Nintendo reports $323 million in losses, decides to charge a fair price for the 3DS

Who would have know that things could change this swiftly for the house that Mario built? Perhaps because of poor sales and the impending arrival of the Playstation Vita, effective August 12th the new MSRP for a shinny new 3DS will be $169.99. Aren’t you glad that you’re an early adopter? 

For the previous quarter, Nintendo has reported revenue of 93.93b Yen ($1.1b) with losses of 25.516b Yen ($323m) partially attributed to sluggish sales of 3DS, and thus has decided to drop the 3DS to 15,000 Yen.

If you were one of the few who jumped on the 3DS bandwagon early it’s not all bad news as Nintendo has stated that starting September 1 the company will start what they are calling the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program. 3DS units that connect to the eShop before 11:59 p.m. on August 11 will automatically be registered in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program and be entitled to 10 NES and 10 GBA games from the eShop. Not all of the titles have been revealed, but some notables include The legend of Zelda and Metroid Fusion.

Although it certainly stings to know that had I waited a few short months my bank account could have been $80 happier, it is nice to see Nintendo giving their most loyal customers something to show their thanks. While you’re at it Reggie I will take a rum and coke, thanks.

Full press release after the jump.

If you have already purchased your 3DS, does this news grind your gears? If you were on the fence before, is this enormous price drop enough to make you drink the 3DS kool-aid? 

REDMOND, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Nintendo of America today announced plans to drop the suggested retail price of its portable Nintendo 3DSâ„¢ system to $169.99 in the United States, as new games based on some of the world’s most beloved video game franchises head to the system. The new price, down from the suggested launch price of $249.99 and effective Aug. 12, makes an outstanding value even better and sets up a strong holiday season for the system.
“For anyone who was on the fence about buying a Nintendo 3DS, this is a huge motivation to buy now,” said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. “We are giving shoppers every incentive to pick up a Nintendo 3DS, from an amazing new price to a rapid-fire succession of great games.”
Nintendo 3DS has the strongest software lineup of any video game system this holiday season and the new price now opens up the glasses-free 3D experience to many more consumers. Building on the popularity of The Legend of Zelda™: Ocarina of Time™ 3D, which launched June 19, the upcoming game calendar is a Who’s Who of iconic video game franchises. Star Fox 64™ 3D arrives on Sept. 9, followed by Super Mario™ 3D Land in November, Mario Kart™ 7 in December and Kid Icarus™: Uprising during the holiday season.
In addition to great games, Nintendo 3DS has a host of attractive features* that make it the must-have video game system this season:
  • The new Nintendo Videoâ„¢ service automatically delivers short 3D videos from the worlds of music, comedy, animation and Hollywood.
  • A free application allows Netflix members with unlimited streaming plans to instantly watch TV episodes and movies streaming from Netflix.
  • The Nintendo eShop is a digital store for Nintendo 3DS owners that provides access to a wide variety of downloadable content, such as original 3D software, classic games that have been re-mastered in 3D called 3D Classics, Game Boyâ„¢ and Game Boy Color “Virtual Console” games in their original 2D glory, and more than 350 Nintendo DSiWareâ„¢ games. Visitors can also view video game trailers, screen shots and product information for games, including those available at retail locations.

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:

  1. Starting Sept. 1, Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NESâ„¢ Virtual Consoleâ„¢ games at no charge and before they are available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public. These games, including Super Mario Bros.â„¢, Donkey Kong Jr.â„¢,Balloon Fightâ„¢, Ice Climberâ„¢ and The Legend of Zeldaâ„¢, 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.
  2. 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.
Remember that Nintendo 3DS features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit
*Some features require a broadband Internet connection.
About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii™ home console, Nintendo 3DS™ and Nintendo DS™ family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 3.7 billion video games and more than 600 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi™ and Nintendo DSi XL™, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™ and Nintendo GameCube™ systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario™, Donkey Kong™, Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon™. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at


Eugene lives in New Mexico and has been a life long gamer since getting his hands on an NES. Always partial to Nintendo, Eugene has made it a point to keep informed on all things Mario.


