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.

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