News Article

NES and Game Boy Advance Games Coming to 3DS Virtual Console

Posted by James Newton

But there's a catch

It's official: Nintendo's 3DS Virtual Console service is getting Game Boy Advance games.

However, they will not be available to anyone who buys a console after the 3DS price drop on 12th August. Here's the deal.

Any North American 3DS owner who picked up the console before 11th August and accessed the eShop will be classed as an "eShop Ambassador" and is eligible to 20 free downloadable games. From 1st September, these Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NES games for free, including Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Ice Climber and The Legend of Zelda. These NES games will be available to purchase separately to anyone who's not an Ambassador later in the year.

The Game Boy Advance games make up the second half of the promotion. Again, same rules of entry apply — connect your 3DS to the eShop before 11th August — and again there will be 10 titles to download, including Yoshi's Island, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, Mario vs. Donkey Kong and WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$. However, these games will be exclusive to Ambassadors, with Nintendo saying it has no plans to make these available to the general public.

This deal is also open to Europe, Australia and Japan.

If you want to know more, we've put together a special Nintendo Ambassador, eShop and Virtual Console FAQ to guide you through.

So there you have it. Buy a 3DS, register it before 11th August, get 20 free games including Game Boy Advance games. Is this a fair deal to make up for the impending price drop? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Since Nintendo 3DS launched in the United States on March 27, more than 830,000 people in the U.S. alone have purchased one to enjoy 3D visuals without the need for special glasses. These Nintendo 3DS owners represent some of Nintendo’s most loyal customers, and Nintendo is rewarding them for getting in on the action early with 20 free downloadable games from the Nintendo eShop.

These free games are available to anyone who owns a Nintendo 3DS system and uses a wireless broadband Internet signal to connect to the Nintendo eShop at least once before 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 11. These users will automatically be registered in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program. The program contains two elements:

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.

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.

More details about this program will be announced in the future.

From the web

User Comments (210)



Corbs said:

Okay I feel a little better, but it still worries me that Nintendo is dropping the price by $80 less than 6 months after the system launched. Makes them seem a bit desperate.



zapdinos said:

finally this sounds great at least we get something for buying it at launch this is pretty freaking cool.



Oregano said:

I'm more than happy with this. I got to have the 3DS early, build up a library(and play some awesome games) and now I'll be getting 10 free NES and 10 GBA games... I'm cool with that. Plus there will be a ton more people to streetpass and play multiplayer with!



NapalmHornet said:

F**ck that. Oh well people sell ambasador codes on ebay so ill jus buy em. However this is in NA, hopefully europe would adopt a less dump method.



Tasuki said:

So either you buy the 3DS for the 250 price and get 20 free games or pay the price drop and get no games. I was happy to hear about the price drop but now I am not to sure.



MadScientistMan said:

I only have 27 free spaces on my home menu, does that mean after i download all 20 games, I will only be able to 7 more software titles?



dimi said:

Corbs you worry too much....You think Miyamoto's children will not have money for ramen now? They can afford to sell even at a loss for years.



Corbs said:

I don't see a mention of codes, it says that it logs your 3DS system if you log into the eShop before August 11th.



Syr said:

Nice save, Nintendo. Some of those advance games might be worth the extra investment. Tough decisions..
Will 3DS VC games be on a similar pricing scheme to the Wii?



Luffymcduck said:

I already have most of those games (except Metroid Fusion which is my favourite from that series). Is this gonna happen in Europe too cuz if not f¤¤k u Nintendo.



edhe said:

This is a new development.

I will perhaps pick up a 3DS before the price drop (Amazon has it at £169) - I can't pass up the opportunity for free Yoshi's Story.



Oregano said:

@9 The 3DS menu expands when you fill it up. As long as you have space on your SD card you're good to go.



Tasuki said:

So let me get this straight these games will only ever be available to those who buy or bought the 3DS before the price drop? Or will they be available later on down the road for all 3DS owners?



Retro_Gamer said:

I wasn't even angry about the price drop, we all saw it coming, it makes sense. Now I'm looking forward to playing some Yoshi's Island!



James said:

@Tasuki NES games will be available to late adopters. GBA games are only for early adopters, for now at least.



skywake said:

Oh, if Australia gets this I'm hyped. I wouldn't mind getting Mario Kart, SMB, Yoshi's Island and Zelda at all.



Busta_Senpai said:

That is total BS. Just because I don't have $450 to buy a console I can't get Yoshi's Island EVER!? You mean the one I've been waiting for for YEARS to come out on Virtual Console!? I'm pissed.



Tasuki said:

@James: AH ok guess I will still be hanging on to my GBA a bit longer than.

@Bimmy_and_Jimmy: You can get Yoshi's Island just get a SNES or a GBA/Original DS and a copy of said game and there you go.



