Nintendo 3DS price dropping to $170

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Nintendo is dropping the price of its latest handheld videogame system, the 3DS, to $169.99, as the device has failed so far to match the sales power of its predecessors -- the DS, DS Lite and DSi.

The drop from the 3DS launch price of $249.99 will go into effect Aug. 12, Nintendo said.


So, unless you like paying a higher price for the things you buy, it might be a good call to just wait until August for a 3DS purchase.

Nintendo said that in the United States, it has sold more than 830,000 of the 3DS -- which does not require 3-D glasses to play 3-D videogames and watch 3-D movies -- since its March 27 launch.

Those who have already bought a 3DS might not be too happy about the price drop so soon, which is why Nintendo is planning to give them a bit of a thank you gift.

‘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,’ Nintendo said.

But there’s a bit of a hitch.

The early adopters have to use ‘a wireless broadband Internet signal to connect to the Nintendo eShop at least once before 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 11' to get the free games, which Nintendo is calling its ‘Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program.’ Half the free games will be available in September, the other half by the end of the year.

Nintendo said Thursday that it has sold more than 4 million 3DS systems worldwide since the device launched in February in Japan.

Last year, Nintendo sold more than 27 million DS consoles.

‘We feel the price change and several prominent software releases by the end of the year will definitely change the situation,’ Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told Reuters and other reporters in Osaka, Japan.

Iwata was referencing new high-profile titles for the 3DS set to launch this year, such as new Super Mario and Mario Kart games. So far, the biggest release has been a 3-D remake of the classic The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

News of the price drop also comes as Nintendo posted its first-ever quarterly operating loss, a loss of 37.7 billion yen, or about $48.4 million, on lower-than-expected sales of DS systems and the Wii home gaming console, Reuters said.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata holds a 3DS prototype at the E3 convention last year. Credit: Alex Pham / Los Angeles Times