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Nintendo 3DS Launched in Amsterdam

David Gilbert by

Nintendo 3DS Launched in Amsterdam

The Nintendo 3DS was today officially launched in Amsterdam and it was confirmed that the 3DS will be available on March 25.

At the launch Nintendo said it couldn’t confirm the price of the next gen handheld console but said that consumers would have to refer to retailers for a price in each region. Initial reports suggest that the 3DS will go on sale for £230 here in the UK. Jonathan Ross was the presenter of the show in Amsterdam with a simultaneous event taking place in New York to announce the US launch of the device.

The 3DS is the first ever gaming device to provide 3D gaming without the need for glasses. Nintendo Managing Director of Marketing, Laurent Fisher, told the audience in Holland that the company had wanted to put 3D into its Gamecube console and even since the NES has been pursuing the possibility of 3D – but the technology was not there until now.

A host of features and gaming titles were announced during the hour-long presentation. The 3DS will bring a new level of connectivity to the device and Spot Pass and Street Pass are two features which will help this. Spot Pass will allow you to automatically connect with wireless hotspots such as BT Fon in the UK, and will deliver content wirelessly to your 3DS from such partners such as Eurosport and possibly Sky 3D in the UK.

David Sproxton from Aardman Studios, creators of Wallace and Gromit, also took to the stage to announce that Aardman and Nintendo are working together to provide specially created content exclusively for the 3DS. Creating a series of one-minute shorts in 3D, starring Shaun the Sheep, the content will be provided through Spot Pass by the end of 2011.

Street Pass automatically trades information with other 3DS devices when you pass them on the street. The Mii characters associated with that device will be transferred to your device and vice versa, however no such transfer will happen unless you set up your device to do so.

On the games front, the 3DS will come with a wide range of games from a number of developers with 25 new games promised by the beginning of June. Representatives from a number of the games developers presented their games to the audience this afternoon. A spokesman from Capcom took to the stage to present Street Fighter IV 3D, one of the most anticipated 3DS games, telling people they can fight anyone anywhere in the world at any time.

Ubisoft announced a range of games including Rayman, Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars, Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs and Asphalt 3D. Konami will launch Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D for the handheld gaming device, adding a new camera position to the game. The new camera view will be called Player View which makes you feel “like you’re really playing football on the football pitch,” according to Konami. Team Ninja also announced Dead or Alive Dimensions, the first game in the fighting series for five years.

Nintendo titles that will be launching on the 3DS will be Star Fox 64 3D, Kid Icarus 64, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Pilotwings 3D, Nintendogs + Cats, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D, Super Monkey Ball 3D, Animal Crossing 3D and a submarine title called Steeldiver.

The gaming line-up shows a move towards a more grown-up gaming experience than had been previously seen on the DS consoles. This maybe an attempt to take some market space from the Sony PSP2 which is due to be announced in the coming weeks.

Some of the other new features built into the software include the Mii maker, which allows you to create a Mii character from a picture taken on the camera; an activity tracker, which counts your steps taken every day to tell you how much exercise you are getting; augmented reality will also be part of the 3DS as will as a built in game called Face Raiders where you can shoot at a picture of yourself.

We will be bringing you a hands-on review from Amsterdam as soon as we have a closer look at the 3DS and the games that are available for it so stay tuned for more information. We will also be bringing you a confirmed price for the 3DS as soon as we get one.

Go to comments

Max

January 19, 2011, 9:12 pm

£229 RRP in the UK, but retailers are free to set the price which means if there are shortages (which there will be given the 3D tech and Nintendo's incompetence) retailers can raise the price and gouge customers. They aren't allowed to do this for other consoles or portables, Sony set a maximum price and MS have fixed pricing but they do allow discounting at certain times.

jingyeow

January 19, 2011, 9:53 pm

Price is too high. Nintendo are on their natural decline cycle that happens after they've exploited their customers with the same tech for too long. 3D is a gimmick and the market will swiftly crash. Plus not enough research has been done to measure the strain it puts on the eyes, particularly on small screens and long exposure to the moving images + changes in depth.

Tim Sutton

January 19, 2011, 10:04 pm

@Max Power





Where are you getting that RRP from? There's been nothing officially released on Euro/GBP pricing whatsoever.





The Japanese price works out at around £190, so £200ish here would at least be consistent. A handheld retailing for more than the current gen of consoles does seem a little excessive to me though.