Wiidsguy said:

Talk,about some cool news, price drop for the ones who are not sure about getting one, and for us who got one day like me, a sweet bouns, free f#$&ing games. And gba and nes ones at that.



Shugo said:

As an early adopter of the 3DS, this package makes me very happy. All of those GBA games are very, very good games (even if I already own all of them...). Very unusual choices given Nintendo's past of notoriously avoiding a lot of their A+ titles for remake/port/digital distribution.

Watch one of the other five games be an English Mother 3. The community would go ballistic.



SuperSpank said:

If this doesn't come to EU....I WILL BUY AN R4! MUHAHA! So get this to EU.
Edit: I will not buy an R4.



Zach said:

@Bimmy_and_Jimmy You'll get it eventually, we'll just get it first. I think it's fair considering once all the games are released to the general public, you'll pay $160 for the console and choose which games you want while everyone else paid an extra $90 and will get games Nintendo chooses for free.



Kholdstare said:

"These Nintendo 3DS owners represent some of Nintendo’s most loyal customers, and Nintendo is rewarding them ..."
Anyone else get super when reading this?



ivn_r said:

Nintendo loves it's fans. All these titles have me hyped already Now I want school to start so time can go by faster and I can get these games already xD

The best part is that they don't mention all the titles, so I'm expecting even more Nintendo hits. I have been desperately waiting for Silver/Gold/Crystal to come out on VC, I never expected any GBA pokemon game coming to VC before the GBC ones, I'm assuming they might include a pokemon game , but who knows, it'll be awesome if they did. And whoever has to make the choice of which version would have a lot of pressure xD. <-- This is all me making assumptions of things, ppl, no pokemon game gba vc has been confirmed or anything

Also, it would be interesting if they include some sort of wireless multiplayer between 3DS for the gba vc, I'm aware yoshi's island has some multiplayer thing to it. It'd be nice if that was done. If four swords is coming to dsiware and will include wireless multiplayer, I can see multiplayer for the 3DS GBA VC a possibility as well




tripunktoj said:

I think this makes up for the price drop for us early buyers. They may be old games and some have more ports that I can count but all of them are free, and some exclusive downloads. I just hope Mexico is included in this ambassador program, after all we deserve it more than USA and Canada (we paid the equivalent to 600 USD at launch day in legit retailers), Do you know if Latin America are included @James? (We missed Club nintendo, movie trailers, Netflix)



LordJumpMad said:

Ok, I love you again Nintendo, lets not break up again ◕‿‿◕
now how about that new F-Zero game baby



ETLN said:

The console is too expensive anyway I think. In New Zealand they are $500 which is the same as a 32GB iPod Touch. The iPod does a lot more than the 3DS can, plus the games that are on both devices are a lot cheaper. But nobody makes games like Nintendo.



tripunktoj said:

@James: Thank you! Ill be checking this article regularly, I could just swap regions, but it says it logs your 3ds before Aug 11 and GBA will be out by the end of year, and that much time with different region could mess my 3DS in some way, SpotPass comes to my mind.



taffy said:

I keep seeing people say that it is bad that they've reduced the price so soon after launch and that it's going to be another Virtual Boy but it didn't take long for Sony to drop the price of the PS3 and look at it now!



grumblegrumble said:

awesome! I KNEW there was a reason why I bought my 3ds system a month ago these are the the downloads I've been waiting for! my old favorites!



WolfRamHeart said:

I guess this is a pretty nice gesture on Nintendo's part for the early adopters but personally I am more happy with saving $80.



JayceJa said:

Itd be nice if it is for the Australian 3DS too, but i really dont need it, since i have a US 3DS, seeing as importing games with shipping is still significantly cheaper than buying them here

so you dont need to do anything special right? having used the e-shop to download pokedex 3d means that im already connected to it and will get the free games



GamerZack87 said:

Constant screwing-up of my 3DS (as well as a busted hand) forced me to get rid of it, and now this?! Why has my year been so awful so far?!



MF_MaxiMillion said:

Nevermind, got the other tab open and read about Europe. So a pricedrop of a third in both these regions? I don' know, like Corbie said it makes them look pretty desperate. And to make it up with arcade games for free on a later date..hmm, I don't know.

But surely, I would download all those NES at the 1st September. So, this price drop is forever right? Is that a planned counter attack towards the release of PS Vita, or is that just a stupid move to let it cost as much as my DSi was back some years ago.



C-195 said:

This is awesome, exept for the fact that the GBA games won't be on the E Shop for good.



Sneaker13 said:

Thet makes me feel better about the price drop. Can't wait for the full list of titles we can get for free because I have most of the titles in the news post.



blackknight77 said:

So your telling me because I bought my 3DS in March I will be able to play my beloved Mario vs. Donkey Kong again. This is a game I regret trading in years ago and I've always wanted it back. It looks like I'm going to need a bigger SD card.



