Japanese gaming giant Nintendo posted disappointing earnings on Thursday and subsequently announced a cut in price for its 3DS handheld game console.

Nintendo posted a worse than expected net loss of 347 million behind sluggish 3DS sales. It's the first time Nintendo posted a quarterly loss since 2004, when the company first began to report its earnings every three months.

Additionally its revenue profits were 50 percent lower than last year's quarter, forcing the company to lower its annual net-profit forecast by 82 percent.

 In order to reinvigorate customers, the company announced it would cut the price of a 3DS by $80. Originally it retailed for $249.99 in the United States but will now be offered for $169.99.

"For anyone who was on the fence about buying a Nintendo 3DS, this is a huge motivation to buy now," said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime in a statement.

Nintendo had put a lot of emphasis on the 3DS but didn't see the sales numbers it expected. It sold 710,000 units between April and June, a number that the company expected to reach on the first week of its release. Worldwide it has sold 4.32 million units, but only a little over 800,000 in the United States.

In addition to lowering the price of its 3DS, the company is also offering customers a chance to download yet-to be released games for free. The company is offering up to 20 free games to any 3DS owner that visits its online eShop before 11:59 EST on August 11th.

The company hopes to sell 16 million units by the end of the year.