3DS launch details – a two paragraph special

The 3DS conferences are done and dusted – the cleaners are sweeping away the empty Red Bull cans and cleaning the sweat marks off the demo models as we type – so it’s time to mull over the facts. The facts: Europe will gets the handheld, in a choice of blue or black, on 25th March. That’s two days before America believe it or not. Reggie announced during the US conference that the US price would be $249 (about £162 by current conversion rates) but Nintendo of Europe rather bemusing told the press to refer to retailers. HMV stepped off the mark first by announcing a £229 price tag while Amazon has it listed for £220. Online retailer GameGears (nothing to do with the Sega handheld, incidentally) then caused a minor shake up (on Twitter at least) but listing it as £194.99. Game prices are likewise hard to judge – Asda has the line-up available to pre-order at £29.91 a title whereas GAME wants £39.99.

What did we learn about the handheld today? Quite a bit, actually. It’ll have a home button, basic web browsing and software to run 3D movies with Sky 3D mentioned as a supplier. Rather than each game having a unique friend code for multiplayer each system will have its own code and can search for players nearby. Twenty eight games will be released between launch and June, eight of which are being published by Ubisoft, and it was also revealed that Dead or Alive: Dimensions will have a Metroid: M arena. There’s going to be a free game pre-installed on the handheld too – Face Raiders, which puts your mug into a shooting gallery. I’d wager that it’s more of a tutorial for the 3D camera than a proper game as such. “Most” DS games will be backwards compatible which is a bonus but as reported, the handheld will sadly be region locked.

Matt Gander

Matt is Games Asylum's most prolific writer, having produced a non-stop stream of articles since 2001. A retro collector and bargain hunter, his knowledge has been found in the pages of tree-based publication Retro Gamer.

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  • That price, then. It’s a lot isn’t it? The PSP was only £180 and that was for the value pack full of extra stuff.

    For the price of a UK 3DS you could get a US one imported with a couple of games. That said, you might end up getting stung for import tax…

  • It does seem over priced. Maybe Nintendo think people are paying lots for Apple products now or feel the 3D wow-factor justifies it, but I’m not sure. It’s quite contradictory to Nintendo’s history of low cost, mainstream, kid-friendly systems.

    It’s not even a particularly amazing new system, it’s just around the PSP on the tech level (which is 6 years old now, with the PSP2 due late this year), it’s all about the 3D factor.

    I think they over estimate how many people really give a fuck about migraine-inducing pseudo-3D (see: 3D TVs).

  • I was just thinking, “will the iPod/iPhone/iPad eat Nintendo’s cake” and I sort of dismissed it, as I usually do whenever the subject of Apple and gaming comes up (Pippin, lol!).

    Then I realised DS games cost £30-40. iOS games cost 59p up to about £5 for blockbusters (GTA Chinatown Wars, FIFA, World of Goo).

    Now the DS costs more than an iPod Touch. I can see Apple gobbling up massive chunks of Nintendo’s marketshare.

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