Tsuchinoko said:

This is unfair. What about those of us who don't have the money for a 3DS yet? We miss out on this stuff completely.



Bankai said:

Glad to see Nintendo admit when it's wrong, and apologize to the fans it tried to gouge in the first place.

Now the 3DS is appropriately priced.



Slapshot said:

Free Yoshi's Island, Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Metroid Fusion + 18 More? Heck yeah Nintendo! I never Ever thought I'd see Nintendo do something like this, and I'm glad to see that they realize that their arrogance was about to really hurt them.

Great stuff Nintendo and way to go for taking care of your fans that bought the system day one. Great job!



SullKid said:

What Slapshot just said. My thoughts exactly.

I don't know about being THAT desperate, I like to think that they are on the game; they realized that this just isn't working and made a move. A good move for both early adopters and late.
I too am very pleased, I mean Metroid Fusion, for f.. fusions sake!



TanookiSteven said:

Nintendo did a good move with the price drop, and a good job on taking care of me us I'm glad we get 20 free games, I just really hope one of them is Pokemon, like I REALLY HOPE! Come on Nintendo, you know you wannttt tooo xD



Chris720 said:

OH YEAH!! I read this on Nintendo's website and that is some total awesomeness!! 20 free games?! NINTENDO FTW!

I feel so special now for buying winning my 3DS early!



Fuzzy said:

Great news. Hopefully Minish Cap is in that package. Been wanting to play that game for a while.



jackaroo said:

This is awesome news. Also I find this interesting :
"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."
Thats from the NES Paragraph. What do they mean by Updated versions? Does that mean sequels (If im not mistaken Ice Climber and Balloon fight dont have sequels though) or does it mean 3D Classics versions of those games? Or something else?



Rensch said:

Here's hoping that eventually the GBA games will be VC titles open to the rest of us as well, which I expect to happen sometime in the coming year eventually.



V8_Ninja said:

Great, now I have to decide between a $250 price point with 20 free games and a $170 price point but with no free games. Let me break it down;

250 minus 170 equals 80
80 divided by 20 is 5 dollars per downloadable game
however, I already own 7 of the mentioned games, so that leaves 3
assuming that I don't own the other 10 games, that makes 13
80 divided by 13 equals 6.15 per game, so...

I think I'll wait to see what the other downloadable games are. Right now I'm leaning more towards the $170 price point. Either way, I'm happy and now I know I'm going to buy a 3DS.



CowLaunch said:

Even if I could afford to order one today, it'd probably wouldn't get to me in time to register before the deadline. It's not the worst idea, and early buyers are effectively buying a game for $5 each, but the deadline is very short, I don't think it's going to entice that many more buyers. I mean, if your pay day is after the 11th, that's it. I think if Nintendo gave people more notice, it could really have paid off for them. We'll wait and see, but it looks like a rushed idea to me.



Yasume said:

That's pretty sweet, I have to admit. Aside from Super Circuit, I have never played any of the games mentioned.



GumbyX84 said:

I was about to flip out when I saw the price drop (read that first), but knowing that I have 10 FREE NES and GBA games coming my way; Ya not so angry anymore. I don't think it will equal the $80 drop drop, but there is always a chance Im wrong. Here's hoping they give us Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland.



realar said:

Question- imagine if Takamaru's game is in those last 5 NES titles, we'd get a game we've never had in AMERICA for FREE! That is BARNONE, no this IS the best deal Nintendo has ever given, this is like the scene in Ducktales: the Movie when Scrooge went bananas thinking of wish ideas, I felt a genie was involved. There's no other explanation for this kind of awesome opportunity. I REALLY wanna know those last 10 GBA and NES titles.



GumbyX84 said:

@CowLaunch I think this is more of a "reward" for early adapters. Apple usually did the same thing with OSX Lion: If you bought an Apple machine a month or so before the announcement till launch, you got the update for free. I do agree that it won't spark up an increase in sales for the 3DS, but as I said I don't think that is what Nintendo is aiming for. Imagine how pissed off the early adapters would be. Hell (running with the Apple theme as they are the only company who did something like this), Apple had to pay early adapters back after they dropped the price of the iPhone to keep them from rioting.



laughingman0 said:

I think that the updates will just be bug fixes/making them work better for 3DS similar to Wii VC updates. I don't think it means new content or anything like that.

I'm hoping for The Minch Cap.



realar said:

@GumbyX84 Yes, I am in fact the OLDEST living grandson of the voice of Gumby.
Make that direct descendant, 2nd gen.



Burning_Spear said:

"... no plans to make these available to the general public." Just like there were no plans to reissue Super Mario All-Stars.



