At a press conference earlier this morning in New York, Nintendo's North American president Reggie Fils-Aime promised "a different kind of 3D," something you haven't experienced before in theaters nor trade shows:
Nintendo 3DS is 3D games, plus 3D video, plus 3D photography. No special glasses or skills to enjoy it. It's a breakthrough - there's nothing else like it. It's a category of one.
The Nintendo 3DS console will land on store shelves on March 27 at a suggested retail price of $250. The hardware will be available in two colors, aqua blue and cosmo black. The console has two displays, the lower three-inch 320x240 LCD display is touchscreen-capable while the upper 3.5-inch display enables 3D view without the need for special glasses running at 800x240 pixel resolution, with 400 pixels allocated to each eye in 3D mode.
The refreshed hardware includes WiFi, gyroscope and pedometer sensors that track your physical movement, an SD card slot, the new home button that takes you to the home screen, volume up and down buttons and a new notification light. It will ship with an extendable stylus, a 2GB SD memory card and a charging cradle that enables the console to stay in sleep mode indefinitely.
A handy 3D depth slider on the console's left side allows you to adjust the perception of depth on its glass-less 3D display. The 3DS can play video in 3D while its stereo cameras let you take realistic 3D pictures in 640x480 pixel resolution. Insisting that Nintendo be viewed as an entertainment rather than a games company, Reggie Fils-Aime went through a variety of launch titles spawning several genres, including sports, action, shooter, fighter, family, racing, and RPG.
Demoed games optimized for 3D experience include Nintendogs and Cats, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Kid Icarus Uprising, Dead or Alive Dimensions, Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer, EA's Madden NFL, Street Fighter 4 and more. Over 30 games should be available immediately or shortly following the March 27 launch.
The system will ship preloaded with several apps, such as parental controls, 3D Camera and Sound apps, Pedometer, Activity Log, an improved web browser, a suite of augmented-reality games, FaceRaiders shooting gallery that incorporates the image of yourself and Mii Maker that will let you swap Miis from 3DS to 3DS using StreetPass, Nintendo's local networking technology.
The alunch lineup includes Nintendogs + cats (upper left), Steel Diver (upper right), The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (lower left) and Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D (lower right)
A handy system transfer feature enables you to transfer already purchased titles between two or more 3DS consoles. It also lets you transfer DSiWare stuff you bought for your DSi or the DSi XL onto a 3DS console. The console's firmware will be upgradeable over the Internet.
3DS games will be able to download additional content over the Internet via SpotPass technology. AR cards will be included, allowing you to view the cards using the outer cameras to play supported augmented-reality games. The 3DS is backwards-compatible so it'll play most games for the Nintendo DS family.