  1. makes me glad i got my 3ds 2 weeks ago

  2. I love the fact that Nintendo’s referring to us early adopters as their “ambassadors.” That’s cute. We try, Nintendo, we try. 🙂

    I don’t regret buying early: I’ve been having a blast with it since launch. Seriously. Plus, they won me over with the news of GBA YOSHI’S ISLAND coming to 3DS along with other GBA downloads. Twenty free VC games is a decent compensation. I’m happy. I’m most happy, however, that Nintendo’s woken up and made a very smart move with the system price.

  3. That’s indeed a huge price drop. Much bigger and sooner than I thought. I’m a step closer to finally buy my 3ds 🙂

  4. RE: the GBA VC games…

    “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.”

    Anyone else think there’s a good chance these “plans” could suddenly change shortly after August 12th?

  5. Suddenly the 3DS is looking a lot better to me…

  6. A guy at work is excited to buy it before the price drop so he can get the extra games and then he’ll get a price adjustment at Best Buy after it drops.

    Note: biggest news out of this for me is that they are confirming for the first time that GBA games are coming to the Virtual Console; previously they only said GB and GBC (and others). Also, NES games on the 3DS – awesome!

    But what I think this means for all of us is to not buy the Wii-U at launch, wait 4 months, and then get it cheaper.

  7. Much needed price drop, and I am glad I will be getting 20 free games. Out of all of this they just quietly announced GBA for the VC!

  8. this is why i love nintendo, they love their customers. seriously this would have stung sooooo hard if they hadn’t put in the whole ambassador dealy (a title i love btw) not to mention their nonchalant way of saying there is going to a have nes and gba games on the 3ds (let’s pray for mother 3)

  9. @ David “But what I think this means for all of us is to not buy the Wii-U at launch, wait 4 months, and then get it cheaper.”

    Ditto. This will backfire at Nintendo.

    Still too expensive. I am waiting for it to be under $150. Lame on the GBA games as well, as those are the ones I may be remotely interested in – I don’t really care about the NES ones.

  10. Now, will this offer be available to us UK and European gamers?

  11. They grossly overpriced the 3DS at launch if they are going to be selling it at a profit still (which most of us pointed out even before this price “adjustment”). I’m glad enough consumers gave them a beating by not buying it at the inflated price.

    Has there ever been a console that had such a big price drop for their first? I hope they’re rethinking the pricing on the WiiU right now. I’m partially glad that Nintendo is being humbled. They show the ability to react to moments like these and make better prices, products, and services. I’m glad they aren’t like Sony in that aspect.

    When the 3DS came out I asked for 2 of the 3 things: reduced price, better battery (in the form of hardware revision), and lots more games. They hit a home run on the reduced price, far below my expectations. This winter should bring more games. Hell, maybe Nintendo can give me all three wishes by the end of 2012.

    In closing. Thank you Nintendo for the price cut. I know it wasn’t for me (it was for investors) but you had seriously mis-priced this product.

  12. I was stunned to read this. I would of been pissed if we didn’t get something for already owning the 3ds but I’m still not happy. I’ll try to enjoy their “gift” to us though

  13. These news brings me a little closer to taking the plunge of getting a 3DS…

    However, my main complaint about the 3DS has always been the price of the games, not the console! I will get a 3DS next year for sure, when the price of older and used games are at least under $30… and I’m done playing with my regular DS games!

  14. You know what… Nintendo giving away *anything* to the early adopters (“Ambassadors”) is more than enough and it should be praised rather than expected.

    Nintendo didn’t force early adopters to adopt their product early… that’s a choice the consumer has made. Most intelligent early adopters know the risks when they make that choice and missing an inevitable price-drop is usually fairly high on the list of risks.