Wolfenstein83 said:

Wait, this is such a lame deal cause I didn't plan on getting a 3DS until the price dropped.
Since when does Nintendo pander to certain customers?
I am not mad at anyone who gets to take part of this great deal, but you would think they would make this available to everyone.
I mean, wouldn't that be a great selling point?
Ah well, have fun you guys, lucky jerks, I mean...nice, good peoples.



CowLaunch said:


I can see it as being a reward for early adapters, and it addresses the price difference, but others not even being able to buy the GBA downloads is just going to annoy fans like myself.



Burning_Spear said:

@92: They had to do this to try to stop the screaming from people like me, who have owned this thing for four months and have largely used it for DS games while waiting for Nintendo to catch up. And I'm not happy about paying an extra $80 so I can download games I already own.



lord_hades said:

im just asking im on my 3DS internet right now and ive been on the eshop alot and brought 21 downloadable software does that make me an eshop ambassador



n0body said:

you can do what I am considering to do, which is pay a friend or someone I trust in the US to buy one for me before the 12th, unpack the 3DS, connect to the eshop and download something free, and then pack it back up and send it my way...



Blaze said:

Nice to know Nintendo does care about it's loyal customers!

@jtr235 Your an ambassador if you bought the 3DS before August the 12th so yes you are an ambassador.



Link79 said:

Awesome! Guess I'm covered then. I've had my 3DS since launch.
Giving away 20 Nes games for free is hard to believe though.
I had a feeling GBA games would be coming but never expected Nes.



Tsuchinoko said:

@JayceJa I'm sorry, but "Don't Complain"? Obviously I see a problem here that concerns me. Yes, I do get a cheaper 3DS, but did you read the part where it said that unless I buy one before the price drop, its possible I will be blocked from being able to own the GBA games on that list? It sounds like an incentive to actually buy a 3DS (even a used one) BEFORE the price drop goes into effect. Not to mention that you get all those games for free. I think I'm allowed to complain a little bit, so let me voice my opinion.
The hassle of buying a GBA and all those games used is a bit much, for games I would gladly pay for on the VC service once I get my 3DS.



XCWarrior said:

Good for the people who were conned into buying the 3DS at the launch. But I don't want old games for comensation, I want an announcement of new games that are coming soon.

This is not good enough Nintendo. In fact, this is just odd. How about some Wii titles for the lack of love there this year?



Yasume said:

@Zephren: No, as from September 1st until the end of the year I assume. I don't think they will add all the games at once on the eShop.



J-Forest-Esq said:

While I'm very pleased with my ten GBA games, it does seem a bit of an odd decision to never release them to the "general" public. The price drop should make a huge difference, and if it doesn't, the 3DS is buggered.

I still prefer the original cartridges to anything on the VC, and I have most of the GBA games I would ever want, so hopefully we'll see some fairly obscure gems pop up.



n0body said:

Best Buy and other retailers are already offering it for $199 so you can buy one this week and pay $1.50 for each game... not a bad deal IMO.
If you are really money grubbingly cheap, you can also try to buy it with price protection (which Best Buy offer among others) for a 30$ refund when the time comes...



Link79 said:

Surely you'd think that GBA games will eventually be available to everyone right? I don't have to worry about it but It wouldn't seem fair if those GBA games never were on there for anybody with a 3DS.



GumbyX84 said:

I really don't understand why everyone is . We could get nothing. For those of you who already own the games: Is it really so bad that you have them on ONE portable console for easy access? I really don't understand why people can't be grateful to get something. These would be the first people to flip out if Nintendo didn't do anything for early adapters.



Tsuchinoko said:

@n0body Its not about being "cheap", its about being dirt poor...I was saving for a 3DS, and pretty much all those GBA games are ones I'd love to have. I think its fair that early buyers get them for free, but I just feel sad that I miss out on something that, as I said "I'd gladly pay for", once I did have enough money.



NintyMan said:

All of a sudden I am very glad that I got my 3DS since launch. This ought to squash a lot of peoples' mumblings about getting a 3DS prematurely. This is perhaps the best thing Nintendo's done for a long time!

I'm so happy that Mario Vs. Donkey Kong and Warioware are included, they're a couple of my favorite GBA games. And getting to play NES games like Mario and Zelda on a my 3DS ought to be a great experience. I just hope that my menu can hold all of them!



lord_hades said:

there should be a vote on all the nintendo websites they should put up the top 100 nes and GBA games the 10 that get the most votes become the other ten that are avalible



WaveGhoul said:

Awesome news! But I'd rather play Yoshi's Island on the big screen on the Wii's Virtual Console. Ah well. Also, won't GBA titles look worse on the 3DS's screen?...If so, i'd honestly rather just fork out the cash and get the real games and play them on my DS Lite.



