3DS to launch February 26 in Japan

Priced at ¥25,000 ($298 / £188); Europe and US to get new Nintendo handheld in March, 2011

Nintendo's 3DS hardware will launch in Japan on February 26, 2011, with the portable hitting the US and Europe a month later in March.

The new system, which features a 3D display and does not require separate glasses, will retail in Japan for ¥25,000 ($298 / £188).

During a press conference in Tokyo this morning, president Satoru Iwata demonstrated functions of the 3DS, including the passive tag feature that allows the handheld to communicate with other systems, able to exchange game data stored on the hardware. The system will be able to download content and data via WiFi when in sleep mode.

The Mii Studio software allows the user to create Mii avatars from pictures taken with the 3DS, which can then be stored on the bundled 2GB memory card.

It was also confirmed that the Virtual Console store will sell Game Boy and Game Boy Advance titles for the system.

First-party software for the machine include re-imagings and brand new titles in the Kid Icarus, Animal Crossing, Paper Mario, Star Fox, Mario Kart, PilotWings and Nintendogs franchises.

A spokesperson for Nintendo UK said it had "no more further information to share at this time," regarding a launch or specific date for European release of the 3DS.

The 3DS was first revealed in March this year before being officially unveiled at E3 in July.

In an interview with during the event, European marketing MD Laurent Fischer said that publishers were clamouring to work with the company after getting hands-on with the tech.

"One of the major objectives of our E3 was to stress that it's important for Nintendo that we get this level of support from partners," said Fisher. "Of course we're happy about it, but it's more than we would have dreamed of with such support from our partners at this new time for consoles."

All major publishers are onboard and creating new titles for the system, including Activision, Capcom, EA, Konami, Namco, Sega and Ubisoft. Franchises lined up for the system including DJ Hero, Resident Evil, The Sims, Metal Gear Solid, Ridge Racer, Super Monkey Ball and Assassin's Creed.

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Latest comments (18)

Thomas Luecking10 years ago
What about the Zelda remake? Do we have to wait for that another 6 months after launch?

The Virtual Console with GB and GBA titles is very smart businesswise and very attractive for the consumers (at least for me ;))

BTW: This official news is just showing how much bullcrap the German BILD newspaper is publishing
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Will this have its own store, or use the same one as the DSi uses? Will DSi titles be purchasable/work on the 3DS (presume so)?

Agree on GBA virtual console - with the amount of storage space in the system, it should work great. There is a huge library of quality GBA titles available.

Bit surprised by the timing though - why not announce the same thing early next year? Surely this will cost them sales over Xmas.
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Ben Furneaux Principal Designer 10 years ago
That's the ugliest bit of hardware since the original DS. I'll hold out for the 3DS Lite.
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Show all comments (18)
Thomas Luecking10 years ago
@Ben: Totally agree on your opinion regarding the formfactor!
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Stephen Northcott Senior Consulting Engineer 10 years ago
Seems a little expensive to me.
Are they hoping to gouge first adopters / Nintendo fanboys and then drop the price? (re. The "selling at a profit" part of their PR).
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Kevin Clark-Patterson Lecturer in Games Development, Lancaster and Morecambe College10 years ago
The $300 is awfully close to premium console money IMO.

While I believe the 3DS will undoubtedly be a success, I don’t feel one and all will partake due to the price point. Add a game and the perception changes slightly but if its a standalone pack then $300 + $50 is PS3/360 money which usually get a game thrown in with the package!
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Josef Brett Animator 10 years ago
I think £188 (probably when it actual comes to the UK) is a better price than I was expecting.

The form factor doesn't bother me - I very muh like the look of what's on the inside!
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Pierre-Léo Bégay Community Representative, Electronic Arts10 years ago
@Thomas : in the video about the games, Zelda is indicated to be released next Spring.
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Still a wii bit expensive to me
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Duncan Lees Snr Software Engineer, SN Systems10 years ago
@ Josef : There's still VAT to add to that £188 figure? With VAT at 20% when the 3DS comes out, you're looking at an RRP of around £225.
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Simon Small Studying Bachelor of Multimedia (Games and Interactivity) / Bachelor of Science (Computer Science and Software Engineering), Swinburne University of Technology10 years ago
Prices can't be directly converted from Yen to western currencies, because the comparisons have never been very accurate except for the occasional coincidence.
What we can do however, is note that the 3DS is roughly 25% more expensive than the DSi LL/XL. This suggests a price of US$210, £190 (this one is close...), €210, AU$360 (EB Games expects AU$350).
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Josef Brett Animator 10 years ago
Duncan - I understand that £188 isn't the final price that it will cost over here - but anywhere in the £200-£225 range and I'll still be pleased.

It's a fairly unique piece of kit for that money and there already seems to be a lot of early support for the console, so I think I can stomach the amount.
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Dan Atkinson Development 10 years ago
Price point is too high, this needs to compete with the itouch which is about 20,000 en

Also I think it will not sell as much as they expect on launch, a lot of people this time will be waiting for the next iteration; 3DSi, 3DS lite or whatever it will be called.
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IMO, one of the mistakes Nintendo made with the original DS was not charging enough for it. They will easily sell out of these at launch, and hit their targets for this FY.

Its also part of their strategy (in my eyes anyway) to market/target the device more to gamers, and less to casuals - and gamers have no issue paying more for hardware. Its still cheaper than the launch price of any of the recent consoles, and the PSP.

I wonder how much the PSP2 will cost!
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Jamie Watson Studying Bachelor of Games & Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology10 years ago
S350 thats insane! but will it be worth it? that is question..... i hope that after the intial rush (fanboys,tech heads etc) the price will go down to somethime more reasonable....i hope...
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Ricky Hodgson Studying BA (Hons) Computer Games and Visual Effects, Anglia Ruskin University10 years ago
I will not be picking this up for anywhere near £188... urgh! Crazy price point...
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Antony Cain Lecturer, Teesside University10 years ago
I'm sure at launch for every 1 person moaning about the price there'll be 2 behind in the queue ready to pay it. It's not a terrible price, definitely not one I'd label "crazy" anyway ;)

Personally, I'll be waiting for a price drop but I do that for every new release
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Josef Brett Animator 10 years ago
With the exception of the PS3 most consoles/handhelds have launched between £200 and £300 for the past 15-20 years.

They (and games more or less) could be seen as 'less' now than they were 20 years ago...
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