Purchase Nintendo’s latest handheld for $80 less on August 12. Existing 3DS owners will get exclusive Virtual Console games not sold in stores.

With the announcement of the PSVita at E3 2011, sluggish sales both in and out of Japan, and the possibility of having their connectivity gimmick copied before the Wii U hardware is even released, we predicted Nintendo would need to adjust the price of the 3DS in a big way. It looks like they got the message!

I’m not one to gloat, but– yes I am. We totally called this in our Famicom Dojo Podcast during the week of E3 — not just the need for a price drop, but the exact price point!

For those upset at the severe price drop, Nintendo will automatically enroll all 3DS owners in an “Ambassador” program — if they use the online store between now and August 11. The perks? 10 free NES titles on Virtual Console which will later be available to the public, and 10 free Game Boy Advance games via Virtual Console that Nintendo does NOT plan on ever making available for public sale.

(This smacks of the “no plans to release” the three games that are the focus of Operation Rainfall.)

So what do you think? Will a price drop of 1/3 be enough for you to buy this machine? $170 is within striking distance of an impulse buy for a 30-something with a college degree, but what about the kids? That’s still more than it costs to buy a Wii, but it looks like people aren’t paying for that that either. Are the 10 exclusive GBA games enough to get you to pay the full $250 before the price drop?

Read the entire press release at Nintendo.com.