Early Price Cut Comes for Nintendo’s New 3DS

Nintendo has dropped the price of its glasses-free 3-D handheld game device by $80 after only four months on sale.

The device will now have a suggested price of $169.99, down from $249.99.

Initially, Nintendo was eager to report how well the game unit would sell, but even after its first month on sale, the older DS continued to outsell the newer device.

Clearly, Nintendo had to offer more incentives to buy it, despite more game releases and a major software update in June.

Since going on sale in the U.S. on March 27, Nintendo says it has sold 830,000 units.

While the device got off to a bumpy start after Nintendo warned viewing 3-D may be bad for some children, it’s more likely the overall game environment that is impacting sales.

Nintendo must compete against the iPod touch, which has access to countless free and 99 cent games. With this price drop, The 3DS now will now cost less than the 8 gigabyte iPod, which runs $229.

Additionally, if 3-D was the draw for consumers, now it is built into a handful of consumer electronics, including the EVO 3D smartphone.

The 3DS also tried to compete against the iPod and smartphones by integrating new features, such as providing a free Netflix application, which allows members to instantly watch TV episodes and movies on the device.

Additionally, starting on Sept. 1, Nintendo will begin giving away some games for free. 3DS Ambassadors will be able to download 10 virtual console games at no charge, games such as Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., and The Legend of Zelda. Ambassadors are users who sign into the eShop at least once before midnight on Aug. 11.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus