Nintendo’s 3DS is the world’s first handheld console to offer glasses-free 3D, and before its launch it looked set to follow in the footsteps of its Wii, which has been a huge success for the company. However, the 3DS has suffered some pretty disappointing sales figures since it hit shops earlier this year, with Nintendo shifting just 710,000 units in the last quarter.

Nintendo 3DSIn order to spark more interest in the 3DS and help things along a little, Nintendo has just announced a whopping price cut, which will see its price tag in the U.S. drop from $249 to just $169 — saving new customers a cool $80. For those in Japan, the device will drop by 10,000 Yen to just 15,000 Yen; and in Australia from AU$350 to AU$250. Nintendo declined to offer figures for Europe, however, it did confirm the price cut would be “around a third.” These reductions will be introduced on August 12.

If you’ve already purchased a 3DS (like me) and you’re now sitting there wondering what you could have done with that $80 (like me!), don’t be too downhearted — there is some consolation. To ease your pain, Nintendo will be offering early 3DS adopters 20 free games from its Virtual Console range: 10 will be classic NES titles; the other 10 from the Game Boy Advance, which won’t be available to the general public.  From the press release:

1. Starting Sept. 1, Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NES™ Virtual Console™ games at no charge and before they are available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public. These games, including Super Mario Bros.™, Donkey Kong Jr.™, Balloon Fight™, Ice Climber™ and The Legend of Zelda™, are slated to become paid downloadable games, but Ambassadors get them early for free. Once the paid versions of the games are posted to the Nintendo eShop later in the year, the updated versions will be available to Ambassadors for download at no cost. 2. By the end of 2011, Nintendo will provide Ambassadors with 10 Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games. These include games like Yoshi’s Island™: Super Mario™ Advance 3, Mario Kart™: Super Circuit, Metroid™ Fusion, WarioWare™, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong™. These games will be available exclusively to Ambassadors, and Nintendo currently has no plans to make these 10 games available to the general public on the Nintendo 3DS in the future.

But the good news doesn’t stop there! In addition to price cuts, Nintendo has confirmed that its upcoming Super Mario 3DS game — which is officially named Super Mario 3D Land — will arrive in November, with Mario Kart 7 trailing just behind with a December launch.

I’m a little disappointed that I could have saved myself $80 on the 3DS if I hadn’t have adopted so early, however, I’m psyched that I have 20 classic titles coming my way for free. I’m also super excited for Super Mario 3D Land, with Mario being one of my biggest reasons for purchasing the 3DS.

How do you feel about Nintendo’s news? Will the price cut persuade you to purchase a 3DS if you haven’t already?

[via VG24/7]