Were you one of the "unlucky" 3.6 million people who bought the Nintendo 3DS before the system price drop on August 12? Well, as you may have heard, Nintendo is offering 20 free games as a "thank you"--or perhaps an apology?--for being one of the early adopters of their latest handheld. Called the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program, those who qualify are able to download their free games starting September 1.
However, many things regarding this program are a bit confusing and not so user-friendly. How do you know if you qualify? How do you download the games? What games are free? The following is a quick guide to simplify things for you.
Do I Qualify for the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program?
In order to qualify to be a Nintendo 3DS Ambassador, all you need to do is:
- Own a Nintendo 3DS system
- Use a wireless broadband internet signal to connect to the Nintendo eShop at least once before 11:59pm Eastern August 11, 2011.
That's it! Once you own the system and connect to the 3DS eShop before August 12, you will be automatically registered in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program.
Is There a Way to Check Whether I Qualify or Not?
There are a few ways to check to see whether or not you qualify:
- Go HERE. It's the Nintendo 3DS ambassador program eligibility page. All you have to do is enter in your 3DS' serial number located under the system, and it'll tell you whether you're in or not.
- You should receive a notification on your 3DS system stating that you qualify. It looks something like this:
- Call Nintendo and harass them. Their number is 1 (800) 255-3700. But seriously, try to figure it out first before calling them. It's not that hard!
What Games are Available With This Program?
You get 20 free games, but only 15 of them have been announced so far. There will be 10 NES games and Game Boy Advance games.
The following are the free NES games, which will be available on September 1:
- Super Mario Bros.™
- Donkey Kong Jr.™
- Balloon Fight™
- Ice Climber™
- The Legend of Zelda™
- NES Open Tournament Golf
- Wrecking Crew
- Zelda II - The Adventure of Link
The following are five out of the 10 free announced GBA games. They will be available later this year:
- Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3
- Mario Kart: Super Circuit
- Metroid Fusion
- WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$
- Mario vs. Donkey Kong
I Already Own Some of These Games. Can I Select Other Free Games?
If you're one of the early adopters of the 3DS, you're probably a die-hard Nintendo fan. As a die-hard Nintendo fan, odds are you probably own several of these games in one form or another. However, these are the only games that are being offered, and you can't substitute them for anything else. Sorry!
Is There Anything That I Can Do That Will Jeopardize My Ambassador Status and Free Games?
Because the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program is linked to the 3DS system itself, do not get rid of that system. Don't trade it in for another system, don't lose it, don't destroy it. If you decide to get a new 3DS system, that system will not be eligible for the program.
How Do I Download These Games?
Here's the tricky part, for the free games aren't so easy to find. The free games appear as games that you've already downloaded, and you're going to have to do some digging to find them. Here's how:
1) Connect to the Nintendo eShop by clicking on the eShop icon on the 3DS main menu
2) Scroll all the way to the left and select the "Settings/Other" icon
3) Select "account activity" to see all the games you've downloaded
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4) The free games should appear here once they become available
Of course, Nintendo's ridiculously friendly customer service is always willing to help if you're still having trouble. Their number, once again, is 1(800) 255-3700. FAQs regarding the 3DS Ambassador program is also located on their website.
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