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GBA

Breaking Down the 3DS Ambassador Program

by Neal Ronaghan - July 28, 2011, 8:56 am EDT
Total comments: 45

At the end of it all, you paid $80 more for 20 free games. Is it worth it?

I'm sure a lot of us are still just looking at the computer screen confused as the 3DS is dropping in price from $250, a price known to be high, to $170, which is likely lower than anyone would think it would've been at launch. But let's look at the value of the 20 free games available for those who bought the system and took it online before August 11.

On September 1, 10 NES games will be available for Ambassadors. If we say the going rate for NES games is $5 (the price of them on the Wii Shop Channel), then that is a $50 value. We're already more than halfway to the $80 drop.

Later in the year, 10 Game Boy Advance games will be available for Ambassadors. We have no precedent set for GBA games on downloadable stores, but let's, for the sake of argument, say they will be $8 each. That's an $80 value.

So, you 3DS Ambassadors will receive approximately $130 in games for free for buying the system early and for $80 more than other people. Boo-yah.

Though, some of those games might not be worth it, so let's look at the games that are confirmed to be a part of this program:

NES/Famicom Virtual Console titles will include:
- Super Mario Bros. - A classic
- Donkey Kong Jr. - Decent, worth getting for free
- Balloon Fight - Joust but by Iwata, so cool I guess.
- Ice Climber - They're in Smash Bros., so I'd say it's worth getting for free for the hell of it.
- The Legend of Zelda - Excellent!

Game Boy Advance Virtual Console titles will include:
- Yoshi's Island:Super Mario Advance 3 - One of the greatest SNES games
- Mario Kart: Super Circuit - An underrated entry in the Mario Kart series
- Metroid Fusion - A great Metroid game
- WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames! - One of the premier GBA games
- Mario vs. Donkey Kong - The sequel to the lovely DK '94

Now, I'll be blunt here: I can't wait to get my free stuff. As a fan/consumer, this is the greatest news ever. Almost makes me forget that the Wii is basically dead, we're missing out on three Japanese RPGs, and most non-Nintendo-made 3DS games are getting delayed until 2012. Almost.

Talkback

NinSageJuly 28, 2011

Yep. It's worth it.

And one of the few real examples of a company looking out for its early adopters.

ShyGuyJuly 28, 2011

Neal is getting a little snarky for being the staff apologist. ;)

TanookisuitJuly 28, 2011

I'm into this.  I can't wait.  And now finally some of my friends might get a 3DS and we can play!

BlackNMild2k1July 28, 2011

NES/Famicom Virtual Console titles will include:
- Super Mario Bros. - A classic (played to death... would play again. briefly.)
- Donkey Kong Jr. - Decent, worth getting for free
- Balloon Fight - Joust but by Iwata, so cool I guess.
- Ice Climber - They're in Smash Bros., so I'd say it's worth getting for free for the hell of it.
- The Legend of Zelda - Excellent! (great game, would play again)

Game Boy Advance Virtual Console titles will include:
- Yoshi's Island:Super Mario Advance 3 - One of the greatest SNES games (never played but always wanted to)
- Mario Kart: Super Circuit - An underrated entry in the Mario Kart series (good game)
- Metroid Fusion - A great Metroid game (never played but always wanted to)
- WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames! - One of the premier GBA games (only had the demo, it was fun)
- Mario vs. Donkey Kong - The sequel to the lovely DK '94 (Never played but always wanted to)

5 out of 10 I would play and not even knowing what the other 10 are yet makes me want to go get my 3DS today... but I think I'll wait till next week.

Is SSFIV discounted new yet?

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorJuly 28, 2011

I have all 5 of those NES games on Wii VC and all 5 of those GBA games on cart.


Could I have been more unlucky? All I want is Zero Mission.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)July 28, 2011

Assuming the Ambassador Program works the same on the side of the pond, it'll be an even better deal. Obviously, prices vary from retailer to retailer over here, but early reports say that it will likely be dropped to around £160. That's only £20 less than what I paid for mine back in March. And with 3DS Virtual Console titles more expensive on the conversion rate, when you add up the value of all these free games, it's totally worth it.

Fatty The HuttJuly 28, 2011

The best deal in town will be at Canadian WalMarts, this weekend only.

For some reason, WalMart Canada will be selling the 3DS for $198, this weekend only. Sure, it's not the $170 that will drop August 12 but if you buy now, you can get in on the very valuable Ambassador Program.

