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

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.

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