I sort of lost interest when Nintendo tripped all over the region-locking status. If I can't be sure that my UK 3DS will play US and Japanese games, then I'm not buying one.

jingyeow

January 19, 2011, 11:03 pm

@Tim Sutton - There are some claiming that based on US prices, add in the 20% tax, price is more like £249.99 craziness

hankb6d

January 19, 2011, 11:56 pm

Shame about the price, I was hoping for a crash in the DS lite line.





Not interested in 3D, still getting over Jaws 3D.

rav

January 20, 2011, 12:56 am

Engadget are also quoting £229. How many people would really choose this over a PS3 or 32GB iPod Touch? The original PSP was only £180 at launch and that was truly stunning hardware for the time.





As you can tell, I just can't get over the price. This is supposed to be a kid's toy isn't it?

Runadumb

January 20, 2011, 2:14 am

So we are all in agreement then? The price is (not unexpectedly) shocking. This being Nintendo however I expect it to sell out for most of the year, which is just mental.


In 2 years time phones will make the hardware look dated and in 5 years time (The shortest life-cycle you would expect) ancient. Add in the cost of games at £30-£35 a pop for remakes of (admittedly great) N64 games and you would have to be a serious lover of portable gaming to splash out on one.





Your move Playstation Experia play...phone...your move (It will suck)





Oh and Hank gets bonus points for the jaws 3D mention :D

David Gilbert

January 20, 2011, 2:26 am

@Max Power @rav @Tim Sutton The price has not been and won't be released by Nintendo but from what we can see £230 in the UK is a good estimate, though as a few people have mentioned shops will be able to charge more initially as there will be a shortage of 3DSs in the UK.





@Runadumb The price of £230 is ridiculous when compared to the price of a fully fledged console at the moment. However, as with the DS and DSi, Nintendo may have noticed that its customers are not just gawky teenagers who want to play games, but are middle to upper class adults with disposable income to slash out on devices at this price. Look at the advertising campaign featuring well-to-do people enjoying their DSs in their fancy homes. The 3DS will sell and in huge numbers, no matter how extortionate the price is.

HarryGlass

January 20, 2011, 6:44 am

Who designed that brick? It's one ugly device and apart from the 3D aspect seems like something out of the 90s. I think if it wasn't Nintendo people would laugh at this. I think most people these days would rather just game on their phones and this could spell the end for Nintendo.

Runadumb

January 20, 2011, 1:35 pm

@David Gilbert oh yeah I totally agree. As I said the thing will sell out for quite a why I suspect.

Jones

January 20, 2011, 1:58 pm

3DS sounds a little too much like 3DO for my liking!





Anyway, the major players in the gaming industry rarely get their pricing strategies wrong. Nintendo will not have picked some figure out of thin air. I suspect the 3DS will sell slowly to begin with before seriously picking up later in the year and becoming another Nintendo success story.





With two very young kids, Id rather spend my tiny left over disposable income on the next iPhone so I'll be missing out on this party. Dug out the Virtual Boy the other day though - still think its a blast!

BOFH UK

January 20, 2011, 2:37 pm

Here's the thing... I have no doubt that Nintendo will sell all the units they can make even at that price. They've got too big a market not to and a LOT of fans that'll buy the latest and greatest no matter what. Once they run out (which will probably take at least a year) we'll more than likely see a price drop or a revised model. So while I do think they're taking the proverbial I understand why they've done it.





So my question is maybe a bit different... what does this bring to the market that's going to improve games? 3D is a nice gimick and on a big screen 3D gaming can really add to the immersion but I'm not at all convinced about a handheld. 3D movies are nice but, again, that screen is what, 3.5" with a 400 x 240 resolution? Are you really going to watch a movie on that, especially in 3D? For that matter reports yesterday suggest that the 3D is a bit broken anyway with any movement off-axis causing issues, games needing different settings on the 3D slider for the same person and, worse of all, several reports of major headaches after playing.





So how about as a 2D console? It's a nice leap forward over the DSi, no question, but it's already outgunned by mobile phones and that gap is going to get worse and worse, not to mention the rumoured arrival of the PSP2 being close at hand. Yes, it'll have a wide range of good quality games but I can't help thinking that at £30 - £40 a time they may struggle when faced with the FAR lower prices on iOS, Android etc (especially as more games companies start looking seriously at those platforms for their big titles).





I dunno, I want to like this, I really do. But to date I've seen nothing that makes me think I'd even want to try one out, let alone actually buy one. Any suggestions about what I'm missing would be welcome.

Simon

January 20, 2011, 5:10 pm

At that price i would rather have a Pandora (www.openpandora.org) which plays games, has a browser, touch screen and can do loads more. No 3D, but seriously, that surely is just a gimmick?

