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Are 20 Free Games Worth it if You Can’t Pick Them? *UPDATED*

Nintendo throws us a curve ball.

Nintendo sure surprised everybody today with the drastic price drop of the 3DS. As someone who bought the console at launch, I was sure this news was fake. It is all too real though and the fact of the matter is that I spent $80 more on my handheld than most people will come August. I was a bit irked to say the least.

The price drop wasn’t the only interesting news though. For those 830,000 people who have already bought a 3DS there will be compensation. These early adopters will be given 20 downloadable games for free. Sounds like a good deal, right? Well it is, and it isn’t. Now the press release doesn’t actually state this, but it appears the 20 games have been preselected for you. Let’s look at the games Nintendo has announced so far.

NES titles

Super Mario Bros

Donkey Kong Jr.

Ice Climbers

Balloon Fight

The Legend of Zelda

Game Boy Advance titles

Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3

Mario Kart Super Circuit

Metroid Fusion

Wario Ware Inc. Mega Micogame$

Mario vs Donkey Kong

Now assuming that we HAVE to pick these particular games, there are still 10 games left unlisted. Out of the 10 games they have announced, I already own eight, some on multiple platforms. Sure, the majority of these are great games, but shouldn’t Nintendo give us a choice? Shouldn’t we be able to save the 20 selections for whenever we see fit? I say early adopters should get any 20 games for free, be they NES, GameBoy, GameBoy Advance, DSiWare, or 3DSWare. That way you could save your free selections for games you truly want.

I’m not mad about getting free games, in fact I adore the majority of the ones already announced. I’d just like a choice. Let’s hope they fill in those other 10 slots with stellar games that appeal to a large audience. Which NES or GBA games would you want?

UPDATE – Judging by some of your comments, it appears some of you think I’m being greedy and unappreciative about getting 20 games for free. I apologize if the article came off that way. Here’s my main point – giving us early adopters 20 free games is a wonderful idea and I wholeheartedly support it. I’m just saying, would you like to get a free game that you already own and have beaten multiple times or would you rather be able to pick a great game you’ve never tired and experience for the first time? I’ll download every one of the free games and I’ll beat them again, they’re wonderful games after all. I’d rather play games that are new to me though, THAT is why I was hoping for the ability to choose. I hope many of you get to experience some of these titles for the first time on your 3DS, because most of them are fantastic.

By on 28 July 2011
*Hello, there! Welcome to the world of 3DS! My name is Ben. People call me the 3DS Professor. This world is inhabited by creatures called games! For some people, the 3DS is their life. Others use them for fun! Myself… I study the 3DS as a profession. *Intro stolen from Professor Oak

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  1. rpj123 says:

    and to mention before that happens sync your 3ds to club nintendo because those 20 games will give you alot of coins and if it 10 each we’ll have 200 and get that giant ar card if you haven’t got it yet or anything else

  2. Jassen says:

    There are still 10 games to announce, maybe we’ll get a choice, or Pokemon.

  3. Benja(Mii)n says:

    1st of September is when the first five games are released.

  4. Archie says:

    They need to put on at least 1 pokemon game like fire red or ruby or sapphire.

  5. Jeanne says:

    I agree, we should be able to pick ANY 20 downloadable games. Some day I will learn NOT to be an early adopter.

  6. J@ke says:

    Got 4: Mario bros, legend of Zelda, yoshi’s island, & Mario kart super circuit. I hope/think these will be the next 10 freebies:
    NES: kid Icarus, Mario bros 2 & 3, Zelda 2
    GBA: one or 2 of the pokemon games, Mario & luigi superstar saga, Zelda minish cap, warioware twisted (I agree it WOULD fit on the 3ds like pb and jelly between two hunks of bread), and if there’s only one poke. game, golden sun (never played it, heard it’s good)

  7. Livd says:

    I’m afraid I have to disagree here. A choice of 20 free games is indeed better than 20 free games we don’t get to choose, but that isn’t particularly relevant. You could say the same for just about anything: someone giving you a birthday present is nice, but giving you two would be even better. The fact that something we get for free could be better isn’t really a criticism or something to complain about. Sure, I’d prefer to choose which 20 we download. Personally though, I think even that would be open for criticism. Games don’t cost the same and aren’t equal, so why can’t we get multiple cheaper and shorter games instead of one of the greats we might have on another console? A certain amount of money in our VC accounts would be much fairer. Of course, with either of those suggestions we most likely wouldn’t be getting games specifically put on the 3DS for early buyers. Similarly, we quite likely wouldn’t get games early either. But why even stop there? Why not let us choose 30 to download, or why not let us have the entire VC? Why not say we should have free full blown 3DS games too?
    We’re getting far more than what we’re owed (which is, whether we like it or not, absolutely nothing). Saying we’d like even more is pointless. Yes, everyone would like more games and/or a choice of them. But so what? Wanting something for free doesn’t mean that someone’s doing something wrong by not giving it to us, especially when they’re giving us a lot already.

