For the ZU devout, Ocarina of Time 3DS might have been the turning of tide for the Nintendo 3DS. When Reggie Fils-Aime spoke with Kotaku back in June, he pretty much admitted that the 3DS had some hiccups getting out of the gates. “But when we started talking to consumers who were aware or interested, but hadn’t yet bought, they told us two things: first, I need a big Nintendo franchise for our purchase. The second thing was I need the network to be up. I need the connected experiences to be there.”

Clearly, those were two of the 3DS’ big issues. But now both of them theoretically have been solved. OoT3D solves the problem of games, while the second was solved by first network update, which brought forward the 3DS’ eShop, allowing you to purchase games over the Internet, and the eventual promise of 3D movies and Netflix soon to come this summer. All’s well in Nintendo’s world, right?

Apparently Reggie was wrong. The 3DS is still underperforming, significantly behind Nintendo’s expectations. So as a result, Nintendo has gone directly to de facto plan of last resort.

In early August, the 3DS will be significantly cheaper to buy. For Japan, it will lower its price to ¥15,000 from ¥25,000—a drop of 40 percent—on August 11. In the US, the price will drop the following day, going from $249.99 down to $169.99. No word yet if there will be price cuts in the other regions, though it’s likely you’ll see that elsewhere too.

In many ways, this price cut is rather historic and unprecedented in Nintendo’s history. Even Nintendo of Japan’s president Satoru Iwata seemed a bit flabbergasted by the development. “Never in Nintendo’s history have we lowered prices to such an extent, less than half a year since the product launch. But we have judged that unless we move decisively now, there is a high possibility that we will not see many of our customers enjoying a Nintendo 3DS.”

And that isn’t really surprising. Nintendo has set its target to be a one-year sales projection (March to March) of 16 million 3DS sales, but currently they’re only hovering at somewhere around 4.32 million in the device’s first three months, a figure they were counting on selling within the first few weeks.

The story could end up coming full circle with a reversal of winds come this holiday when Nintendo’s full franchise power starts to really kick in. With iterations of Mario and Mario Kart coming to bear alongside Kid Icarus: Uprising knocking at its door, if OoT3D didn’t actually solve the “games problem” Reggie noted, then certainly those will. Yet they come late within the year, and it might not have been enough to fix the 3DS’ launch problems, especially with the PS Vita hot on its heels, not to mention new iOS and Android devices expected to be announced in the interim.

Smart move for Nintendo? Well, it’s probably the only move they had. If the drop in price makes the 3DS on its own unprofitable, then at least Nintendo has the cash to soak up the damage for a while. But $250 was an expensive barrier of entry  with not a lot of bang awaiting you on the other side.

UPDATE: For those of us that already have a 3DS and connected to the eShop by August 11th, Nintendo is going to reward us with 20 free downloadable games before they become available to the public and enroll us in the http://www.nintendo.com/corp/nintendo3ds/news/. In September, 10 NES Virtual Console games will be available for download including Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Ice Climber and The Legend of Zelda. These games will eventually become paid games for download.

Exclusive to the Ambassador program are these 10 Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games like Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong by the end of the year. Nintendo currently has no plans to make these 10 games available to the general public on the Nintendo 3DS in the future.

Source: The New York Times, Nintendo.com

  • Phantom7

    This is going to make it A LOT easier for me to afford one. 😀

  • clovervidia

    "lower its price from ¥15,000 to ¥25,000" I wouldn't quite call that lowering the price.

    • themisssinglink

      This is what I get for having to write a news post right after I wake up. 🙂 Sorry for the confusion.

      • Trolldad

        Yeah,
        It also happens when you type while focusing on something else like food.

  • Callin

    >OoT3D solves the problem of games, <

    Um, no? The 3DS still lacks games for nearly all Nintendo's franchises. You can't expect lots of people to buy the system just because OOT is on it. And apparently, that's exactly what didn't' happen.

    • themisssinglink

      Personally, I actually agree with you.

      The "solution" that I pitched really is more what marketing at Nintendo is trying to tell you (or trying to swindle onto you). They're in a tough bind with the sales figures, so their goal is to sweeten up the facts as much as possible (without directly lying) to convince you that everything is cool and that the 3DS is a worthy buy.

