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.