    Everyone who bought the 3DS early knew that the price would go down. There’s simply no two ways about it; the idea that anyone’s being ripped off because other people are going to get it cheaper is ridiculous. The fact it’s gone down earlier than we might have expected isn’t that important. Sure, some people might have waited longer before getting it if they new the price drop would come a bit early, but that’s a risk everyone who bought it was willing to take. Nintendo doesn’t have an obligation to give anyone anything. It would probably be wise to make some kind of offering from a business perspective in order to keep fans buying their products, but that doesn’t mean they owe it to anyone. A few free downloads would probably be enough to satisfy most people, and the fact we get 20 of them is more than generous. Don’t forget that it also means we get 10 free games before anyone else can even pay to get them, and 10 games that other people can’t get at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if they reach the VC for everyone in the future, but not for quite a while.
    Then there’s the fact that it’s not an empty offering, either. Twenty games might sound nice, but if they were a bunch of lesser titles most people wouldn’t really have much interest in anyway then it wouldn’t count for much. That’s not what’s happened here: We’ve got a great line up of games so far, and that’s only half of them. I wouldn’t be too surprised if the other half weren’t all so impressive, but even if none are worth downloading we still have 10 that are, I think we can safely say, pretty good. The fact people might already have them is indeed a downside, but that’s kind of what the VC is all about. The fact that there’s twenty of them should ensure there’s still quite a few unplayed for most people, as well as the fact that these games aren’t even out on the VC yet (and won’t be for most other people when we get them).

    Think of it this way: What if the price hadn’t gone down? We’d have still have paid the same amount of money and we wouldn’t have 20 free games. Perhaps it’s just me, but I think the knowledge that people are paying less than me for the same thing slightly sooner than I expected they would is a very small price to pay. If anyone’s so bitter about this that 20 free games doesn’t even help then I simply don’t know what to say, other than the fact that their complaints certainly aren’t reasonable or even justified.

    In closing… Twenty games. Twenty FREE games. Ten free games we get before anyone else can even pay for them and ten that they’re not getting for the near future, and possibly never at all. THIS IS A GOOD THING.

    I think I should probably also point out that my comments weren’t necessarily directed to the author of the article, as is hopefully obvious from the fact that many points simply don’t apply to what he’s said.

  8. fte says:

    Call me mister sceptismo but I don’t think pokemon main series games will ever be re-released on eShop nor will they be given away for free with this offer. We can hope, but it seems like a franchise Nintendo wants to save for later for some reason.

  9. brainiac1515 says:

    ok the nes games aren’t going to be 3d by updated they mean wireless or possibly wifi multiplayer

  10. sausagelink to the past says:

    Minish Cap!!!!!

  11. SC7639 says:

    I hope the other games include at least one Pokemon GBA game and maybe GB/GBC game.

    I’m glad we get free games as i would have always bought my 3DS on launch date I would have liked a list of like 50 games we get 20 off for free but oh well.

  12. Ben Bertoli says:

    Where are you getting this information?

  13. dangit says:

    These games aren’t even close to $80 worth! So yes, let us choose! I want my FINAL FIGHT GBA!

  14. thomas says:

    I want Sonic Advance please haha doubt it sega is a 3rd party

  15. Guidragun1 says:

    When can I get one of those 20 free games? Btw I’m an early adopter.

  16. Guidragun1 says:

    I think they won’t release Pokémon games because you can’t link with someone else, but they could do the wireless thing! Would be nice to play Ruby again xD

  17. Guidragun1 says:


  18. brainiac1515 says:

    @Ben Bertoli
    nintendo my friend nintendo

  19. brainiac1515 says:

    and i want megaman and bass

  20. Ben Bertoli says:

    I was looking for more of a source than you saying “Nintendo”. Like you know, a website? A gaming magazine?

  21. brainiac1515 says:

    @Ben Bertoli
    ign also confirmed this

  22. Ben Bertoli says:

    Thanks brainiac. I’ll be sure to cover it in an upcoming story. I’ll also be sure to let people know you found it.

    • Goran says:

      Really comfortable and to size. There is alot of room for your feet, they arn’t squsihed together. I would rather wear new balance than adidas, but would take some Air Forces over both of then.

  23. Sam Walker says:

    If golden sun is one of those five unconfirmed games, I will be so happy. I played the DS one, and didn’t have a clue what was happening…

  24. dariusq says:

    So all we have to do to become eligible for the free games is go to the eShop before Aug 11th? No registering or anything, just visit the shop?

  25. DryYoshi says:

    This is awesome! I have some of the GBA games on my DS but I didn’t complete them and I would rather have it on the 3DS 🙂
    This makes Nintendo so AWESOME!

  26. Klobb says:

    Goldeneye 007! The 3DS is powerful enough jk

  27. Zach says:


  28. Oscar says:


  29. Zane says:

    I allready have pokemon. You probaly have it to. Its pokedex 3D!!

  30. Robbieiscool7 says:

    personaly i dont give a damn about metroid or golden sun they both suck (golden sun sucks more then metroid) but i would like ”Super mario world” and ”pokemon: leaf green” because those games are actually GOOD! but im very excited for ”warioware” because when i was little my uncle (just a year older than me) taunted me with it and didnt let me play it and it looked REALY FUN

  31. Lavera Kiessling says:

    They are lovely donkeys, Carole. You are very good at donkeys I think you empathise with them. No, I know you do.

  32. Morelle says:

    Can I just say what a reduction to seek out soemone who truly is aware of what theyre speaking about on the internet. You definitely know the best way to convey an issue to gentle and make it important. More folks must read this and understand this facet of the story. I cant believe youre no more fashionable since you definitely have the gift.

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