Jones

January 20, 2011, 5:41 pm

The 3D may well be a bit gimmicky but Nintendo havent a complete huge deal about it - a bit of noise but they havent gone OTT over teh 3D aspect. The fact you can turn it off speaks volumes in my opinion. It's a selling point of the moment. Nintendo can harp on about how theyve wanted affordable 3D for years but they aren't stupid: DS (huge achiever) + 3D (huge talking point and growing industry) = another success story for a pretty basic progression from the DS.

Runadumb

January 20, 2011, 6:29 pm

@Simon has the Pandora even properly shipped yet? Haven't seen any reviews. I was very interested 3 years ago but the constant delays killed it for me. The guys ambitions are admirable but it just doesn't really have a place now IMO. Shame.

Simon

January 20, 2011, 7:07 pm

@Runadumb Yes they started shipping at the tail of last year. There are reviews out there, i have just been looking at loads. I am very tempted, but £280 is a lot for what it is, even if what it is is very cool.

Spunjji

January 20, 2011, 8:35 pm

Most of these "it'll never work" / "it's a gimmick" comments amuse me because they very much mirror the things people were saying about the DS prior to its release; the addition of "it will sell well anyway" is new, mind you.





I wouldn't pay £230 for it, but I'm sure they'll find their market.





To everybody noting that the tech will soon be outdated: You're missing the point. Nintendo tech is usually already outdated when it launches, so this is fairly novel.





£30 portable games are a pain, but comparing them with the stuff that gets released on phones is just plain silly. If that worked out true then nobody would buy PC games because of all the Flash / freeware titles out there. People will pay good money for good games; whether you think the first releases qualify for the latter description is debatable.

simon jackson

January 20, 2011, 9:50 pm

@Runadumb - "In 2 years time phones will make the hardware look dated"





The current crop of next gen SoCs and GPUs about to be released widely in the smartphone market ALREADY make the hardware look dated. The 3DS uses arm11 chips, which are old iPhone processors (2G/3G). Alright, it has two of them. But then, it has two displays, and has to generate two views for the 3D effect. Check out the latest Samsung processor called Hummingbird which is based on an Arm Cortex A8. Very impressive indeed. An Arm11 based chip was in my (very) old HTC Tytn II, to give you some idea of it's age. And in terms of graphics performance, the PowerVR SGX540 chip in the Samsung galaxy S, paired with the hummingbird, produces impressive benchmark results. I THINK, though i can't find the link to the article now, they are much higher than iPhone 4 scores.





However, as impressive as all the above are, they pale in comparison to the forthcoming tegra 2 from nVidia, which uses the Arm cortex A9, and their own geforce gpu, which is around 10-30% faster than the already extremely impressive PowerVR SGX540 i mentioned above. Search for a video of Galaxy on Fire 2 ported to android and running on tegra 2 to see what i mean. They upped the poly count by a factor of 6 and the texture resolution by a factor of 4 from the original iPhone version. It is seriously, seriously good. This platform powers the LG Optimus 2X.





So, leaving aside the 3D, the 3DS is a dedicated handheld which is being outperformed graphically by the latest top-end smartphones (which are multi-purpose devices) before it's even been released. Why buy a 3DS, when you can have a more powerful gaming platform in your phone, which you have to carry around with you anyway? And forget the cost of iPods, pads, or phones, you can get phones like the galaxy s for sub-£100 on contract.





But even if the price of the console itself isn't enough to put you off, the game pricing is an absolute joke. £40. Yep, FOUR ZERO. I don't even pay that for most of my 360/ps3 games. Utterly rediculous. Plus they're region locked, so no importing.





So the question comes down to whether you're prepared to pay a hefty premium for 3D. In my case, the answer is a definitive no. I wouldn't even pay a little extra for a 3d cinema ticket. I think it has novelty value, but it's far from a game-change. It doesn't revolutionise the experience. Floating holograms would revolutionise the experience.

simon jackson

January 20, 2011, 10:00 pm

@Spunjji





That game argument would hold water if the difference between the production value of a modern £5.00 iOS game and a 3DS game was as stark as the difference betwen the production value of say, mass effect 2, and mafia wars. Both fun to play; both very different in scope. However, premium iOS games have high production value, are immersive and engaging to play, and are just as "serious" as likely 3DS titles. Make no mistake about it, they are proper games. Sure, there are plenty of 59p throw away titles which are 10 minute distractions every now and then rather than serious gaming endevours, but the 3DS will have plenty of those two, and they're unlikely to cost significantly less than £30-40.





