The 3DS will soon be upon us and like every console launch, between the hardware, game and accessories, your wallet is going to take quite a beating. How much of a beating depends on how willing you are to travel around town for the best deals. Lucky for you we’ve got all of the current 3DS deals in one handy location to maximize your savings and minimize your driving.
From what I can tell, the hardware isn’t completely sold out at retail yet, but I have no idea how many units Nintendo is planning on shipping to North America. Unlike past console launches where Amazon and GameStop were sold out of preorders months before the console launched, a quick perusal of the various online merchants shows 3DS’s still available for preorder. What this means for launch day is anyone’s guess. I would imagine the thing will sell out, either due to genuine interest or due to smaller set of initial shipments to goose interest up like only a sold out console can do. By now there are plenty of reviews of the hardware out there so it shouldn’t be too hard to come to a buying decision by Sunday, but if you’re at all on the fence, I’d suggest plunking down whatever the minimum is to preorder it and then decide on Sunday. Unlike the pricing wars that appear to be going on in the UK, here in the States, the price of the console is $249.99 everywhere I’ve seen it available for preorder. That being said, preorder wherever it’s convenient for you, or from wherever has the best deals on the games.
The games are where the real savings can come in, especially considering there are 18 games you can potentially spend your money on. Here’s a list of the current deals on 3DS games at launch.
Best Buy – Get a $10 gift card with the purchase of any two 3DS games. Games range from $29.99 to $39.99.
Target – If you preorder the system at Target you’ll get a $5 gift card when you pick it up. I’m hoping some software deals come out between now and Sunday because as it stands, this is seriously lame.
Kmart – Buy a 3DS and instantly save $25 on a 3DS game. So far, this appears to be the best deal of the bunch. For starters, you only have to buy one game, which you’re probably going to do any way and rather than get the cash back in store credit, it just comes right off of the top.
Toys R US – Buy one 3DS game, get the next for half off. This deal comes in at a close second as again, the savings is off of the purchase price and not in the form of a gift card.
Amazon – Amazon has a deal where if you preorder a 3DS launch game, you get a ten dollar credit towards another 3DS launch game. Not a bad deal but the problem is that you don’t get the credit until the first game ships. Still, if brick and mortar isn’t convenient and you can satisfy yourself with just one game at launch, this isn’t a bad way to go. At least the games are all pricey enough to qualify for free shipping. That’s gotta count for something right? Here’s a link to the launch games page, so you can see everything in one fell swoop. Amazon also has a deal where if you buy a 3DS you’ll get a $25 credit towards one of the 3DS launch games, similar to the Kmart deal, however as with the $10 credit mentioned above, the credit won’t show up until a few days after your 3DS ships. Again, good if you can wait. I’m not sure how the two deals stack together. Here’s a link to the offer page for reference.
Trade In Offers
Traditionally, trading in your current generation hardware towards the price of the next thing is a nice way to save some money. The 3DS does offer backwards compatibility with DS titles, however due to the difference in screen sizes and resolution, some early reviews of the hardware aren’t painting this backwards compatibility in the best light. Destructoid’s Nick Chester has a good article up about it, including pictures, so I’d caution trading in your DS just yet. Now, this does seem like a subjective thing and you may find that your DS games look great for you, but this is not the first time I’ve read about DS games not looking their best on the system. Only you know how much this is going to bug you, and how much you’re going to play DS games on the 3DS once the system launches. Me, I’m keeping my DSi, partially for my kids, but mostly in case DS games look bad, and I would never suggest you do something I’m unwilling to do myself, so there you go.
If you decide to trade in your DS towards a 3DS, here’s a breakdown of what you’ll get at the various retailers:
Amazon: $50 for a DS Lite, $75 for a DSi, $100 for a DSi XL. Amazon does not give you credit immediately as you have to send the unit in and then wait until they deposit a credit into your Amazon account so if you’re looking for an immediate reduction in price this won’t work. On the plus side, the process is pretty easy and it doesn’t cost you more than time spent packing the thing up and a trip to a UPS drop off.
GameStop – $50 for a DS Lite, $75 for a DSi, $100 for a DSi XL. GameStop isn’t doing any deals on hardware or software other than giving you stupid ass PowerUp points that aren’t good for anything more than a couple of packs of batteries (seriously). If you decide to go the GameStop route for your preorder, I’d suggest buying your games somewhere else to take advantage of the savings.
Target – On the same day that the 3DS launches, Target will expand its trade in program to accept DS’s but the trade in values are downright insulting. $20 for a DS, $30 for a DS Lite, $45 for a DSi and $60 for a DSi XL. The only reason I’d do this is if you’re looking to trade in a DS Phat but even then, for $20 I’d just keep it.
Toys R Us – TRU is offering “up to” $75 based on the model and the condition of the unit. Honestly, that’s too vague for me but your comfort level may vary.
That’s the current state of 3DS deals. I’ll keep my eye on things between now and Sunday and if anything changes, I’ll update this page. Happy shopping!