There’s the way other video game companies release collectibles, and then there’s the way Nintendo does them. In Europe, the UK branch of Club Nintendo will be offering a limited-edition, ultra-rare New 3DS to those it deems worthy. They don’t mean those who respond to the offer the quickest, or even anything at random. They mean they’re going to hand-select a bunch of their regular customers and present them this 3DS.
And yes, by New 3DS, they mean the latest model with the self-correcting 3D and the extra nub for camera controls. The only way to buy this model of the handheld is if Nintendo gives you special permission to buy it. It will be listed at 180 pounds, but only at a super-secret store in a dark alley where you need a special password and knock to enter.
So really, what makes someone worthy of this honor? Getting the answers from Nintendo worked about as well as getting answers from Nintendo usually works: “We are unable to disclose such business information,” they said, and went on a boilerplate tangent about promotional activities that had nothing to do with the question. There might be a clue in the name: “Ambassador Edition.” Early adopters of the 3DS were designated as “Ambassadors” when the price was suddenly dropped after six months and angry first-time buyers had to be appeased. They were given exclusive downloads of GBA games, which from 2011 until now, Nintendo still has not made available to all customers in the 3DS eShop.
We can speculate that people who are being offered this 3DS would be people who have been loyal to the Club Nintendo program, right? People who have filled out every survey and reached Platinum status several years running, right? This would apply to me, a holder of the Ambassador GBA games, so I’m hoping my theories are correct, right?
For now this instantly eBayable item, guaranteed to fetch at least twice as much money as it costs to buy, is a European exclusive (in every sense of the word).