I genuinly think nintendo are wide of the mark with the 3DS, which is bizarre for a company so well in touch with the mass-market circa Wii release. Their approach to the 3DS seems to ignore the revolution that has taken place in mobile gaming over the last 5-10 years. It's like they're stuck in 1995.

Runadumb

January 21, 2011, 1:22 am

@Simon Jackson yes I know all about those chips and what power they have. My 2 year remark was basically "in the eyes of the consumer" also taking into account Midrange, ie lower priced handsets. The 3D which you dismiss so quickly on the 3DS will certainly leave people much more impressed than any games on a Tegra2 powered handset for some time.


Just look at Resident Evil, people keep comparing it to the consoles, and rightly so as the character models look great, even if the environmental textures look very poor at times (from videos I have seen as I have never seen one in person).


However as Tegra 3 (or other equally exciting chips) is soon to be announced and we start to see games being pushed at Iphone 4 resolutions on 4 inch displays at 30+fps I take back my 2 year remark and change it to 1 year. 1 Year until the 3DS actually looks poor compared to a high-end phone, 3D or 2D. Whether that matters or not is a bloody big conversation in itself that frankly i'm not having here haha. There is a nice medium of "Good enough" and the 3DS may very well meet that. I replay older games all the time but I don't pay a fecking premium to do it. Also Nintendo are 2nd only to Apple in marketing so it doesn't matter if these new phones crush the 3DS in terms of raw polygon pushing power.





@"Spunjii £30 portable games are a pain, but comparing them with the stuff that gets released on phones is just plain silly."


As Simon pointed out I also don't believe that to be the case at all. From the moment I found Play.com I have very rarely paid more that £18 for a PC game. That is any PC game, not just low budget affairs but brand new big budget releases. If they didn't launch at £18 they very quickly fell to that price. The last 3 years things have changed, new pc games often retail for £25-£30 but my spending habits haven't because that is what I am so used to paying. Throw in the steam sales and just waiting 3-6 months after release can net almost any game for under £20. It's the reason I scoff at £40 for COD, just seems mental to me.


Which brings me, eventually to my point. If the kids today (kids today eh? pfft) are used to pocket money prices for games on their Ipods why would they want a handheld that has games 10 times the cost? Games that they can only get at birthdays, christmas or every few months, if they are lucky? With titles like GTA china wars, Dead space, Monkey Island all finding their way onto these devices and for under a tenner surely over only next few years the current handheld model is going to look very outdated.





Anyway I am ranting and who knows, one look at a 3DS in action may change my mind. Even though I don't consider myself much of a Handheld gamer I was quite surprised today when I realised I have owned a Gameboy, Gamegear, GBA, DS (for 3 useless months) and a PSP. Nintendo can get their hooks into me yet, I just don't fancy their chances.

J4cK1505

January 21, 2011, 7:44 am

@Spunjji you seem to just accept and are happy with the fact that Nintendo can release out dated tech, with a price tag that suggests otherwise... if the whole world was like you, we would never see any tech innovation

TechVegan

January 21, 2011, 2:42 pm

@Simon:


If you read my hands-on preview with the 3DS { http://www.trustedreviews.com/... }, you'll see that 3D can genuinely enhance the games - when it works.


Oh, and the 3DS also has a touch screen and web browser :)





Not that the Pandora isn't a great little box from what I can tell - in fact I'm hoping to get one myself at some stage.

simon jackson

January 21, 2011, 3:43 pm

@Runadumb





Well, we both obviously have a different take on the 3D issue. I'm afraid i am skeptical about the improvement in gaming experience it offers. Obviously, some will feel differently. The question is, will they pay a hefty premium for the technology. I'm not totally opposed to 3D, I'm just not blown away by it by any means. And, again, I believe there are plenty of people out there who will be more impressed by the significantly better graphical performance of tegra 2 than with the 3D effect produced by the 3DS. Not totally sure what your comment about iPhone 4 resolution pertains to though. Galaxy on Fire 2 running on tegra 2 is running at a higher resolution than iPhone4, and with all the other improvements i indicated above. So the games are already there, people just need to start making the phones.





I'm happy to see you've revised your estimate from 2 years to 1. However, I'm afraid i'm sticking with my initial assertion, that the hardware already looks poor compared to high end phones :P Whether the 3D effect can go some way towards compensating for that in the eyes of consumers is a subjective issue - it comes down to personal taste. The fact remains that the performance of the new high end smartphone platforms is superior to the 3DS, which hasn't even been launched yet. I also agree that a lot of consumers may well compare it with middling hardware and therefore also not be left with this impression. But my original point was related to high end smartphones, not the average handset, and not the perception of the general public.





