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Nintendo 3DS priced and dated

$249 in the US on March 27; March 25 for EU, no official price but GAME and HMV asking £230, £220

Nintendo has finally revealed the price point and exact release dates for its much-anticipated 3DS handheld console, and announced that 25 new games will go on sale at the same time.

The new hardware will weigh in at $249 in the US, and hit stores on March 27 there - with the UK and Europe seeing it two days earlier on March 25, although no official European price was detailed.

However, retail chain HMV is offering preorders of the device for £230, while has gone for a £220 price point.

GAME has since told that it plans on a £230 tag, with games costing £40.

The news was revealed during a preview press conference, which took place in Amsterdam and was hosted by UK TV personality Jonathan Ross.

The company also announced a host of other details on games and services, including two key partnerships in the UK - firstly with BT, which will enable the console to receive updates via its network of wifi hotspots.

And short form 3D sports content will also be available for download for 3DS owners, generated by Sky - with more specific details to follow in the coming months.

It was also announced that Aardman Animation would be creating a series of short films featuring Shaun the Sheep, especially for the 3DS.

Nintendo of Europe's director of marketing, Laurent Fischer, discussed the new Streetpass technology that will allow the 3DS to discover other consoles and share gaming data. Specifically, he outlined plans to allow users to add friends via a code that requires inputting just once.

Using this Streetpass technology, Capcom also announced that it would be possible to play Super Street Fight IV 3D Edition against anyone, anywhere and at any time across via a wifi connection.

Meanwhile, the company's commitment to third party developers for the 3DS - an area that's come under fire in the past, particularly from publishers that have struggled to compete with first party franchises - was underlined by Nintendo of Europe president Satoru Shibata, who was joined on-stage by Ubisoft president and CEO Yves Guillemot to praise that support.

New games announced included PES 2011 3D was announced by Konami, while Tecmo Koei's Team Ninja took the wraps off of Dead or Alive Dimensions.

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