Nintendo 3DS Price Drop: Is The Ambassadors Program A Better Deal?

When Nintendo announced plans to slash the price of 3DS August 12, those who recently purchased the system probably experienced buyer’s remorse, and for good reason. There’s a big difference (a cool $80) between $249.99 and $169.99.

First reaction: early adopters got hosed, and no one will buy a 3DS from now until the 12th.

Or will they?

Here’s the interesting part. As you’re probably aware, Nintendo (in an unprecedented act of generosity), agreed to give current 3DS owners (AKA Ambassadors) 20 free video games from now till the end of the year, so long as they log on to the 3DS eShop before 11:59PM Pacific Time August 11.

The breakdown? 10 NES games (the list includes Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight and Ice Climber, among others), and then 10 Game Boy Advance Titles (Metroid Fusion, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3, to name a few).

The company neglected to reveal the monetary value for each of these games, but it’s safe to assume that NES titles will cost at least $4.00, and GBA games considerably more, most likely in the $7-$10 range.

For the sake of argument, let’s say each of these 20 games cost $5. That means current 3DS owners receive $100 of free content, whereas new buyers August 12 and beyond would have to spend an additional $100 on top of the $169.99 they already spent.

Thus, we present the following question: is it better to be an Ambassador and collect those 20 games, or capitalise on the price drop?

Bottom line, it all comes down to how big of a Nintendo fan you are. For some, the chance to score 20 games that’ll eventually cost money in the coming months is too good an opportunity to pass up. Even better, they’ll have access to those NES games before everyone else.

In this respect, the $169.99 3DS, though it seems like the better option, may actually be more expensive in the long run, if the person intends to cough up the dough for 10 NES and 10 GBA games.

That said, don’t be surprised to see gamers snagging 3DS units before the 12th.

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