And on that subject I do agree that for most consumers it's about what's "good enough". My point is really that if there are enough games on their phone which satisfy the "good enough" criteria, then why shell out the best part of 300 quid (by the time you've bought even a single game with the console) for something else to find a home for in your pocket? That's what i believe the biggest hurdle is for the 3ds to overcome, not this slightly esoteric computer geek argument about raw performance: it's price. I think nintendo are pricing themselves out of the handheld mass market (the casual handheld gamer, who probably owns an iOS device with lots of games on it). It's a LOT of money for most people - they could pick up a PS3 for that cash, which serves as a blu ray player too. Imo, that leaves "serious" gamers, who're prepared to spend that much cash on a hand held, to fill out the early adopter base. And that's us - the sort of people who're going to want to pick apart its specs.





That probably serves as quite a nice summary of my point: raw performance and specs don't matter so much to the mass market, casual gamer, but if you price yourself out of that market, you're left with "expert" consumers who will research their purchases thoroughly to ensure value for money. In fact, if sony have any marketing nouse left whatsoever, they'll anounce the psp2 for 170-180 GBP next week and take a huge slice of the casual market with it.





Imo, nintendo should have gone down the smartphone route. They should have had developers working on games for an android nintendo smartphone, with cutting edge SoC hardware. They could have had 20-30 games ready to go on the market, accounting for the current lack of "next-gen" android titles, which appeared only to nintendo phone users (which is easy enough to do with android versions - they already hide apps according to software version and location) or were perhaps more expensive for non-nintendo phone users and which graphically max out the chips inside. In other words, standardise the harwdare platform for a load of software releases, like apple have done with the iOS platform. Nintendo have huge weight behind them as a brand, and a dedicated nintendo gaming phone could have, in my opinion, really challenged the iPhone install base. Nintendo have a great image with customers, especially younger customers, and the Wii has made them a household name if they weren't already. A bit radical i know, for a games company to produce a mobile phone, but I would TOTALLY have bought one. No matter what the price.

Runadumb

January 21, 2011, 3:43 pm

I actually spent 20 mins last night watching some Pandora vids. There is something about seeing playstation, snes, N64 etc games running on a single device that gets me excited haha. Ardjuna you should try and get one in for a "review" :D





Oh and can I take back my take back of the 2 year thing??? lol 2 years sounds more likely.

Runadumb

January 21, 2011, 5:22 pm

@Simon I actually agree with your overall point. The price is a HUGE factor but just watch this thing fly off the shelves and the silly prices it reaches on ebay. It would be great to see Nintendo eat some humble pie like Sony had to during the PS3 launch (£550?? REALLY?) but at least with the PS3 you were getting some seriously high-end tech. Blue-ray was so expensive and rare but now it's in your games console!


I know many 5-9 year old's with a DS, I don't see their parents rushing out to buy them a 3DS any time soon. The price will have to drop a lot for that to happen. How long Nintendo can hold onto that price point is the real question. I would guess, all this year.





As for turning it into a Phone, while I agree, you might want to take a peak at the comments regarding the PSphone rumours over on CVG. Turns out theres plenty of people that hate the idea. I'm not sure if they just don't understand what it could bring to the table or if they just aren't interested in that kind of device. The whole idea is so awesome to me I can't believe it's taking so long to get to a point were it can be done justice.





I'm sure you have heard the rumours about Sony officially unveiling the PSP2 on the 27th to take the wind out of Nintendo's sails? I want to suggest an approach I have been thinking about lately. PSP2 with Android Honeycomb as a feature. Not built on Android (does android support MIPS?) but it is there in the menu. Takes care of the phone type games, media, browser and all that good stuff whilst giving access to emulators so people are less likely to hack the crap out of it. If more phones had Bluetooth tethering all built on Bluetooth 4 which is meant to consume almost no power then you could just leave bluetooth on all the time and have a internet enabled Handheld. Of course an actual phone version would be great as well, or even a detachable gamepad. Imagine the PSPGO, but instead of a screen it's a magnetic backplate your phone clips onto. Add in conductive charging and there you have a slim, fast smartphone with the option of proper gaming. That add-on may be seriously expensive haha.





*I'm totally ignoring various issues with my almost perfect idea and continuing to believe it will happen exactly as I have envisioned within the next 12 months.

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