Nintendo 3DS US Price and Release Date Official– March 27th for $249
After over a year of wishing, waiting and watching from afar Nintendo’s highly anticipated glasses free 3DS is finally almost here, taking a crucial step to finally being in your hands with an official announcement of a price and release date. The best part? That rumored $300-$400 expected price is actually HIGHER than what the real price is, a solid $249.99 when it comes out as was rumored, this March 27th in either blue or black.
But price wasn’t all Nintendo let out of the bag, read on for all the details on what’s new in the 3DS.
Some of the Nintendo 3DS launch games, from left to right: Nintendogs+cats, Madden, Ridge Racer, Super Monkey Ball, Street Fighter, and Resident Evil. Click on pic for bigger shot.
So what else is new that we can expect from this dual screen, glass-free 3D portable beast that we didn’t know back at its unveiling last summer at E3? For one, there will be 30+ 3DS ready launch games according to Nintendo available on or very near the 3DS’s launch date (between the March 27th date and E3 2011 in June). And we’re talking some pretty impressive games for whatever type of gamer you are– sports, hardcore, casual, it’s all here. A couple of titles to look forward to: Madden NFL in 3D, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition, Ridge Racer 3D, Super Monkey Ball 3D, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, Nintendogs+cats— and these are just a handful of the games you’ll be able to play in full 3D, and all look pretty sick. For the full list of the games, with a whole bunch of pix and clips, see Nintendo’s site here. Oh, and there will also be a game store on the 3DS for downloading and playing classic Nintendo games.
There also are major improvements to the DS software on the 3DS, with a whole bunch of new features including:
- A new Home button and menu– Which is about time. Now you can finally switch between games and apps without having to shut down and restart your DS after each one. That was the case on the older DSes and was quite frustrating to say the least.
- Mii Maker– See the pic above. Using the front 3DS camera to take a self-portrait of you and turn it into a Mii. This looks really cool.
- 3DS camera app– For taking self portraits as mentioned above or for taking 3D pix using the back 3D cameras (there are 2 for the 3D effect)! Yes, this is a 3D camera AND a 3D game player.
- Web browser– as seen on the latest DSes.
- 3D videos– An app for watching 3D videos, though whether this will be videos from a special store or just from the SD card (a 2 GB one is included in the box) is not clear yet.
- 3DS Sound– An Mp3 player that lets you play music off of the SD card in the 3DS or use the microphone to record your own sounds
- Activity Log– For seeing what games you play most and for how long as well as seeing how many steps you’ve taken while playing. A little weird sure, but I personally find it a little cool at the same time.
An example an AR Game
- AR Games– Basically, these are special cards that you put in front of the 3DS’s outer 3D cameras which “read” them (kinda like how a bar code scanner reads bar codes at a store) and load up games. Very cool, and it’ll be interesting to see if more people beyond Nintendo use this. (AR by the way stands for “augmented reality” which is why everything around the game, like the keys, are real even though the game is obviously not. The card itself turns digital, not the world around it).
All in all, the 3DS is looking like a very solid next-gen portable video game system that looks to really not just take on the iPod touch in portable gaming but bring handheld gaming in general to a whole new level.
What do you think: does this look like something you’d want or are you holding out for a PSP Phone, PSP2 (which rumors are picking up on again and we may see soon, but then again, this is the PSP2 which has been in the same rumor stage for the last 5 years…) or will you just go now for an iTouch 8 GB for $229? Let us know in the comments.
For more info on the 3DS see Nintendo’s site here.