Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has apologised to gamers who paid top-dollar for the 3DS, following the decision this week to slash the cost of its retail price just 6 months after it went on sale.

Speaking via a letter published on Nintendo's website (and translated by Giant Bomb) the bossman stated that the price-cut decision wasn't taken lightly, describing it as a "drastic step" and one with "unprecedented timing".

"We decided it was necessary to take this drastic step in order to ensure that large numbers of users will continue to enjoy the 3DS in the future," he wrote.

"We are all too keenly aware that those of you who supported us by purchasing the 3DS in the beginning may feel betrayed and criticize this decision."

Iwata admitted that the 3DS Ambassador program (20 free games from the eShop) may not be enough to satisfy some early-buyers, but stated the price-drop was needed if the console was to progress.

"We feel a strong responsibility to develop the 3DS as a platform," he said. "To ensure that, in the end, everyone is satisfied; we will make every effort to do so."

The price of the 3DS is to drop to $169.99, down from $249.99 in the US - no UK prices have been confirmed yet but there are reports that the new RRP will be around £170, meaning an on-sale price of between £130 and £140 - currently the RRP is £269, but retailers sell them for just under £200.