Nintendo announced Wednesday that the Nintendo 3DS, the Japanese company's successor to its popular Nintendo DS, which has sold nearly 150 million units across the globe over the last seven years, will arrive on shelves in Canada and the United States on March 27th.
First unveiled during last year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, the two-screened device delivers a scalable 3-D effect via its upper display by dint to a new technology that directs separate images to each of the viewer's eye. In other words, players need not wear the glasses currently required to watch 3-D content in theatres and on home televisions. The 3DS can also function as a 3-D camera, thanks to a pair of outward-facing lenses designed to capture stereoscopic images.
The launch price is set at $250 in Canada and the United States, making it the most expensive portable game system Nintendo has ever released. In contrast, Nintendo's DSi XL, the most recent iteration of the Nintendo DS, launched at $200 in Canada and is currently selling for $170 in most stores.
Other hardware features include advanced processors capable of rendering more sophisticated graphics than previous Nintendo handhelds, a new circular control nub that will provide players with a more exacting interface than traditional d-pads, and a touch screen on the bottom half of its clamshell chassis. Players can also tilt the device to control game action thanks to an array of motion sensors.
Each 3DS will come with a variety of pre-loaded software, including the game Face Raiders, which employs the system's camera to capture images of the user's face, as well as a pedometer that will allow users to earn currency for use in specific games as they walk about in the real world.
Nintendo expects more than 30 boxed games to come available during the device's launch and the weeks following, including first party titles Pilotwings Resort and nintendogs + cats, as well as third party titles Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell and LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars. Users can also download digital content from a new online store called Nintendo eShop, including classic Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. It will be backwards compatible with Nintendo DS games.
Nintendo's new handheld arrives in North America one month after its Japanese release on February 26th, and two days after its European launch.