      Perception is reality to many consumers. At least, that's what marketing will tell you. 🙂

  • Marco

    Even with this price drop, I'm still not considering to purchase the 3DS. Once the 3DSLite comes out, the 3DS gets yet another price drop, and we have more games (and 3DS functions like the Netflix thing), THEN (and only then) will I consider purchasing a 3DS.

    • Some random guy

      If you buy a 3DS before the price drop and connect to the eshop,then once the games come in,you can get 20 free VC games,including NES,GB/GBC,and GBA games! (metroid fusion FTW!)

    • Some random guy

      And,netflix and nintendo video are all out,both for free.

    • zelda4ever

      The 3ds is about the same size as the DSLite. They really have no need to make it smaller. (The original DS however is a different story.) We really have no proof that they will make a lite version, so ya. Don't get your hopes up.

      • Zombeh

        He never said anything about the 3DS being too large. He just wants to wait for the next model. I don't blame him, as the battery life of the current model is very poor and needs improvement. Even the accessory that extends the life only increases it to 6 hours.

    • heroofmasks

      also nintendo sayed there other 3ds becouse theres nothing else to add to the 3ds

    • Frintu72

      I assume you waited for the Wii HD too, yes?

      • Zombeh

        Since when has Nintendo released new versions of their home consoles?

        Nintendo has a history of revisions to their handhelds, and I've always went with the 2nd models of each generation.

        GBA SP.. DS Lite.. those were the models that did well needed revisions to their preceding models.

        I'd say it's a safe bet to go with the next 3DS model. With the low battery life of the current model (and competition of Vita), I'd say that Nintendo is very, very likely to release a 2nd model to make sure their customers keep doing business with them.

  • Holy. That's a big price drop, Nintendo. But you now, it's significant enough that I might actually be able to buy one now. Bittersweet I guess.

  • The Iron Giant

    Thank god I waited. But meh, I'm going to continue waiting until we get some good looking games out there. Ocarina of Time 3DS, and perhaps even Majora's Mask 3DS might not be enough to convince me alone.

  • Chu-Chu Train

    So that means, from my saved $250, I will have 80 dollars left. That's $80 for games!

    • zelda4ever

      So, like 2?

      • Darasvi

        Well, it's enough to cover all the good games currently out for the 3DS. XP Nah, I'm sure it has at least…3…

    • Zombeh

      It doesn't look like you've accounted for taxes. Most 3DS games cost $40.. without tax. The system itself will cost $170.. without taxes.

      Where I live, a 3DS and two games would cost.. about $270. If you're getting two games, you'll probably need more than $250.

  • Hobbe

    This sucks a whole lot of monkey rectum for the people who already paid the full price when OoT3D came out just last month. If a month ago they had told me "Hey! Listen! Wait a month and a bit and you can get this, plus OoT3D and another game for FREE," I'd have definitely waited.

    • Tayo

      Actually, you get 20 free games, 10 NES and 10 GBA. 🙂

    • Andrew

      Those he got the 3DS before the price drop will get and extra 10 GBA games along with the 10 NES games so nothing too much to complain about.

    • Hobbe

      Definitely less pissed off than I was when I originally posted this. That update completely changes everything. PUMPED that I bought this thing early.

  • Darkwing

    you forgot to mention the 20 free games for ppl who connect to the eShop before Aug 12th

  • @Darkwing. Yes, there will be 20 free games coming to the early 3DS owners (or those who sign into the e-shop before 11:59 ET.) First comes the 10 free Gameboy Advance Games, then comes the 10 free NES games.

    • Tayo

      Actually, first comes the free 10 NES games on Sept 1., then later in the year, the 10 free GBA games.

  • Cyber Ninja

    YES! I am now getting one.

  • RulerOfAllDucks

    WHOA! What a drop, may actually feel like buying this now

  • Hussain

    Once Mario comes out, the 3DS will do good enough.

  • x4Dennis24

    i might consider buying this along with the PSVita now

  • Jonny

    While I’m happy for others that the price is going down I do feel that it’s kind of sucky since I would have waited to get mine had I known. I can’t help but feel a little bit ripped off. But then again a lot of things do this, are really expensive until all the fans who’d get it no matter what and lower it to get those on the fence in. If I was smart I would have seen it, so I can’t get too mad.