    I’m in the UK and I’m hoping I get a similar offer (I’m an early adopter), but if we don’t, my main complaint will be “but the others got it”, not “but I bought it early”.

  15. Think of it this way, guys:
    Price drop: $80

    Current owners are promised 10 NES VC titles and 10 GBA titles for FREE.

    Average Price for NES Virtual Console Game: $5
    Estimated Price for GBA Virtual Console Game (considering that Link’s Awakening was $6): $8

    10x$5 + 10x$8 = $130

    We’re getting $130 worth of free software.
    Who’s getting the sucky end of the deal now?? 😉

  16. ” Who would have known that things could change this swiftly for the house that Mario built? ”

    Anyone who’s been inside of the house with eyes open in the last, oh, five years.
    Nintendo is an ultra-conservative company, full of stifling levels of middle management. Any attempt at positive change inside the company is crushed by rank-pulling and bureaucracy. The company happened to hit a couple very lucky breaks with the DS and Wii and falsely attributed its success to its own superiority.

    Nintendo can’t compete with Apple, but then again no one really can. Apple is eviscerating their software and hardware businesses. The one thing Nintendo can do, if they try, is make superior games. But they haven’t really been trying for several years now. If only they would.

  17. You guys took a news post that from other sites made me love my 3DS a million times more. And made into something sounding negative… Typical. It should have been two posts like this.

    “3DS Price Drop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
    “Nintendo Gives 20 VC Games Free to Early Adopters!”

    BTW those twenty games are probably worth more than the 80 price drop. So we still get a great deal.

  18. This news sounds pretty cool for people who already bought the Nintendo 3DS when it first came out on March 27, 2011. Nintendo 3DS Ambassador. DAM! That has a cool way if giving early owners something to smile about when they get to reap the rewards of 10 NES games & 10 GBA games too for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! 😉 🙂

    But one BIG worry to me from all this is that even though the price drop comes in the form from going at the price of $249.99 down to $169.99 just to get a new 3DS makes it seem like they just might have dug themselves an early grave somehow. All I know is that this better not turn into a Virtual Boy of old situation happening again. -__-

  19. This is great news because the Wii U might be around $200-$250!

  20. Man, at first I was bummed that they plan to drop the price after I bought it then I freaked out when I read that anyone who bought/buys the 3DS gets TWENTY FREE games. The only probably good GBA game I had when I was “little” was Metroid Fusion.

  21. Smart move by Nintendo. It makes one think what Sony will do once the release of the Vita approaches. I love what the Vita offers, but it will depend on the software rather than what is packed inside the device.

    Call me crazy, but I may just wait for a hardware re-design before I buy a 3DS. The battery life of the handheld has bugged me since Day One. Although, maybe the onslaught of games coming out this fall will change my mind.

  22. On a recent trip to the US, I found myself with the decision to either get an iPod Touch or a 3DS. As tough as it was, I opted for the iPod. I don’t regret it (heck, I’m typing in this thing right now; and the games have been super fun) but this news is both a reminder of why I skipped it [wait for a price drop] and why it could have been cool to get it {free games}. Nonetheless, I’ve already played all the games they are offering, and I can love with not having them again. I wonder if they offer the eShop in Ecuador though, since not having it here would have killed my heart if I had bought it and being able to redeem the games.

  23. I’ve bought two 3DS’s (6DS?) does that mean I get 40 free games? I bought the original at launch and bought the second a month ago to replace the first that was lost/stolen.

    I am with mlove99 on this. We aren’t owed anything. I have enjoyed everything the 3ds has offered since it first came out and I am still playing Zelda’s Ocarina of Time daily.

    I am older and never played any nes (other than Mario 1) or gba games so they are all new to me and I look forward to this unexpected gift from mother Nintendo.

  24. Sorry for the double post but…

    I noticed that Wal-Mart is having a sale on the 3DS effective tomorrow for $199 (a $50 savings). Then this news. I guess I should have seen it coming.