Pj1 said:

Does anyone know how much the price drop will be? in the UK I mean....

And maybe when I download my free games???



Tsuchinoko said:

well...if it became so that those and other GBA games became available to the general public in like, a year or something, I'd be fine waiting...



photofool83 said:

I agree with some of the other comments on here. If Nintendo doesn't allow people to purchase these GBA games after this initial promotion I will not buy a 3DS. I just don't have the money right now to get one and typically I wait about a year anyways to let the bugs be worked out. The main thing that was drawing me to buy one was the Virtual Console. Now, Nintendo is saying I will be restricted from some of my all-time favorite games. I've always loved and supported you Nintendo but that's just crap. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a wonderful and generous promotion otherwise, except for that one detail. Honestly, I doubt there is a single launch-buyer that would complain that the games become available for sale after they get their copies for free. This is ridiculous. Very bad marketing.



Eldin said:

I am so glad I have not bought a 3DS yet.

Because this makes me wonder what the **** Nintendo are doing. They make it so that the consumers can play these excellent first and second party games. But only for those who bought a 3DS before the price drop.

Can't you all see what they are doing?! It is blasphemy! It is madness! Nintendo crossed the line a little too far here.



Ren said:

I just wish I we could also get a free top screen replacement. It's starting to look like the lines on there might be permanant. i never even noticed until that news story mentioned it. Now if I send it in under warranty It'll probably come back after the ambassador thing is passed already.



Wheels2050 said:

I can't imagine that Nintendo won't release the GBA games at some point in the future. They would have to have gone through the process of writing an emulator, making sure the games work with no problems etc.

Sure, they'll probably hang on to them for a little while to make this deal worth buying early, but if they don't want to throw away money (as the GBA emulator and games will be ready to go) they'll let people buy these games in the future.



TKOWL said:

I'm planning on getting the 3DS in its price-drop, but these NES and GBA games don't look like much pap anyways, because I already own most of them.



GeminiSaint said:

Neat! Well, I'm glad I bought the console last month. If Metroid Zero Mission, Zelda Minish Cap and Drill Dozer are among those 10 select GBA games, that would be beyond awesome.



yoyogamer said:

I'm assuming the games will be in 2D? That's fine, as long as I get to play a 3D-ified version of Super Mario Bros eventually.



Scarhino89 said:

@Angaran Yes, Metroid Fusion, Metroid : Zero Mission and Zelda : Minish Cap are my favourite games.

I'm waiting Pokémon : Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald and Pokémon : Fire Red and Leaf Green.



AUnkownFuture said:

I like this idea from Nintendo and i have no complaints about it. I wish they release F-Zero Maximum Velocity and F-Zero GP Legend for early release because im a fan of the F-Zero series. I will download Mario Kart Super Circuit from the list of 10 GBA games even though i never played it before. Im begging Nintendo to release the F-Zero GP Legend and Maximum Velocity to the list of the 10 GBA games.



Hyperstar96 said:

Game... Boy... Advance... NES... 20... free... Ambassador...

deep inhale




SmaMan said:

I heard the news of this huge price cut on NPR, and I thought, "Great! Now's my chance!" Then I came here to learn more about it and found this... an ultimatum.

Eh, I own most of those GBA and NES games that are supposedly exclusive. (I personally think Nintendo will release them again eventually... they're classics for crying out loud.) And anyway, I have most of these games or good means to get them. (eBay anyone?)



Incognito_D said:

Fair enough if early adopters of the system get the games slightly earlier, but I think it would be unfair to deny certain games to people forever.
I don't feel like getting a 3DS right now, but what if I feel like it in a year's time? I'll have already missed out on these games forever! poor



Moco_Loco said:

I have a feeling that those GBA games will eventually find their way to the 3DS VC. All they said was that they currently have no plans to release them. I'm sure those plans will change.

I also have a feeling that all the games that weren't specified in the announcement will be second-tier, but I'm OK with that. I am always grateful for free games, and I honestly wasn't expecting NES games to show up at all if they weren't 3D Classics.



retro_player_22 said:

Still got my DS lite so I'm not really into this but for those wanting the free games feel free to get em. The price drop is good but Nintendo announcing this makes me less excited for it. I think Nintendo had a second 3DS model plan sometime in 2012 and might be release in 2013.



AlbertoC said:

Well. Those who pay full price will get GBA games. Everyone else does not. Everybody aboard the Nintendo Exclusion Program.
I now officially was a Nintendo fan (without another flag).



alLabouTandroiD said:

It certainly feels good now and it’s better than getting nothing at all. I got very lucky with my pre order deal for the 3DS and this just adds enough value for me to finally be satisfied with the price I paid. Even though I’ve already got a majority of these GBA games. And many of the NES games don’t really appeal to me.
It wouldn’t feel so good anymore if they decided to do 3D Classic versions of some games that are part of this offer and you don’t get those for free. At least the prospect of having Yoshi’s Island in 3D had me really pumped.

