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Nintendo reveals 3DS release date, price, Virtual Console and more

Dale Weir's picture

Nintendo 3DS

Only Nintendo could get the game industry excited by "announcing" a date for when it would later announce the official Nintendo 3DS release date.

On September 29 in Tokyo, Japan, Nintendo held a press briefing where it revealed not only the release date, but some other tidbits on the latest iteration of the DS handheld.

You can get the spec list here thanks to Andriasang. An 3.53 inches, wide upper screen with naked eye 3D support, 800x240 pixel resolution; 3.02 inches, 320x240 pixels lower screen; One camera on the inside, two cameras on the outside. Each camera is 0.3 megapixels (640x480); 2.4GHz wireless LAN. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

For those of us disappointed when Nintendo dropped the Game Boy Advance (GBA) slot from the DSi—and there were many—Nintendo finally has a solution. I say finally because the DSi and the DS XL have been on the market for a while but Nintendo never even teased us with talk of a Virtual Console for older portable games. For its newest iteration of the DS, Nintendo will finally give Game Boy fans something to cheer about. No, not a GBA adapter. The 3DS will have its own version of the Virtual Console for original Game Boy, Game Boy Color and GBA games. (Now I'll finally be able to play Shantae.) There is no talk of pricing. Knowing Nintendo there are sure to be complaint, but nothing concrete is known yet so we'll have to wait and see.

Nintendo may finally be loosening its restrictions on software transfers between handhelds (and hopefully consoles). The 3DS allows for transfers of DSi Ware content from an older 3DS to a newer one and it even allows the transfer of DSi Ware data from the DSi and DSi XL.

The 3DS price point may also become a bit of a sore spot as we near launch. The latest information is that the 3DS will launch in Japan on February 26 (March for the US and Europe)for the retail price of ¥25,000. That comes to roughly $299. I had long believed that the 3DS would hit the (new) Nintendo sweat spot of $249.99 and barring something drastic—like a sub-$200 PlayStation Portable 2—this looks like it will be price in March 2011.

Built-in web-browser. The 3DS comes with its own browser. And an always on state means the 3DS will download free software, updates, rankings and the like even when the system is not in use. Here's hoping that Nintendo is going to proactive here. After the Metroid: Other M issue, the company needs to get patches out to players instantaneously.

Mii support. I guess people have been asking for this. The 3DS allows you to take a 3D picture with the camera and "Mii Studio" software will auto-create a Mii for you from that. Or you can go through the trouble of creating by hand yourself.

The 3DS will come with a 2GB SD card. This would imply no large internal storage device like a hard drive. Perhaps there will be another announcement later. Or perhaps we have all just been dreaming.

Tag mode. The tag mode, a very Japanese idea, let's other Nintendo share game data just by walking past one another. Yay! In all seriousness, it does allow for the sharing of data even in games the user is not currently playing (perhaps it checks game save data).

The 3DS comes with some internal software. "Nintendo 3DS Camera," "Nintendo 3DS Sound," "Mii Studio," "Mii Plaza," "AR Games" (The 3DS comes with six paper cards which can be used in the handheld's built-in augmented reality game.) and something called "Book." No PictoChat? Some gamers are going to be ticked!

New games announced for the 3DS are Capcom's Mega Man Legends 3 Project and Resident Evil: Mercenaries. That adds to an impressive release list that includes Kid Icarus 3D, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition, Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle, Nintendogs + CatsResident Evil Revelations, Dead or Alive Dimensions and Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater.

There are also some unimportant things in this press briefing. Like Nintendo cutting its profit projections by more than 50%. Initial projections were for $2.4 Billion by March 2011, but htat has been cut to $1 Billion. Due in no large part to the delay of the 3DS to next year. A strong yen was also to blame since Nintendo makes so much of its money outside of Japan.

But who cares about that?! 3DS is almost here!

Sources: NPR, Game Informer,Andriasang and JoyStiq.com

Category Tags
Platform(s): 3DS  
Articles: News  

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Nintendo 3DS too pricey

I'd pick up a 3DS in a hurry if it weren't for the price.

That's a deal breaker right there. That's the price of a new tabletop console or even a PSP.

Game devices seem to just be increasing in costs at launch. Don't they notice that the economy is down? Is all of that technology that expensive that you have to charge a premium for it?

finally is right

The game boy and gba news had me excited until i realized that i would have to buy my game boy collection all over again.

i am really tired of having to do that so hopefully nintendo has gotten the message and is going to start its own itunes type service and not go the rerelease thing.

i also really like that you can transfer data from a dsi to the 3ds. Bout time nintendo.

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