Nintendo’s new portable gaming console 3DS that features an autostereoscopic 3D display, meaning that no glasses are needed to see the 3D effect, is going to be hitting the market at the end of March. Nintendo has just officially announced the release dates and pricing of the Nintendo 3DS consoles and according to the company it will be available in Europe on March 25th with a price of €249.99 (Euro) and on March 27th for $249.99 USD in North America and this comes a month after the Japanese release date of the 3D console that will happen on February 26th with a price of ¥25,000 (Japanese Yens).
Initially the Nintendo 3DS system will be available in either Cosmos Black or Aqua Blue color with more colors probably to come at a later time. The console uses two screens with the lower one being a touch sensitive one and the upper one being the autostereoscopic 3D one. The depth of the stereo 3D images being displayed on the screen while playing games in 3D mode can be adjusted with the help of a physical slider and you can even disable the 3D mode and getting the game “flattened” just like if you played it on a 2D screen (this is actually the 2D mode of the console). And besides a 3D-capable screen the 3DS console also comes with dual cameras allowing you to take photos in stereoscopic 3D format (there is also a third camera pointing at the user), but so far you will not be able to record videos in 3D with these two cameras (this functionality may come as a future update).
The Nintendo 3DS console will be able to take advantage of augmented reality technology and it comes with six augmented-reality cards, called AR Cards. When the two outer cameras are pointed at these cards, they can be recognized by the console and it can superimpose images and animations onto the scene. Developers will also be able to use this technology to add creative new experiences to their games.
The 3DS comes with built-in Parental Controls that can be used to limit Internet access or some of the wireless functions and 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. The parental control feature is important for concerned parents that want to limit the 3D functionality of the console so that too smaller children won’t be able to use it.
During the launch window (between the launch date and the E3 Expo in early June) more than 30 games will be available to Nintendo 3DS owners. These include Nintendo-created games like Pilotwings Resort, which has players soaring acrobatically over iconic Wuhu Island; nintendogs + cats, a new version of the Nintendo DS classic with a feline enhancement; Steel Diver, a side-scrolling submarine adventure that gives the illusion that the player is peering into an aquarium. Other Nintendo 3DS games in the works include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Star Fox 64 3D, Kid Icarus: Uprising and new installments in the Mario Kart, Animal Crossing and Paper Mario series.
More details are already available on Nintendo’s official website, so you can also check it out.