  25. All this would have been averted if better launch titles were provided, and more people knew it was a brand new console and not just a 3D version of the DS. But because they weren’t, I guess Nintendo is paying the price and resorting to desperate last minute tactics for sales.

  26. Uh oh. Last time this happened was with the Virtual Boy, right? Hope sales pick up. Seriously considering getting a 3DS before the price cut to get my 20 free games as the GBA ones are an interesting selection. Oh, what should I do?

  27. @Eden;

    Buy it at Walmart’s reduced price, then connect to the eShop before 8/12 to be eligible for the free games. Good deal!

  28. With all the store credit I have, I can now get a 3DS at the price it should have been from the start.

    It’s about time Nintendo ate some humble pie. The question is, will this make a turn around for their misfortunes?

    Snake Eater 3DS has been delayed, makes me wonder if they’re going to just cancel the game outright. I never got to play it on PS2, I certainly hope I’ll be able to play it now….

  29. I bought mine at launch. I have enjoyed it and don’t regret the purchase. But remember what Apple did with the first iphone, they dropped the price soon after launch and gave buyers refunds. I don’t expect a refund, but maybe if you registered it on your Club Nintendo account, you get a free gift or something. I’ll take any of their announced 1st party games.

  30. Sorry. I didn’t finish reading before I wrote about the “free game or something”. It works. I would be satisfied with 20 downloadable games. How much memory does the 3DS have though? How much can it handle beyond these 20, and what I have already downloaded.

  31. It’s good to see Nintendo humbled. They’ve almost turned me away from any new hardware purchases, including Wii U. I still don’t want a 3DS, but I hope their Wii U pricing has been informed by this fiasco.

  32. This may revitalize the DS and DSiXL assuming those will now get a lower price point. It will be interesting to see how many more years the original DS line/games stays on store shelves.

  33. I actually just purchased a second hand 3DS and at $200, which I thought was a good deal. It arrived today and for the little bit of time I’ve played with it, I’m extremely impressed. The 3D display is really remarkable and the included software is lots of fun too.

    I’m not upset in the least that they are going to drop the price because once I start showing this thing around the office and once my daughter’s friends see it, I believe that these things are going to sell like hot cakes come the holidays!

  34. I was holding out for a package deal/price adjustment or a remodel but I’m considering this with the free VC games (particularly the the GBA games that won’t be available to the general public afterwards)

    FutureShop and Best Buy have them on for $199 here in Canada. Do I or don’t I…

  35. @jd: Anybody can compete with Apple…I’m certainly not dropping $500 on a iPad anytime soon, as per most of the USA. -_______-

    This is probably the best news I’ve had all day…free games ahoy. >:3

  36. Well Nintendo I hope you learned your lesson in over pricing products that shouldn’t be overpriced but we forgive you. That you are giving the owners including myself that got the 3DS before the price drop will get some games in return.

  37. @Pizzle
    All VC and 3DSware downloads straight into and runs off of the SD card. Only DSiWare runs off of the 3DS memory.

  38. I love buying systems at bestbuy. Explanation: if you get the replacement warranty with it (usually $30-$60 depending on the system) not only do you get two years covering damage or manufacturing defects but you also get a price drop guarantee! I bought my wii at $199 and got my $50 back at the price drop then. Also worked with my 360.

  39. I just picked it up- In case anyone’s interested, Costco in Canada has already lowered it to $169.

  40. For players that are part of the Ambassador Program – those specific people will be occupied playing all the free games (leaving the sale of software even more stagnant than it already is). For the people looking to “take advantage” of the hardware price drop – they won’t have newly released titles that are worth playing. It’s a desparate move by Nintendo, but maybe time will prove otherwise. It comes down to poor launch titles, and they should have seen this coming. What they should have done is pushed back the 3DS release date, in order to have proper titles to grab people’s attention….

  41. hi there yeah first too preorder my 3ds first on the e-shop and getting my nintendo free games on this thursday or my first 10 free games this thursday september 1 and i have 8,200 free blocks free

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