Nintendo slashes 3DS price from $249 to $169, offers freebies to current owners

Mike Wehner, Tecca

Today, Nintendo did something that not many saw coming: The company slashed the price of its newest console by nearly a third. As of August 12, the brand new Nintendo 3DS will skydive from its lofty $249 price point all the way down to $169. The $80 drop comes as Nintendo reports less than stellar earnings to its investors, who no doubt expected the glasses-free 3D game system to be a massive success from the start.

Of all the major video game console manufacturers, Nintendo has become the most likely to hold its price points for an extended period of time. The Wii and DS consoles have sold so ridiculously well in the past that dropping prices wasn't really necessary — but oh, how things can change. Despite breaking launch records, the comapny's 3DS handheld has stumbled recently due to to a lack of quality titles.

Those who made the leap to the new console for the full launch price won't be left out in the cold. Nintendo will offer 20 free downloadable titles to anyone who has signed up for the eShop virtual marketplace before August 12. The freebies will be split between 10 remastered titles from the original Nintendo Entertainment System and 10 exclusive Game Boy Advanced games that won't be available to anyone who picks up the system for the new, lower price.

But the 3DS isn't out of the woods yet, and it still has a long road ahead if it hopes to become as revered as its predecessors. Sony's upcoming PS Vita console, which will launch for the same debut price of $249, will likely pose a worthy competitor for the mobile gaming throne, making the next few years quite exciting for mobile gaming diehards.

[via Joystiq]

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