Since its announcement at this year’s E3, we’ve had very few facts about Nintendo’s upcoming glasses-free 3D handheld. But at a recent Nintendo press conference in Japan, the company finally spilled the beans on global release dates, recommended retail pricing (RRP) and a few other previously unknown details.
The 3DS will release first in Japan on February 26th 2011 with an RRP of 25,000 yen (approximately $NZ400), and will follow in US and European (and presumably Australasian) territories in March. No official New Zealand pricing has been announced at the time of writing, but keep an eye on www.gameconsole.co.nz to see the details as soon as they’re known.
The 3DS will be available in two colours upon launch: Aqua Blur and Cosmos Black. It will come bundled with a 2GB SD card, which – much like the existing DS – can be used to store game saves, music, video, photographs and more.
Also revealed is that the 3DS will feature a light that informs the user when another 3DS is in range, allowing for easier wi-fi connectivity.
There will also be a Virtual Console service similar to that on the Nintendo Wii, which will allow gamers to purchase and download games from the Game Boy back catalogue (such as the grayscale classics Super Mario Land and Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening). Also, it’s understood that other classic Nintendo titles will be retouched and given the 3D treatment for the 3DS.
The 3DS utilises an autostereoscopic screen in order to deliver a 3D experience without the need to wear special glasses. It has two external cameras (in addition to a camera above the topmost screen that faces the player), and is capable of capturing 3D photos and video. It’s also the first version of Nintendo’s DS handheld range to include an analogue pad in addition to its D-pad, face buttons and touchscreen.