Nintendo 3DS hits shelves March 27 for $249: more details inside

Nintendo logoThe Nintendo 3DS will be on available starting March 27 for $249, Nintendo announced at a press event today. Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo's president, described in detail the features and launch games for the glassesless 3D handheld at the event.

The 3Ds will initially be available in two colors: aqua blue and black. The game card slot on the back will accept both 3DS and DS games, and the 3DS will come a 2GB SD card and charging cradle. A home button under the bottom screen will allow players to pause whatever they're doing and change applications, and a 3D slider lets them set the depth of the picture.

A light on the top left corner will communicate various statuses on the 3DS—for instance, green means a friend is online, and red means the battery is low. The front-facing camera above the top screen is 2D, and two cameras on the 3DS's back allow for 3D pictures.

The StreetPass feature will allow 3DSes that move past each other on the street to grab each other's Mii avatars to populate a virtual public area. The feature will also integrate with games, allowing characters to fight or exchange data.

Fils-Aime spoke at length about the slate of launch titles for the 3DS, including new versions of Pilotwings Resort, Madden, Dead or Alive, Super Street Fighter IV, and Nintendogs + cats, in which pets will be able to recognize players' faces, even licking them when they hold their faces close to the screen. Another title, Steeldiver, has the player targeting enemy ships through a periscope by rotating the 3DS itself.

Nintendo 3DS

Fils-Aime also noted that certain titles have no firm launch date, but 30 titles will become available for the 3DS between now and early June. But a minor emphasis of Fils-Aime's speech was Nintendo's goal of appealing to nongamers—"the system offers more than enough even for people who have never played a video game before," he noted, including the 3D camera and pedometer. There will also be an online store offering for-pay downloads of Game Boy and Game Boy Color releases. Mii Maker will allow you to create avatars based on your face, and the system will also come with a shooting gallery that uses your own image for target practice.

Nintendo plans to put 5,000 interactive units into stores, as well as mobile units on the streets of various cities, with the goal of getting a million people to try the 3DS before the March 27 launch date.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Nintendo, Nintendo 3DS, Sony

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