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Reggie says no Wii U Ambassador Program

by: Sean Colleli -
More On: Nintendo Wii U
Well, this is a little disappointing, but not completely unexpected. Wii U Daily wrote to Nintendo, asking them if the Wii U would get an Ambassador Program as a result of the upcoming price cut, which takes effect on September 20th. Nintendo said they have no plans for such a program. Earlier this week, Kotaku's Stephen Totilo got confirmation from Nintendo of America COO Reggie Fils-Aime, so this is straight from the horse's mouth.

As you might recall, Nintendo slashed the 3DS's price from $250 to $170 not six months after the portable launched, to deal with sluggish sales. To make it up to early adopters, Nintendo's 3DS Ambassador Program offered 10 free NES and 10 free Game Boy Advance downloadable titles to customers who had registered their 3DS console prior to the price cut.

$250 was beyond the pale and Nintendo was kind of obligated to slash the price, in my opinion. I'm a little bummed that Wii U early adopters (read: me) aren't getting any ambassador benefits, but the circumstances are a little different. As far as we know Nintendo is still selling Wii U consoles at a loss, so the price cut is more of a last ditch effort to save the floundering console rather than a measured strategy-shift that they can afford. Also by late September Wii U will be close to a year old, a far sight older than the almost 6 months old the 3DS was when it got its price cut. This is also a price cut of $50, not the much more significant $80 3DS price cut, so early adopters didn't get burned nearly as badly this time.

To be perfectly honest, while I think $300 is a much better price for the Wii U, as a piece of hardware on its own I still think it's worth $350. The upcoming bundles, especially the Zelda one, are a really great deal for new customers, but early adopters have a lot to look forward to as well. I've paid a lot more attention to my Wii U over the last year than I have to my 360; like the Wii before it, Wii U is a very good console with some great games, but nobody is willing to give it a chance. I've definitely gotten my $350 worth out of it in the past year, but I'm just in the same boat as everyone else: we want more games! I don't want a handout, I'm perfectly content buying downloadable titles. I just wish Nintendo would open up the floodgates on the Virtual Console, and give us all the classics we really want.
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