  • Tayo

    Aren't you going to mention that for those who already bought a 3DS that we get to download 10 FREE NES games and 10 FREE GBA games throughout the year? I'm certainly glad I got my 3DS on launch. Those who enter the eShop before August 12th become Ambassadors and get these free games, including exclusive games that won't even be released to the rest of the 3DS users. So, is that enough incentive either way for you to buy a 3DS now? Some NES games include Legend of Zelda, and some GBA games include Metroid: Fusion, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Yoshi's Island: Super mario Advance 3, Mario VS Donkey Kong, etc.

  • Twilit Mask of Time

    I don't know that that's enough to have made me want to purchase the 3DS at an 80$ premium if I didn't already have one, but since I do, that makes me a heck of a lot less sour about the whole deal. 20 games sounds fantastic. can't wait for it.

  • I WILL BE ABLE TO AFFORD IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bushes283

    It's definitely tempting but I'm still going to wait until the next model comes out, they might fix the problem where you have to keep still for the 3D to work. also there aren't enough games to bother. Besides, I already own OOT, why would I need to own it twice over? I know it's been improved but it doesn't seem worth it to me.

    • Darkwing

      i own 3 copies of OoT 😛 only reason i don't own 4 is cuz i sold my original for N64 and i never bothered with the VC version since wii is backwards compatible with gamecube

  • crazymallets

    Serious people, stop complaining that you bought the 3DS right away, and now the price is going down. That ALWAYS happens to game systems. They're more expensive at first, and cheaper later. Look at the PS3. It was $600 when it first came out. Yes, the price drop happened a little earlier than expected, but that's life. YOU chose to buy the 3DS at launch when it would be must expensive. Not only that, but Nintendo is giving you 20 classical games (that's $4 a game, a great deal!). When prices usually go down, people who bought the system at launch aren't compensated with free games.

    • Chad

      It's not necessarily at launch the Date that that must be done by is still coming

    • mikeypizzalover

      But it was so soon after launch, so people are disappointed. I got MINE for my birthday, so IM not coplaining

  • Ze orror

    WOW, that's a huge price drop! It's like the PS3 saga all over again, except Nintendo's learning it's lesson.

  • mikeypizzalover

    The ONLY game I dont have the list so far is Metroid Fusion.

    • Nichyevo

      It's a great game. It's the first game I owned for the Game Boy Advance.

  • zelda4ever

    Hmm… nope, still don't reget the purchase!

  • Keimori

    20 free games for buy an awesome system AND a price drop of that much!? sweet!
    what a lovely Win-Win! 😀 now people, go out and make this thing popular so thouse developers see it as the worthy sucessor it is and make awesome games for it!.

    • bjc72

      I know! I am so, so excited, especially after seeing some of the games they are giving us!

    • Ya but the price drop doesn't happen until August 12th so you would need to buy it on the 10th to get the 20 free games.

      • Keimori

        Yeah but I got one on launch day and conected to the eShop when it opened to get Pokedex 3D and Links Awkening DX shortly after, So I think I'm in the clear.

  • bjc72

    20 free games?! WHAAAAT! At first I was angry when I read through the article thinking "I bought mine for $250, and now they drop it by $80?!" Then I read about the free games and was overjoyed. I like how Nintendo is giving benefits to those who already bought their 3DS's at the higher price. Very smart, and considerate, move.

  • bjc72

    Also, we have some official names it seems. Check that link and you'll see it says "Super Mario 3D Land" and "Mario Kart 7." Also, we now know that GBA games ARE coming to Virtual Console! Hopefully Minish Cap will be one of the free games we get!

  • cloverplayer

    …YES! Now I may be able to afford one!

  • GBA VC!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • robotortoise

    This is AWESOME. At first, I was like," Dang it!" They decreased the price and I spent more money on it then other people! Then I realized they were giving us TWENTY new games for free AND they're giving us early access, and they're releasing Gameboy Advance games!

    ..You know, I honestly expected Nintendo to cut the price a little, with the PSP Vita for $250 and all, but I never expected this. This really shows that Nintendo wants to satisfy their customers, both new and old. 😉 I love you, Ninty, old friend!

  • Bet this won't count for me in the UK.

    They said Link's Awakening would be free.

    Costs £5.40 😐
    I was really disappointed!

    • bjc72

      They NEVER said Link's Awakening was going to be free and it wasn't for anyone in any country. They said Four Swords would be free if that is what you are thinking. That comes out Sept. by the way.