I think they’re going to make the GBA games available to everyone later. So i would have preferred to get 130 -140€ cash to spend in the eShop. (Judging from the Wii VC’s prices for NES and Super Nintendo games. ~ GBA games shouldn’t cost more than 8 or 9 € imo.~ ). But it’s still a very nice surprise and giving people such a huge amount of credit wouldn’t be good for PR I guess.

And I hope they announce all the games you get asap so people will know exactly if they should get the system before August 12th.

PS: So it seems like the confirmation that there will be no connectivity between your 3DS eShop and Wii(U) Shop account …

@edhe (14): I think only excitement got you getting it wrong. But just to make it perfectly it’s Yoshi's Island, not Yoshi’s Story.

Shugo wrote:

Watch one of the other five games be an English Mother 3. The community would go ballistic.

I like your sense of humor, sir.

@ivn_r (35.):I also really hope they’re emulating multiplayer in these games. 

CowLaunch wrote:

it looks like a rushed idea to me

Can’t argue about that one.

@Ren (122.) With twelve months of warranty you could swallow it until the end of the year and send it in once you’ve downloaded all the GBA games.



irken004 said:

No plans to release GBA games to the general public = NO PURCHASE FROM ME. Surely they would sell them to the general public eventually, right? By the time they do, I may buy a Vita.



LztheQuack said:

I'm sure they'll make these games available to the public eventually. They're trying to thank fans for spending full price on their system



Highwinter said:

@cnm_nintendo Pokemon games wouldn't work because they rely on being able to connect to other players. That would require a lot more work than just dumping the roms onto the e-shop. Unless they do 3D classics of them (which they aren't continuing with), I don't think we'll see any of the old Pokemon games.

The "exclusive GBA games" will most likely appear on the 3DS eventually though, I think they're just focusing on Gameboy and Gameboy colour at the moment, so it could be a long wait.. but it will happen.



zdyoshikpl said:

The combined price of getting the five NES games announced so far on Wii Virtual Console, and the price of getting the GBA games announced so fare at GameStop used is in total $104. Some of the GBA games like Mario Kart are still 19.99 used. That 104 DOLLARS is only for half the games announced so far!



Hokori said:

sweet at least ill be able to get FREE GBA games
I sure hope they actually put GBA games on the eShop to everyone, but still make a couple of free ones to those who already have one



triforceofcourage said:

$80 price drop!? D:
I guess it's sort of worth it... but still, thats a bit extreme considering the thing came out in march!



Supermarioman said:

To a certain extent it does frustrate me that the titles won't be availible, I'm not to dissapointed. I've got each generation of GB and of the GBA mentioned above I have 3, and the others I can easily get. Like some other comments above, I don't believe that this is a definite no GBA VC from Nintendo, but Nintendo has proven me wrong times before, so I don't know.



zeeroid said:

Some retailers in Canada have dropped the price of the 3DS to $200 in anticipation of the price cut--- I would strongly suggest anyone purchase one at $200 and claim their free games, because getting all that great stuff for a $30 premium is easily worth it!



bonesy91 said:

Better get me some "Zelda: Minish cap" on the GBA list or I will be one unhappy camper. :/

but still this is awesome news 20 games probably being priced around $5 and up = $100 worth of free games! "faints"



Xkhaoz said:

Though I feel sorry for those not able to grab those GBA games.



Hydreigon725 said:

This is great! But I have a question that hopefully someone can answer. You see, I accessed the eshop a couple of days ago. But then I changed the date to 1/1/2050 to get more play coins, but then I changed it back. Am I still eligible to download these games or not?



Morpheel said:



I am most happy about this news, 20 free games is always a good and welcome bonus for our obsessive demeanor.



jkshaz said:

So I am consistently a little confused about why The Big N does things the way they choose to. Can anyone enlighten me as to why, since this is clearly an attempt to stimulate sales, they wouldn't attempt this way in advance of any attempt at a console price drop? Throw in some freebies if you purchase the console within a certain frame of time to try to generate some more interest. Not that as a consumer I'm complaining about a lower price, but from a business standpoint it confuses me.



komicturtle said:

Very very clever of Nintendo to do something like this. That'll just add hours upon hours of play on my 3DS, but the 25 games I'm looking forward to- Mint!

Clearly a response to it's slow sales and Vita's competitive (not anymore lol) price.

