Report: Wii U Early Adopters Won't Get Special Treatment From Nintendo [UPDATE]

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When Nintendo dropped the price of the 3DS mere months after its release in 2011, it offered a mollifying "Ambassador Program" to early adopters of the handheld system. That program included 20 free games available to players who bought the 3DS before a certain date.

Now that the Wii U's price is dropping $US50 on Sept. 20, Wii U early adopters shouldn't expect the same treatment, though. Nintendo fan site Wii U Daily wrote to Nintendo to ask whether and when the Wii U Ambassador Program would be announced, and, they say, the Big N replied thusly:


Thank you for taking the time to write with your questions regarding a Wii U Ambassador program. The Ambassador program is only available to any Nintendo 3DS owner who purchased their system before August 12, 2011 and there are no plans for a similar program for Wii U.

I know that this isn't what you were hoping for, but we appreciate your support of our products now and in the future. I also want to assure you that your comments will be added to our records and made available for other departments at the company to use as they see fit.


Nintendo of America Inc.

Helena Toledo

Bummer. Of course, there's a difference between a console's price dropping a few months after its release and almost a year afterward. And as the recent unveiling of the 2DS showed, it's all about the price drops for Nintendo these days.

UPDATE: Our own Stephen Totilo actually talked to Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime earlier this week about the possibility of a Wii U Ambassador program. It came up during a discussion of how the Wii U's improved line-up for this fall, compared to last fall, echoed improvements to the 3DS' library when it was a young system.

Reggie Fils-Aime: The focus on making sure that this holiday, [the Wii U's] second holiday, is really strong is actually quite consistent with the way that we always thought about our hardware launches. Look at Nintendo 3DS. We lined up Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land to make sure that its second holiday was as strong as possible.

Kotaku: Right, but with that one, the precedent set there was that you guys dropped the price by a third, I think under the recognition that the machine wasn't moving. And then, once that happened, that seemed to really propel it along. But, I mean, the Ambassador program and all that certainly sent a signal to me that Nintendo had miscalculated the appeal of the system at its initial price point. Lowering it seemed to solve it, right? Lowering it dramatically and doing those types of things [worked]. Are you guys doing any sort of Ambassador program for Wii U owners to thank them for coming in early and withstanding some of the [software] drought?

Reggie Fils-Aime: So, we have nothing to announce in terms of an Ambassador Program. And what I would do is reinforce what you just said. The situations are very different not only in terms of the timing, not only in terms of the level of the reduction… it's a very different situation.


    I like how nintendo thinks I'm going to drop 300 bucks to play mario again x5, or, lol, the one that makes me really laugh, pikmin.

      Maybe not you, but dang, been waiting a long time for that pikmin!

      then dont f*&^ing buy it

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    Best opening line ever.

    Still amazes me people were screaming for ambassador status on WiiU. Does anyone realise it'll have been out for 10 odd months come the September 20 price drop?

    The 3DS got a major price drop inside 3 or 4 months if I recall correctly - along with it being launched without a web browser and eShop - both features they originally said would be available at launch. Those two features took around 2 months to become available from memory. So 3DS ambassador status was about more than just the price drop.

    The WiiU's had a pretty well flawless launch and has been out for 10 months.

    Last edited 01/09/13 4:14 pm

      The WiiU's had a pretty well flawless launch and has been out for 10 months.

      Apart from a 4-5 hour download in order to play the system online.

      I'm not sure why people want another Ambassador program though, I have it on my 3DS and it's a pile of ****.

        Did anyone actually take 4-5 hours? It took me 30 minutes on a pretty average connection.

          Same. Are these people on dial up? I have a horrible ADSL connection, and it wasn't that bad.

            i took that long and then ended up with a faulty system and no end of troubles trying to get my nintendo account sorted out as they are linked to the system and having to do it all over again.
            also go back and look at all the features that the wii u is meant to have, it still doesnt have its tv features. the only thing they improved was the load times for menus, though they still arent exactly quick.

            that said i dont think i am entitled to any free stuff because of it.

            i would however like downloaded games to be cheaper than retail.

      Meh. 10 months and what games are out on the damn thing?

      Please don't reply. I can google what games are out. My point is, I'm disgruntled. It's just been too long a wait for a system with enough games on it. And now zelda and mario kart will come out, and everyone who waited to buy will be able to buy a cheaper system to buy it on.

      I've learnt my lesson. Never again will I buy a console so quick after launch. Well it was actually a xmas present from my wife but you get my point.

      10 months and all that's worth playing (if you own a decent PC and game on it also) has been mario land.

        Very similar situation in our home, except we love it. Only have three Wii U games for it so far, but have played those to death and still have a huge collection of Wii games from the previous 'generation' which still get played. Against out other platforms, the Wii U still gets more play time as far as gaming is concerned.
        I think we have a fairly 'typical' purchasing regime as we're not purchasing games every month and often wait until we can barely go online for fear of spoilers before actually committing to such expenditure.

    Forget about early adopters, they need late I right :P

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