I already have a 3DS ... but none of my 3 kids do...yet

...hmmmm...

ThomasOJuly 28, 2011

Some of those games, like Yoshi's Island, could be re-released as 3D Classics, so I'll wait before immediately buying some of them.

JourneysJuly 28, 2011

Kind of odd that you are trying to compensate (very nice of them indeed) for being an early adopter but why are the games for the Wii and not the 3DS?  Guess the assumption is everyone owns a Wii but I would think they would want to push people using the 3DS. 

Or did I miss something and these are all coming to the 3ds?  I mean I already bought the legend of zelda VC for the 3ds.  Kind of confused as to where some of these games are going. 

BboyJuly 28, 2011

Unlike Pale, I've only played 3 of those games, and DK Jr. only through the stupid e-reader, so I'm psyched, especially for Fusion.

CericJuly 28, 2011

Quote from: Bboy

Unlike Pale, I've only played 3 of those games, and DK Jr. only through the stupid e-reader, so I'm psyched, especially for Fusion.

I actually own Fusion and I'm psyched to get Fusion.  Especially if they allow saved state on GBA games.

TJ SpykeJuly 28, 2011

Quote from: ThomasO

Some of those games, like Yoshi's Island, could be re-released as 3D Classics, so I'll wait before immediately buying some of them.

Considering the 3D Classics program was for NES games, that was not gonna happen. Not to mention that Nintendo said they have no plans to sell the GBA games to the general public, they will be exclusive to the early adopters.

Quote from: TJ

Considering the 3D Classics program was for NES games, that was not gonna happen. Not to mention that Nintendo said they have no plans to sell the GBA games to the general public, they will be exclusive to the early adopters.

Actually, the E3 3D Classics Collection demo included some SNES games, including Yoshi's Island.

CericJuly 28, 2011

I'd love to see Yoshi's Island as a 3DS Classic in 3D some of that little video screamed cool in 3D to me.

Oh, Great Idea on adding the little Video.  I'm sure people on YouTube will enjoy it and I hadn't actually seen all the games.

broodwarsJuly 28, 2011

Looking over this list, I'm a little annoyed that 3DS "Ambassadors" will get Yoshi's Island via the GBA Port, but we still don't have the original game on the Wii Virtual Console...and probably won't ever because Nintendo will want people to buy the 3DS version.

As for this list of free games, just based on the 10 listed here it's not enough to get me to buy a $250 3DS.  The only game in that stack I have interest in as a handheld game is Metroid Fusion.  The rest are generally considered good games, but just aren't my thing or I already own some form of them elsewhere.

gbuellGrant Buell, Staff WriterJuly 28, 2011

Quote from: Journeys

Kind of odd that you are trying to compensate (very nice of them indeed) for being an early adopter but why are the games for the Wii and not the 3DS?  Guess the assumption is everyone owns a Wii but I would think they would want to push people using the 3DS. 

Or did I miss something and these are all coming to the 3ds?  I mean I already bought the legend of zelda VC for the 3ds.  Kind of confused as to where some of these games are going. 

They're all for 3DS... the only Legend of Zelda game that's currently out for the 3DS Virtual Console is Link's Awakening, not the original NES game.

Quote from: broodwars

Looking over this list, I'm a little annoyed that 3DS "Ambassadors" will get Yoshi's Island via the GBA Port, but we still don't have the original game on the Wii Virtual Console...and probably won't ever because Nintendo will want people to buy the 3DS version.

I don't think it's specifically that reason. No Super FX games have appeared on the Wii Virtual Console. I don't know why that is though, considering homebrew emulators have done it for over a decade.

MonteblancoJuly 28, 2011

Considering my 3DS is about one month old, I am not totally happy with this. Still, it is not a bad offer and I am very pleased there are many games I would be willing to buy in the list. Hopefully, the new price list will warm the sales and more games will be available to the 3DS.

DannymclJuly 28, 2011

The titles lisyed don't seem to shabby, I hope there is a bit of list you can choose from. So glad I have got my 3DS already. I got mine for a good price but I'm waiting for Zelda OoT to come down. This will hopefully keep me going untill then.

Mop it upJuly 28, 2011

Of the ten titles listed here, I own all but two of them, and there's a reason I don't own those other two. The ten yet to be revealed are likely to be mostly games I own as well, since I'm a Nintendo fan and therefore I own most of their games. I'd much rather have gotten some eShop credit, and not $80 but rather even $40 would have been much better for me than what they are offering.

