Nintendo just realized that they bit the hands that feed. They just bent over and porked the entire current 3DS install base by dropping the price by $80 less than 6 months after launch. So they're feeling a little… well… nervous. And rightfully so. Current 3DS owners are among the most loyal Nintendo supporters and hardcore gamers, whom are probably feeling like they got the shaft from the company they love.
For those of you feeling that way, Nintendo offers this message and a little surprise:
Never in Nintendo's history have we dropped a system's trade price so significantly less than six months after launch…
We are aware this may cause you, the loyal fans who supported Nintendo 3DS from the beginning, to lose trust in us, and this is not our intention in any way. All of you who have kindly supported Nintendo 3DS from the beginning are Nintendo's most important customers.
Current 3DS owners, or "special customers" as Nintendo calls us, won't get our $80 or dignity back, but we will get up to 20 free downloadable games from the 3DS' eShop. Nintendo announced the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program where existing 3DS owners will be able to download 10 NES titles and 10 Game Boy titles from the eShop.
So, does this make you feel any better? And is this enough?
I personally think that this is generous, considering they really don't owe early adopters anything. Being an early adopter of any consumer product means you run the risk of dealing with launch bugs, high prices, and the possibility of a cheaper or better version being released. On the flip side, you get to be cooler than everyone else. Is it worth it? It is for me!
[UPDATE] Here's the list and details direct from Nintendo:
1. Starting Sept. 1, Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NES™ Virtual Console™ games at no charge and before they are available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public. These games, including Super Mario Bros.™, Donkey Kong Jr.™, Balloon Fight™, Ice Climber™ and The Legend of Zelda™, are slated to become paid downloadable games, but Ambassadors get them early for free. Once the paid versions of the games are posted to the Nintendo eShop later in the year, the updated versions will be available to Ambassadors for download at no cost.
2. By the end of 2011, Nintendo will provide Ambassadors with 10 Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games. These include games like Yoshi's Island™: Super Mario™ Advance 3, Mario Kart™: Super Circuit, Metroid™ Fusion, WarioWare™, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ 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.