When Nintendo sliced the 3DS’ price from $249.99 to $169.99 on August 12, 2011, those who purchased the once struggling handheld at full price were compensated with free downloadable NES and GameBoy Advance games. The program was dubbed the Ambassador Program and included titles such as “Super Mario Bros.,” “Metroid,” and “Wario Land 4.” With the recent announcement of the basic Wii U model being phased out and the deluxe model dropping from $349.99 to $299.99, many expected Nintendo to re-initiate the Ambassador Program for early buyers. However, according to an email from Nintendo of America courtesy of Wii U Daily, that will not be the case for the Wii U.
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.
While things can certainly change (remember when Nintendo said not to expect a Wii U price cut anytime soon?), it’s unlikely Nintendo will offer an Ambassador Program for early Wii U owners. Rarely do companies like to admit their mistakes, but the Ambassador Program for the 3DS was a necessary exception, as Nintendo needed to do everything they could to regain dominance in the handheld market. If the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One provide a tougher fight for the already struggling Wii U, then Nintendo may make another consumer-friendly move.