For consumers who were early purchasers of Nintendo 3DS, the gaming company’s 3-D handheld device, Christmas came early this year.
When Nintendo first announced a big 3DS price drop this past summer due to sluggish sales, it promised early buyers of the device — Nintendo 3DS “Ambassadors” — that they would be able to download 10 NES Virtual Console games at no charge before they became available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public.
Starting today, even more free games are available to 3DS buyers. This time, they’re Game Boy Advance titles — remember Game Boy? — including The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, Wario Land 4, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Mario Kart: Super Circuit and a handful of others, numbering 10 in total.
The games are are available to customers in the U.S., Europe and Japan, a day ahead of the highly anticipated Sony Vita handheld launch in Japan.
The Game Boy Advance is a handheld gaming console introduced by Nintendo in 2001, more than a decade after the original Game Boy was launched and a few years ahead of the popular Nintendo DS’s debut. The device had a 32-bit processor and was described at the time as Nintendo’s fastest-selling game system ever. The last new title for the Game Boy Advance was brought to market in 2008.
For the 3DS, Nintendo can’t give away games fast enough. The freebie games are part of an overall push to sell more of the handheld units, which had struggled to gain traction since its launch in March of this year. Nintendo said the 3DS got a much-needed boost, driving hardware sales up 49 percent, when Nintendo’s Super Mario 3D Land game hit the market in late November as part of a bundle.
Also, to give credit where it’s due, 3DS is kind of a big deal in Australia, according to the Sydney Morning Herald!