      • Jani

        Oh, oops! |D;;

        I thought it was Four Swords that was going to cost orz

  • link2778

    is the 20 free games available to everyone who has a 3ds or just americans because i live in the uk and i havent got netflix on my 3ds yet

  • KingDodongo1

    I got mine for $175 because I traded in my DSI, so I get 20 free games because I paid $5 extra? As awesome as that is, that seems unfair.

  • LINK KOKIRI

    THIS SUCKS! NINTENDO SHOULD AT LEAST GIVE AWAY ONE N3DS GAME FOR FREE!
    IF THEY THINK THAT WITH A FEW GAMES ON E-SHOP ARE GOING TO CONVINCE ME THAN THEIR WRONG!

    • bjc72

      So many things wrong with this.

      1. A few games? Try 20.
      2. One 3DS game is worth $40. These downloadables are valued at around $120.

      If you really aren't thankful to Nintendo, then you are a greedy idiot. They didn't have to give us ANYTHING. Instead, they give us more than we could have asked for.

    • cloverplayer

      you're wrong.

  • large lady

    lol link is awesome in this comic http://brawlcomic.smackjeeves.com/comics/1038357/

  • Trolldad

    Of all those 20 games Metroid Fusion, Ice Climbers and Mario VS Donkey Kong are the ones I'm most excited for,
    Maybe those 20 games would help me convince my friends to buy a 3DS and improve its sales.

  • iam_theghost

    I had been holding off at first due to the price, and hoping to see a Zelda Special Edition like the DS Lite and SP. Never anticipated a price drop so soon, so i think I'm sold now!!

  • Buying it early was so worth it! I would have brought it anyways because of Ocarina of Time 3D so yeah. I can't wait for this! 😀

  • is this only for america?

  • Poe Princess Mara

    Oh, don’t bother saying how much the price has gone down in the UK.

  • Zelda2777

    I was planning on Getting a 3DS in the distant future (because of the price) But now I may be able to get one for Christmas….

  • Anonymous

    As long as Nintendo is still active and cranking out new systems and new Zelda, Mario, Kirby, Metroid, and Pokemon games I will always support them. LONG LIVE THE BIG N!!!!!!

    P.S: I would have preferred to get my $80 back but nintendo didn’t have to do anything for us so I’m happy. Sugestions for the other free games: NES: Zelda II, Metroid, Kirby’s Adventure, Kid Icarus, and Super Mario bros. 3
    GBA: Zelda: Minish Cap, The other Super Mario Advance games, Zelda ALttP+4S, and Pokemon Sapphire

  • Bout damn time. I’m still not spending that much on something that offers so little that’s new, but at least it’s more of a fair price to those who do want to replay some old classics in a slightly remodeled fashion.

  • SWEET! This makes it MUCH easier to save up for one, especially if I'm selling back my old Gamecube and a lot of my old games for the majority of the money.

  • Darasvi

    Honestly, they're more likely to get more money investing in their console systems. An OoT/Majora's Mask remake would've made a ton more on a console anyway. Same with Luigi's Mansion. Hand-held systems are nice, but they really shouldn't have depended so much on the 3DS.

  • TwilightEchoes

    20 free games is pretty awesome. the only problem is that will they allow ANY game to be purchased? Cause otherwise i think its kind of a rip off… yay, lets get Ice Climbers or Balloon Flight :/ lammmeeee!! Id rather put my free games to good use and get Link's Awakening DX for free since thats like $6 or something thats worth my time.

  • darkgerudo

    Well this is the news I was waiting for. And with a $169.99 price tag, getting a 3DS is looking to be much more realistic for me. I may consider getting a new one instead of a used one (I no longer have issues with owning a used system).

  • 8D!

    My diseased imagination likes to think Nintendo set the price so high in the first place just to try and draw the new PSP's price below it's production costs to cause trouble over there in Sony land and then they'd shoot the price down to something notably lower. Now Sony has less of a battle advantage over the 3DS and they loose x amount of money for every sale they make unless they raise the price, lowering their sales.

    However, i know nothing on the matter.

  • PikaLink

    I think that the 20 free games compensated for the 80 bucks, especially because 10 of them will be exclusively for those of us who have the 3ds already.

  • prada

    ooh yessss sexy partty

  • JiPrime

    Nintendo confirmed to be the bro-est of the bros.

  • Tsubasa_zero

    Again the question: Is this US only?

  • hey listen!

    is there going to be a 3ds xl and is flipnote on it?

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