Quote from: MegaByte

No Super FX games have appeared on the Wii Virtual Console. I don't know why that is though, considering homebrew emulators have done it for over a decade.

I imagine it is because it would take a little extra work to emulate the Super FX chip, and we all know how Nintendo is when it comes to extra work. They will either wait until they have nothing else to release before they put in the effort, or they figure that the amount of work isn't worth it just to put up a handful of titles.

Quote from: Fatty_The_Hutt

The best deal in town will be at Canadian WalMarts, this weekend only.

For some reason, WalMart Canada will be selling the 3DS for $198, this weekend only. Sure, it's not the $170 that will drop August 12 but if you buy now, you can get in on the very valuable Ambassador Program.

I already have a 3DS ... but none of my 3 kids do...yet

...hmmmm...

This is how I'm rolling, especially since Walmart's is actually until August 4.

Though Best Buy/FutureShop are matching through Sunday, and they have 30-day price protection. :)

frostybro24July 28, 2011

will these games always be free for ambassadors or is there a deadline? anyone know?

TJ SpykeJuly 28, 2011

The press release doesn't say, but it does mention that more details about he Ambassador program will be coming soon.

NinSageJuly 28, 2011

Now, as I'm thinking about it, this "Ambassador Program" could be an absolute sea change in the gaming industry.

Imagine what it would do for the peace of mind of early adopters if this was a policy Nintendo planned to keep going forward?

Buy our product early? Get a digital bonus when the price drops.

Obviously it wouldn't make sense to announce the contents of any future Ambassador Program (Wii U, 4DS, Wii U Tu, 5DSiXL) before said price drop (as in this current case), but, if consumers knew such a program would go into effect I know I would personally be a lot more comfortable abandoning my typical "wait and see" approach.


FlipsterJuly 29, 2011

"At the end of it all, you paid $80 more for 20 free games. Is it worth it?"

Actually, at the end of it all you paid $250 for a Nintendo 3DS because you thought it a fair price and because you wanted to get it at release but now, since the producers of the product find that it isn't selling and need to drop its price to make amends, they are offering you free stuff. Still, regardless of what deal you had originally accepted, it does seem a little unfair that Nintendo soon after offers a much more modest price to everyone.

I'm just happy I sold my 3DS while it was still valuable so I could get a Vita for around the same price (not that the 3DS isn't awesome or I am making a point as a Vita fanboy or anything, that's just what ended up happening when I saw what the Vita had to offer and my specific 3DS had a terrible d-pad. Now that the 3DS's price has dropped I could see myself picking one up again around the holidays if I have a sudden interest to play some great looking Nintendo exclusives). I just hope consumers will start flocking to the 3DS so that it and what's shaping up to be a great library will thrive, although I think what the biggest problem is now is branding; like the Wii U I think casual gamers will get the 3DS confused for "just another Nintendo Wii/DS."

Mop it upJuly 29, 2011

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea of paying for free games.

leahsdadJuly 29, 2011

Quote:

. The ten yet to be revealed are likely to be mostly games I own as well, since I'm a Nintendo fan and therefore I own most of their games. I'd much rather have gotten some eShop credit, and not $80 but rather even $40 would have been much better for me than what they are offering.

I would almost guarantee that all the other games will be Nintendo 1st party.  They own it, so they don't have to pay anyone for the right to give it away.

This is also why Nintendo would never give you e-shop credit, even if it's less money, because that would still be actual money.  If I got let's say a $50 eshop credit, Nintendo would be fine if I chose from their library.  Nothing lost there.  But what if I picked out..let's say, Shantae.  Then Nintendo would either tell Way Forward "Sorry, you're not actually getting your cut of that sale, that was an ambassador," or Nintendo would pay WayForward for their cut of the purchase out of their own pocket.  Which would cost Nintendo more money than just giving me a digital copy of one of their games.

And hey, Nintendo is handling this a whole lot better than Apple with the Iphone price cut.  Remember that?  $599 down to $399?  And all we got was $100 Apple store credit, not itunes,  And that was only after people started screaming their heads off after the price cut was already announced, Steve Jobs was very reluctant to offer us anything, and even after that, you had to do all sorts of crap like enter in your serial number and phone number, get a text message, use a random code in that text message on a website, enter your personal info, then print out some coupon. 

With Nintendo, all I have to do is go to the eshop once.  Easy peezy.


