Nintendo’s 3DS press conference held this afternoon in Amsterdam revealed the European launch details for their new 3DS handheld.
Nintendo bosses took to the stage and revealed that the 3DS is due for release in the UK on 25th March (2011), No official price was announced for the UK version instead it’s been left ‘up to the retailer’, which could be seen as good news for potential customers. You can pre-order here for just £219.85. The 3DS allows players to view 3D images without the need for those special (expensive)glasses, and comes with a 2GB memory card installed (additional cards can be purchased). As with previous DS’s the 3DS comes with two screens – one is a touch screen and the other is the 3D screen, there’s also a motion sensor, gyro sensor, a slider switch to toggle between 3D & 2D settings.
3DS comes with three cameras which allows users to take 3D pictures and an analogue pad, The consoles will be available in two colours at launch, Aqua Blue or Cosmos Black. One important note is that will please current DS owners is that the 3DS is backwards compatible.
Nintendo bosses also confirmed that SKY 3D, Eurosport and Aardman Animation’s will be providing 3D content directly to the console, and demonstrated Street Pass, which will enable the easy and automatic sharing of data between two 3DS consoles while in standby mode. Also confirmed was region lock, meaning that you won’t be able to import games from the USA or East Asian regions as they won’t work with European 3DS’s.
“Nintendo 3DS is not just about being able to watch and play in 3D without glasses – it also offers unique social experiences” said Laurent Fischer, Managing Director of Marketing & PR for Nintendo Europe. “In the way Wii brought families together, Nintendo 3DS will appeal to a broad range of people.”
Each Nintendo 3DS system comes pre-loaded with a variety of fun games, applications and features, such as Nintendo 3DS Camera. Nintendo 3DS has three cameras. One camera points at the user, while two additional cameras point outward. These two outer cameras take photos in 3D. The fun, built-in game Face Raiders asks users to shoot at funny depictions of their own faces. Nintendo 3DS, when put into Sleep Mode, can act as a pedometer, while letting users earn Play Coins for the steps they take that can then be traded in for additional content in compatible games and applications. By accessing the Activity Log, users can check their steps as well as their play time. With Nintendo 3DS Sound, users can enjoy sound-manipulation tools or rock out while listening to their MP3 or AAC music files. An upgraded Internet browser will also be available via a system update.
The Mii Maker™ application gives users new tools to create Mii™ characters even more easily: Users can either import Mii characters from their Wii systems using an SD memory card or use the camera to take a picture of a person and have an automatic Mii character created. Users can even save their Mii characters to an SD card as pictures, which enables them to be used any way a digital photo would for personal use, such as a profile picture on social-networking sites.
The Nintendo eShop, through a system update, will offer access to downloadable games, including Nintendo DSiWare and ones specifically made for Nintendo 3DS. Also, just as the Virtual Console service on Wii makes retro games available for download, the Virtual Console games on Nintendo 3DS will be pulled from classic Game Boy™ and Game Boy Color games. Players will be able to view game videos, download demos for select games and see how other consumers rated the games. The Nintendo eShop will use a cash-based system. Users can either input credit card information in the shop or purchase a Nintendo 3DS Prepaid Card at retail locations.
Nintendo 3DS comes with six augmented-reality cards, called AR cards. When the two outer cameras are pointed at the cards, they read the cards and superimpose images and animations onto the scene. So users shouldn’t be surprised if they see a dragon popping out of their kitchen tables. Developers can also use this technology to add creative new experiences to their games.
Built-in parental controls can be used to limit Internet access or some of the wireless functions. By using a PIN code, parents also can turn off the 3D function altogether, or limit the ratings of the games that their kids can play.
Fans of online play will be happy to learn that the friend codes for Nintendo 3DS are specific to each Nintendo 3DS system, not each game. Once friends trade hardware codes, at any time they can check their friends list to see which of their friends are online and what they are playing.
Nintendo 3DS can also play Nintendo DS game cards with their original 2D visuals. The system also includes a slot for an SD memory card. To help users get started, every system comes with a 2GB SD memory card (though owners can provide whatever size they like). Using a service that will be provided after the hardware’s launch, Nintendo DSi and Nintendo DSi XL owners will be able to transfer games downloaded from the Nintendo DSi Shop onto their new Nintendo 3DS systems.