August 8th to 14th
I found myself in Costco the other day and noticed that they had already dropped the price on the 3DS to $169.99. Officially, the price drop from $250 won't take effect until August 12th, but that hasn't stopped some of the bigger chains from getting ahead of the curve. The sudden price drop and the additional lure of Nintendo's Ambassador program pushed me over the edge. I bought one along with a copy of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. My impulse purchase makes the 3DS price drop our thing of the week. There's nothing for games aside from Fruit Ninja for XBLA. Screw that!
Playing Ocarina of Time in 3D has been pretty cool so far. Amazing how familiar the places are to me while I completely forget solutions to the puzzles. Even cooler is seeing a lot of design ideas floated throughout the game that have taken a lot of prominence these days. Seeing Death Mountain off in the distance while on Hyrule field and paying off on the promise of visiting that place is similar to the Citadel in Half-Life 2. In the first two hours alone I've seen stealth elements, a music game and a world that runs on a day/night cycle. Some of these things have only been perfected in the last few years!
If you're tempted by the new price and want those 20 free games, you've got until 11:59PM EST on August 11th to buy your system and sign into the e-shop to mark yourself as an early adopter. If you can't find the system at the cheaper price, just make sure you buy it from a place with some kind of price guarantee.