PlugabugzJuly 29, 2011

Can i play devil's advocate and point out none of these games are free: you've already effectively paid money for them, and will simply pay no more at the point of receiving them.

Quote from: Plugabugz

Can i play devil's advocate and point out none of these games are free: you've already effectively paid money for them, and will simply pay no more at the point of receiving them.

We paid $250 (or whatever it may have been in other regions) for the system, and that's what we got. Everyone who paid $250 for the system did so without expecting any of this, and were willing to pay that much just for the system.

We are now getting 20 free games because we bought the system early, to make up for the fact that people are going to get the system for much less than we paid, a lot quicker than we probably expected when we bought the system. The games are free because they were not included in our original purchase price.

gbuellGrant Buell, Staff WriterJuly 29, 2011

Yep. The games are free. Nintendo does not owe them to anyone.

NinSageJuly 29, 2011

Quote from: Plugabugz

Can i play devil's advocate and point out none of these games are free: you've already effectively paid money for them, and will simply pay no more at the point of receiving them.

You may play devil's advocate ... but in this instance, the devil lost. =P

BlackNMild2k1July 29, 2011

Can I play the voice of reason here and play the middle ground.

Yes, the games are free and Nintendo doesn't owe them to anyone, but Nintendo is only giving these games to people that they feel over-payed for the 3DS. That effectively means that they are attempting to make up the difference in cost of a really early and very significant price drop for early adopters by paying them back in "free" games.

It's as if you already paid for them even if you never expected them.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJuly 29, 2011

Quote from: leahsdad

With Nintendo, all I have to do is go to the eshop once.  Easy peezy.

Hopefully... ::remembers the Zelda OoT Soundtrack mixup:: :D

gbuellGrant Buell, Staff WriterJuly 29, 2011

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

Can I play the voice of reason here and play the middle ground.

Yes, the games are free and Nintendo doesn't owe them to anyone, but Nintendo is only giving these games to people that they feel over-payed for the 3DS. That effectively means that they are attempting to make up the difference in cost of a really early and very significant price drop for early adopters by paying them back in "free" games.

It's as if you already paid for them even if you never expected them.

That's all well and good, and it's a very nice bit of customer service on Nintendo's part, but my issue is with people who seem to think that Nintendo is OBLIGATED to do this.

Ian SaneJuly 29, 2011

If Nintendo had this big list of games due to come out between the launch and September and then moved all of them back after you had already bought the 3DS, then I could see the idea that Nintendo owed you something.  But everyone who bought a 3DS knew what games were available at launch and what games would be available for the first six months or so and were willing to pay $250 for it.  That is what you paid for and that is what you got and if you don't feel that it was worth it, maybe you should have done some research before buying the thing because the information was well available.  You know why I don't own one?  Because I didn't feel it wasn't worth $250 based on the games available.  If you felt the same way you shouldn't have bought one.

The fact that Nintendo is offering anything at all is very considerate because usually you get jack shit for buying early and getting burned by a price drop.  But always remember that you chose to buy a 3DS and you chose to buy it at $250.  No one forced you to buy it, it is not a necessary purchase in any way and you knew exactly what you were getting for that price.

A better example of not truly getting something for free was the inclusion of Wii Sports with the Wii.  The Wii cost less money without Wii Sports in Japan.  Therefore you could argue that because of the higher price point we were being forced to buy a Wii/Wii Sports bundle.

Mop it upJuly 29, 2011

I bought mine based on the upcoming games, which wasn't a good idea obviously. That's why I feel a little slighted, since I haven't been using it to play anything I couldn't have with a DS. I didn't anticipate a price drop but I also didn't realize just how poor sales really were; I knew they were slow but I thought it had at least reached one million. Though it was kind of an impulse purchase and that means it was dangerous anyway since I didn't think about it for very long. I had planned to buy a DS Lite but then I started thinking about it and it seemed a little strange if I was just going to buy a 3DS in six months, so I justified the high 3DS price by considering it two systems in one. Now, I could have gotten a DS Lite and a 3DS for only $20 more than just a 3DS, so it didn't work out for me.

Oh well, I learned my lesson.

