Nintendo has dramatically cut the price of its 3DS gaming console in South Africa, and is offering early buyers compensation in the form of free games. However, they need to register today to take advantage of the offer.

The new pricing will be applicable from tomorrow (12 August) and reflect a global change in the company’s pricing policy for the relatively new device.

“There have been times in the past when we, Nintendo, have marked down the trade prices for our video game machines a certain amount of time after launch to further accelerate adoption of the hardware, but never in Nintendo’s history have we dropped a system’s trade price so significantly less than six months after launch,” the company says in a statement.

“We are aware this may cause you, the loyal fans who supported Nintendo 3DS from the beginning, to lose trust in us – and this is not our intention in any way.

“All of you who have kindly supported Nintendo 3DS from the beginning are Nintendo’s most important customers,” it adds. “Although we may not be able to completely prevent you from regretting purchasing Nintendo 3DS early, we would like to express our gratitude to our special customers like you by offering 20 free downloadable games.

“These free games are available to anyone who owns a Nintendo 3DS system in South Africa.

However, to qualify for the free games, users will have to perform two system updates.

The first system update must be performed before 23:59pm (Central European Time) on 11 August to make users eligible for the programme; and the second system update, which they can conduct later in the year, will enable them to download the 20 free titles.

Nintendo advises that, in order to perform the system update, users need to Open the System Settings from the “Home” menu, select “Other settings”, scroll to the right and select “System update”. A wireless Internet connection is required in order to update.