3DS early adopters to get special offers

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Nintendo wants to reward the loyal customers who purchased a 3DS at its launch price of $250.

The company is referring to those fans as "ambassadors," and is fervently trying to make sure they don't feel shunned about the fact that the 3DS price will be dropping from $250 to $170 just a matter of months after it first came out.

The 3DS "ambassadors" will be able to download exclusive game updates and will also get a whole bunch of free downloadable games.

In fact, they'll get 20 titles from the 3DS's Virtual Console store. That's right - 20(!)

The exact list of free titles hasn't been released, but it's clearly a very generous offering and sure to make those who shilled out $250 feel a bit less angry about the quick price cut.

It's unclear if the ambassador distinction will continue to have benefits through the life of the 3DS or just for the immediate future.

Nintendo has a very solid track record of being able to keep its console prices solid for a long time after being released, but the 3DS is a very different story.

In addition to being the most expensive system Nintendo has ever released, it launched without any good games, and heavyweight franchises like Mario still aren't available.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata admitted there were many faults with the release of the 3DS. In addition to the lack of launch titles, the company missed its target of a holiday 2010 release, which could have spurred significantly more sales and given it much more traction out of the gate.

As it stands, though, a lot of things are starting to crumble at Nintendo, leading to massive cuts in stock prices and significant salary reductions for some of the company's top executives, including Iwata's.