I curious to know if the people saying "I'm not paying $250 for a handheld" will stick with it before they buy Vita.. At that price :3

Those worried that these GBA games may not be released to the general public- I would say "Tough luck to some bashing the 3DS", but I think you must realize that Nintendo currently has no plans to release these games to the general public at this moment. I know for a fact that these GBA games will be released on eShop to everyone at some point- especially if there's an outcry of people wanting the GBA games. Look around and see if you can get a 3DS at $200. The difference between $170 and $200 is only $30, and these 20 games would cost more than that $30.

Get on it.



Knux said:

Now I don't regret buying the 3DS on day one. Twenty free games is so awesome it is almost like a dream.



Natie31 said:

I'm going to download all 20 games. Now have to order a 8gb sd card from amazon soon.



darklinkinfinite said:

My GBA never got as much love as it should've so I actually don't own any of those games, nor have I ever owned a copy of Yoshi's Island so this is great for me!



koryz12 said:

Actually we do deserve the GBA games to be exclusive to us as if it wasn't for us the 3ds wouldn't have any ground to stand on.We had to wait months for the big update.We also had to wait until zelda and resi so we had a handful of good games to play other than the few gems we could salvage from first wave of titles.We have been more loyal to nintendo and the 3ds than any other buyer group will be so we deserve the exclusive gba games ontop of the price drop compensation that is the free games.



Ren said:

thanks, good point.
also is it really just me with the screen lines becoming permanent on my otherwise clean 3ds? it looks like a fundamental flaw (and I intend to keep a protector on it now) but does anyone else see those lines on the upper screen? Is it true the Blue one doesn't do it at all or something?



Tylr said:

Meh...still doesn't make up for Xenoblade to me.
Nintendo is being very unusally generous. Must be preparing to delay some games again soon...



mullen said:

First, I hope there will be a Pokemon game.
Next, I'd rather to have few credits rather than only those chosen games.



K964 said:

This is great Nintendo! Now if you can just implement multiplayer in the VC titles...



kdognumba1 said:

I knew this price drop was coming, especially with the Vita's price as low as it is, they had to do this. Not saying it was too expensive for the tech from the get go (which it honestly was) but it was way too expensive for a Nintendo handheld, this will give major incentive for more people to pick it up.

Also the rewards imo while not perfect are really great, I've been wanting GBA games and now I get 10 for free. That's an AWESOME deal for me. I'd love to see NeoGeo Pocket get added to the 3DS VC.



Funky_Gamer said:

So all I have to do is connect to the eShop, and i'm officially an ambassador?

But this seems like great news!! 20 free games... Thats awesome



komicturtle said:


Wish granted.

"These will be 2D games. They are not 3D Classics. When the NES games become available to the general public later this year, they will include additional features such as multiplayer simultaneous play. Ambassadors will then be able to download those updated version at no cost," says a Nintendo spokesperson.



Tasuki said:

I am sure that Nintendo will eventually release the GBA games to the public. Look at the Wii Mario 25th anniversary Super Mario All Stars game. At first they said they wont going to release it again but demand prompted them to do so. I am sure the same thing will happen with the GBA games. I remember reading comments here from people who couldnt get the SMA game on the first shipment. Just be patient folks thats all.




ALL those GBA games you listed I would insta-download. Used to have all of them back in the day, but sold them along with my GBA waaaaayyyy back.

As for this announcement - hell yeah!



daznsaz said:

@Ren ive got the blue 3ds and was getting the marks that started to look like scratches because the rubber bits were too small i put a glasses case cloth in before i close it and marks have gone now



Ren said:

lines have become permanant on my black 3ds and I'm sending it in at no charge. Also the guy made a note and assured me I'd still get the 20 games even if they wiped my 3DS clean and got it back after the 12th, which they shouldn't need to anyway, just to change the glass. (they better not! I like Zelda, but I don't need to do that damn water temple again).



cheetahman91 said:

Fantastic. I already own a few of the games mentioned but I'll gladly get them again because they're free.



Dynetheous said:

i cant wait, now i dont have to spend more money on games i dont need hahaha cause now i will have 20 games for FREE!!!



GreatCrippler said:

"Nintendo currently has no plans to make these 10 games available to the general public on the Nintendo 3DS in the future. " Means Nothing. They have every right, and most likely will release them in the future for sale. >.> Sheesh.



FluttershyGuy said:

There are two problems I have with this all, one for each system. With GBA games, it might alienate people that they're just going to offer these ten GBA games to the ambassadors and then completely do away with GBA games for an indeterminate period of time. Maybe they'll come back in 2012, maybe never! Odd...

