The big price cut for the Nintendo 3DS is arriving early, allowing smart shoppers in the US to take advantage of the slashed $169 price tag for the new handheld while still qualifying for Nintendo’s “Ambassadors” program, which rewards early 3DS adopters with free games.
The early cut comes courtesy of the notoriously discount-happy Walmart. The big-box retailer is cutting the price of the 3DS, originally set to drop on Aug 12, ahead of time – starting today, Aug 9. The post-discount price of $169 is available in most stores; the $249 price remains in effect in some regions, so either call ahead of time or, if you're feeling confrontational, have some proof in hand of the price-drop and try your luck. Alternatively, take some proof of the Walmart price-cut into somewhere like Best Buy and see if they'll match it.
One word of caution, though: Ambassadors aren't judged on when they purchase the handheld, but when it's first registered and updated. A 3DS purchased before Aug 12, but not activated until after that date, won't be eligible for any freebies, no matter how much you paid for it. While the Walmart website offers the discounted price, your 3DS won't ship until the 12th – which is too late to receive the free games. Similarly, if you're buying the console as a gift, you'll just have to crack the packaging open and take that little beast for a spin before handing it onto its intended recipient. Think of it as your reward for being such a generous soul.
Aug 9, 2011