balloon Fight™, Ice Climber™ and The Legend of Zelda™, are slated to become paid downloadable games, but Ambassadors get them early for free. Once the paid versions of the games are posted to the Nintendo eShop later in the year, the updated versions will be available to Ambassadors for download at no cost.
By the end of 2011, Nintendo will provide Ambassadors with 10 Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games. These include games like Yoshi’s Island™: Super Mario™ Advance 3, Mario Kart™: Super Circuit, Metroid™ Fusion, WarioWare™, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong™. These games will be available exclusively to Ambassadors, and Nintendo currently has no plans to make these 10 games available to the general public on the Nintendo 3DS in the future.
More details about this program will be announced in the future.
The package is available in North America, Europe, Australia and Japan.
Did you buy a 3DS at full price? Is this incentive enough to compensate? For the record I bought my 3DS during the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend sales for £160; 20 free downloadable games and a copy of 3D Classics Excitebike; I'd be churlish to complain.
Read Nan Braun's insightful 3DS review here.