New look for lower-priced Nintendo 3DS

Flame Red Nintendo 3DSNintendo is releasing a “Flame Red” version of the portable 3DS system when it launches Star Fox 64 3D on Sept. 9. The new model comes after a previously announced price drop to $169.99 that becomes effective Friday — an price cut that sent Nintendo stock plunging last month when it was announced as part of the company’s efforts to salvage poor sales of the portable game system.

Announcing the Flame Red, Nintendo trotted out statements from Target and GameStop executives practically salivating over the “not newt color” and “lower price point.”

Meanwhile, Nintendo is rewarding 3DS early adopters with 20 free downloadable games. All they have to do is use a wireless broadband connection to log into the Nintendo eShop at least once before the end of the day Aug. 11 and join the “Nintendo 3DS Ambassador” program. Starting Sept. 1, they’ll be able to download 10 NES Virtual Console games at no charge (including Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Ice Climber and The Legend of Zelda). Then, later in the year, they’ll be able to download 10 free Game Boy Advance Virtual Console titles (including Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame and Mario vs. Donkey Kong).

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