By now, the time to get into the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program has come and gone. That also means however, the Nintendo 3DS is now only $169.99. While some lucky and thrifty shoppers were able to purchase a 3DS for $169.99 while the Ambassador Program was still in effect through stores that discounted the system early, most non-3DS-owning gamers were presented with a choice: purchase a 3DS for $250 and get free games or wait for the price drop and miss out on the games.
For those gamers who waited or just couldn’t decide if they were willing to pay $250 for the system and free games, Father Time has now made that choice for them. The only choice that remains is whether gamers should get a 3DS. Then there is the debate about whether the price cut and Ambassador Program was the right move.
The short answer, it was. A variety of reasons — including a tough economy, lack of games, and the tragic earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan — meant the 3DS was not selling as well as Nintendo and its investors thought or hoped it would. The great games shown at E3 like Luigi’s Mansion 2, Super Mario 3DS, and Mario Kart certainly gave gamers a lot to be excited for but a price drop and those games gives even more.
There are a lot of different ways Nintendo could have approached sluggish 3DS sales. Perhaps the games coming and the holiday season alone would have been enough, especially now that the PlayStation Vita will not be released in the United States for that important shopping season. They also could have stuck to their guns and then just reduced the price when the 3DS Lite, for example, comes out a year or two later. Or, they could have lowered the price and left it at that.
Instead, Nintendo chose to take drastic action, lowering the price well before the holidays and it chose to give something back to those that paid full price. Nintendo took this action on their own, they did not wait for angry fan reaction to the price cut and then try to rebuild that trust with their fans. Price drops are a tricky thing and Nintendo seemed to handle theirs in one of the best ways possible.
All 3DS and Nintendo fans should be happy about the price cut. By cutting the price, Nintendo has shown they are serious about getting the 3DS into gamers’ hands and serious about making the system a success. This is not a cut the price and forget about it kind of move. A price cut and some hot new games should make for a pretty nice holiday season, especially for the developers and publishers who will see greater sales of their games on the platform.
What are your thoughts? How do you feel about the price drop? If you don’t have one already, are you more likely to get a 3DS now? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.