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Nintendo to release new 3DS handheld

System will allow users to play 3D games without the need for special glasses

Nintendo has announced it will release a new handheld hardware system, the Nintendo 3DS.

The console is to launch during the 2011 financial year, with the company claiming it will let users view games in 3D without the need for special glasses. It will aslo be backwards compatible with older DS games.

The company will announce full plans for the system at this year's E3 to be held in June.

The Nintendo 3DS will be the next in the handheld series which has so far sold 125 million units, and includes the DS Lite, DSi and the larger DSiLL.

At the start of the year, EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich predicted that Nintendo would announce a successor to the DS in 2010, to stay ahead of competition from Sony, Apple and other competitors.

"Nintendo has always had a controlling stake in the handheld market, despite facing numerous competitors, and EEDAR believes one of the biggest reasons for Nintendo’s success in the handheld market is their ability to remove opportunity gaps for competitors to enter," he said. "Nintendo’s transition from the GBA to the DS, a year earlier than anticipated, was a brilliant strategy to remove any upper hand the Sony PSP could have by being first to market."

Major publishers, including Ubisoft, have said that they are reducing their support for the DS console after sales for the format plummeted last year. A new handheld with a unique selling point compared to other portable systems could see publishers show renewed interest Nintendo hardware.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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