I can't say that I was too pleased to learn about the sudden drop in the Nintendo 3DS price. On one hand, I'm a little peeved that I had to shell out $250 bucks and it's not being dropped to $170 only six months after it first hit shelves. This not only shows that Nintendo is full aware of their flub on pricing, but that they may have suspected it to be too high in the beginning. But, the loyal and the early adopters like myself went out and picked it up nonetheless.
When I first heard the news, I wasn't aware of anything being done to right the wrongs that loyal fans no doubt feel. Since, I've learned that Nintendo is going to offer 20 games to the early adopters for free via the downloadable network. Before you get excited, it's not current games, it's virtual console. First, we'll get 10 NES games including Super Mario Bros., original Zelda, and some others. Later on, we'll get some Gameboy Advanced games with the Mario Kart one being the only one that sounds decent at the moment. While this is a nice gesture, it still doesn't make me regret buying the DS. But, from a company that could have just threw up their hands and said sorry, the gesture is much appreciated.
Now, why is Nintendo dropping the price on the 3DS all of a sudden without a lot of press around this? Probably because sales haven't been so hot. The games for the system have been few and far between and to be honest, the 3DS was released way too early. Half the features mentioned and games promised didn't come out until months later (with some games still waiting to be released). This seems like a solid point but I think there's another reason, the Playstation Vita.
The Vita looks fantastic for a handheld and if it's going to be priced comparable to the 3DS, it would make it obsolete overnight. The tech in the Vita, the games, the graphics, etc. all look fantastic and blow the 3DS away. How can Nintendo fight that? Make it an uneven playing ground. Sure, if they were both the same price, you can pit them against each other, but if one drops the price and becomes a "more affordable" system, then all bets are off. The Vita remains the powerhouse while the 3DS is the cheaper platform with less impressive tech.
To be honest the only thing I fault Nintendo for is for not doing this sooner. If the 3DS would have released at this price I bet a whole hell of a lot more gamers would have traded in their DSi's for the 3DS. As for now, we just have to wait and see how the handheld market turns out. In the meantime, at least we have some old NES games to play with. *grumble*