In a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 29, Nintendo announced that their long-awaited handheld, the Nintendo 3DS, will be released in Japan on Feb. 26, 2011. The 3DS will carry a price tag of 25,000 yen. Dates and pricing were not revealed for North America and European territories.

The Nintendo 3DS was first shown at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles in June, and is able to display stereoscopic 3-D effects without the use of glasses. Nintendo showed off a plethora of both first party and third party offerings at E3, but was mute on both when, and for how much, people would be able to get the device in their hands.

However, despite the importance of the holiday season for consumers, especially in the American market, the Nintendo 3DS will be launching in Japan in February. This is before hitting the North American and European markets in March, just before the end of Nintendo’s fiscal year — with final dates for the latter two markets being announced at a later time.

Nintendo also revealed many new details about the handheld, including integration of its popular Mii characters, which are user-created avatars that were included with the Nintendo Wii system. The 3DS will support Mii creation, even allowing people to take a picture of themselves with the unit’s built-in camera and having it morphed into a digital Mii character.

The 3DS will also come bundled with a two gigabyte SD card for expanded memory, and will utilize a Virtual Console feature. This feature is similar to the Wii’s, but will instead be focused on Nintendo’s strong back catalogue of Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. Other classic games, reformatted for viewing in 3-D, will also be available for download on the system.

The online capabilities of the 3DS were also mentioned, with Nintendo working (in Japan at least) to make Wi-Fi and Nintendo zones widely available for online connectivity.

The system also will have an added emphasis on “Tag Mode,” which allows the system to connect and share information with other units it passes automatically.

On the Wii side, Nintendo revealed the Wii Remote Plus, which is a Wii remote with the Wii Motion Plus attachment already built into the hardware.

Clark is a member of the class of 2012.

The 3DS will be released in February.



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