Next is NES games. All of the ones announced thus far are available on Wii VC. Yeah, they are free right now. But, ones not a part of the ambassador program who already bought some of these on Wii VC might be ticked at having to buy them again if they want to play it on their 3DS. As the 3DS NES library grows, I'll be PO'ed having to buy something I already bought on Wii! Both shops need a uniform monetary system (either dollars or points, one or the other Nintendo!) and make NES games playable on both Wii and 3DS with ONE purchase. Qualifier: UNLESS they're 3D or otherwise enhanced from their original version, like Excitebike & Xevious. Then, separate purchases seems entirely reasonable.



tripunktoj said:

The mexican official magazine posted a translation of the press release, but its just a translation no new details, not necessarily meaning the program will be effective in Mexico. I contacted them about this and as usual they know nothing, their information is often late and incomplete, NOA should be more strict in choosing their official international repsentatives IMO



AltDotNerd said:

I was the first person in my city to buy the 3DS. I never had any regrets. Now I am effin' ESTATIC about this anouncement.



TheAmazingRaccoon said:

OH. MY. GOD this is awesome. 10 NES and 10 GBA games more than make up for a $100 price drop financially and emotionally.



LordTendoboy said:

So GBA games won't be available for purchase... ever?! Stupid Nintendo. Another golden opportunity wasted.

Why would they skip over GBA games? That's a no brainer to have GBA games on the 3DS VC! The NES games should be limited, not GBA.



PSICOffee said:

Whatever, I have all those games in cart form and then some, including an english version of Mother 3 I can play on legit hardware. I've given up on Nintendo's VC downloads a looong time ago.



chocolate_gal said:

Anyone here think they can beat me on castle crashers on x box.......... BTW imma #1 gamer chik. 0 3 0 anyone? ©Fl©



TeeJay said:

Oh....wha....YES! FINALLY something for us early adopters! I love Yoshi's Island so much; it's one of my favorite GBA games, and I'm getting it for FREE in just over a month! This is amazing!!



kkslider5552000 said:

that's actually pretty awesome and clever and nice.

I have a feeling they'll be available to later 3DS owners once 3DS does well enough.



X-145 said:

This is awesome! i got mine march 29th and haven't looked back! This is a great deal both ways! Either you buy a 3DS early for full price and get free games, or you could get a huge price cut for one and buy the nes games later! Lets hope for more gba games though. It would be a shame if these were the only games coming out, exclusively might I add...



NintendoMaster said:

Nintendo accidently leaked to me in an email that Kirby and the Amazing Mirror and Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 were coming to this program, I still hope Nintendo Life posts this story.



NintendoMaster said:

For anyone that wants to see this is the email I was sent.


Thanks for contacting us. First off, I want you to know that I documented your comments and reported them to the relevant departments here at Nintendo. We appreciate hearing what is important to our consumers.

When Nintendo announced the price drop we also announced an offer to the loyal consumer who purchased the system at the original price. Let me share the details with you:

  • All current Nintendo 3DS owners will be able to download 20 free games from the Nintendo eShop, half of which are available exclusively to you as an early adopter and will not otherwise be made available for purchase or download on Nintendo 3DS.
  • In order to get these games, you will need to use a broadband Internet connection and go into the eShop by 11:59pm Eastern time Aug 11, 2011. If you have already done this, you are set. Once this is complete, you are automatically registered for the "Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program."
  • Then, on September 1, 2011, you’ll be able to download 10 NES Virtual Console games at no charge, before they are available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public. All the game titles are not known as of yet, but here are the games I know are included so far:
    o Super Mario Bros.
    o Donkey Kong Jr.
    o Balloon Fight
    o Ice Climber
    o Legend of Zelda
  • Next, at a later date, you’ll be able to download 10 Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games. Unlike the NES games, these will be available exclusively to Ambassadors—we currently have no plans to make these 10 games available to the general public on the Nintendo 3DS in the future. Again, not all the games are known, but here is the list so far:
    o Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
    o Mario Kart: Super Circuit
    o Metroid Fusion
    o WarioWare
    o Inc: Mega Microgame$
    o Kirby & The Amazing Mirror

More details will be made available at a later date, so keep an eye on our website (

At this time, we have no plans for alternative offers similar to what you've described, but I hope you feel like we’re treating you fairly with this program and that you’ll continue to be a loyal Nintendo customer.


Dervin Camden
Nintendo of America Inc.



RadioShadow said:

This can't be right. It's FREE for people who connect to the eshop before a certain date? I'm not complaining. I will defentily download Metroid Fusion.



supersayinluigi said:

I feel nostalgia kicking in this is gonna be good I was little upset they picked wario ware who plays that stuff its the most random thing I ever played l:



Henmii said:

I am sure the GBA games will be available someday to late adopters too! It's just that late-adopters have to pay for it.

Think of Mario Lost levels on Wii vc. At first it was temporarily available, but later it became available forever.

If GBA vc never would come available for late adopters, that would be terrible! But I don't think it will happen!



charly_rozen said:

Anyway I will not buy a 3DS until i see better titles on the market. ¿Buy a 3DS just for play Ocarina of Time 3D? No thanks. x_X

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