CericJuly 29, 2011

Quote from: Mop

I bought mine based on the upcoming games, which wasn't a good idea obviously. That's why I feel a little slighted, since I haven't been using it to play anything I couldn't have with a DS. I didn't anticipate a price drop but I also didn't realize just how poor sales really were; I knew they were slow but I thought it had at least reached one million. Though it was kind of an impulse purchase and that means it was dangerous anyway since I didn't think about it for very long. I had planned to buy a DS Lite but then I started thinking about it and it seemed a little strange if I was just going to buy a 3DS in six months, so I justified the high 3DS price by considering it two systems in one. Now, I could have gotten a DS Lite and a 3DS for only $20 more than just a 3DS, so it didn't work out for me.

Oh well, I learned my lesson.

If you bought both new you Saved $8.00 with your purchase compared to a DSLite + 3DS combo.  Unless they drop the price of the DSLite as well.  Plus you have had earlier access to DSiWare and the eShop.  Not to mention the little nice features the 3DS has.

I wouldn't feel to bad about it.  By your logic I made an even worse decision.  I had been away from the Nintendo scene and had literally not known the 3DS existed until I stopped in a Gamestop, saw that they were Pre-Ordering it, and did a Pre-Order on the spot knowing nothing about it.  I figured it would allow me to do DSiWare and be like my original DS Phat day one purchase.  I haven't regretted it once the eShop was in place and I regret about everything in my life. 

Chin up.  You could have done a lot worse.

DremmyJuly 29, 2011

I am ecstatic about this. 2011 is the year of the free game. Thanks Sony and Nintendo!


Can anyone tell me the difference between the versions of Yoshi's Island everyone seems to be talking about? What did the original have that the GBA version did not have?

More screen area, uncrapified soundtrack, lack of annoying Yoshi voice, easier controls, slightly better graphical effects (mostly just standard GBA downgrades except for the voice addition). The GBA version did add new levels and Mario Bros.

Mop it upJuly 29, 2011

Quote from: Ceric

If you bought both new you Saved $8.00 with your purchase compared to a DSLite + 3DS combo.

DS Lite is $100, 3DS is $250, so there's a $20 difference between 3DS = DS Lite ($270) and the old 3DS price ($250). Though I did get it through Amazon and got a $25 credit, so I guess I could look at it costing $225.

AdrockJuly 29, 2011

I bought DSi at launch and have barely used it. I've pretty much only played 3 games on it:  Phantasy Star Zero, Shantae: Risky's Revenge and Contra 4. I probably didn't get my money's worth in the 2+ years I've owned it but I don't regret the purchase at all. The XL being announced a few months later was kind of a punch in the gut, but I still don't regret purchasing the DSi.

Did you have fun? That's all that matters. Even if you played mostly DS games, did you have fun? I had fun with my DSi and I only started putting significant amount of time into Contra 4 about a week or so ago. I unlocked Sheena from Contra: Hard Corps which took roughly 587 hours, 291 of which was spent weeping.

I've made a lot of ill-advised videogame decisions that costs me hundreds. In 2007, I tried to collect old consoles. In 2011, I sold a great deal of that crap. What the fuck was I thinking when I bought a Sega Saturn? Way to lose.

alegoicoeJuly 29, 2011

I think is a decent thank you for paying the 250 price.

Mop it upAugust 01, 2011

Quote from: Adrock

Did you have fun? That's all that matters. Even if you played mostly DS games, did you have fun? I had fun with my DSi and I only started putting significant amount of time into Contra 4 about a week or so ago. I unlocked Sheena from Contra: Hard Corps which took roughly 587 hours, 291 of which was spent weeping.

I s'pose that's how I should be looking at it instead of in terms of dollars and cents. After all, everything goes down in price eventually so it's all about if the entertainment was worth the price paid rather than getting the lowest possible price. So far, I've replayed an old favourite in a new form (Super Mario 64 DS), got to try out a previously Japan-only title (Dragon Quest V), finally got to play a sequel to my favourite GBA game (Mario and Luigi Partners in Time), and played way too much Pokémon (Pokémon Platinum). I have a few other games I haven't started yet, so there's more where that came from. It isn't like it's something I haven't used so I guess I shouldn't be thinking about what I could have saved if I waited. And who knows, it was mentioned that they could be enhancing the free games they are offering, so maybe they'll add something to make them worth playing again.

CericAugust 02, 2011

Quote from: Adrock

...
What the **** was I thinking when I bought a Sega Saturn? Way to lose.

When I bought mine Panzer Dragoon and Nights into Dreams.  Ironically I totally forgot about those and never picked those games up.

qwerty1098August 10, 2011

because there is still tax on new price which brings it to 182 got my 20 free games for 15 dollars more ($197)

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