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Rumour: Nintendo 3DS launch "early next year"

Nintendo source claims at least one territory may get new portable console this year

A senior Nintendo source has claimed that the newly unveiled Nintendo 3DS console will be launched worldwide "by early next year" and that at least one territory is "likely" to get the new hardware in 2010.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz sister site Eurogamer, the unnamed source indicated that Nintendo UK had no announcement regarding launch date or price planned in the near future.

Neither subject was addressed in Nintendo's pre-E3 media event yesterday, although previously the company had indicated that the 3DS would launch before the end of the company's financial year in March 2011.

It is unclear though whether the March 2011 date includes any territory other than Japan, which has traditionally received new hardware, particularly portables, several months before the West.

First announced in March 2010, the 3DS and its games were demonstrated for the first time at E3 yesterday, with a number of playable demos and trailers now available on the show floor.