Nintendo 3DS gets a price and a date: $250, March 27th launch

We finally know what the pricing and availability of the Nintendo 3DS will be, as at a Wednesday, Jan. 19 NYC press conference, the company announced both: a launch date of March 27, and a price of $250.

Feature-wise, the Nintendo 3DS is adding a lot of functionality to combat the iPhone and iPod touch, which have been grabbing portable gaming market share. For example, in addition to the 3D support, it will have a front-facing 2D camera, and a pair of rear-facing cameras for 3D pictures.

Its game card slot will DS and new 3DS games. The 3DS will come a 2GB SD card and charging cradle. It even has a pedometer, and Mii Maker will allow users to more easily create Miis, even ones based on images taken with the 3DS' own camera.

The StreetPass feature will alert an owner if he passes another 3DS owner on (where else) the street. The owners can then check out what games the other has been playing, trade Miis in the new Mii Plaza, and, naturally, challenge them to a quick round of Street Fighter IV 3D Edition.

That's another thing that Nintendo revealed on Wednesday: the list of upcoming games. The company said that more than 30 3D titles are expected to be released during the 3DS "launch window" (which begins March 27 and closes on June 7 with the start of the Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3). From their press release we can glean the following information:

Nintendo "Launch Window" Titles
  • Nintendogs + cats
  • Pilotwings Resort
  • Steel Diver
A Partial List of Third-Party Titles Which Are "Coming Soon" (Nintendo's Wording)
  • Asphal 3D (Ubisoft)
  • Bust-a-Move Universe (Square Enix)
  • Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D (Ubisoft)
  • Crush 3D (Sega)
  • Dead or Alive Dimensions (Tecmo Koei)
  • Dual Pen Sport (Namco Bandai)
  • Lego Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars (LucasArts)
  • Madden NFL Football (EA Sports)
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D (Konami)
  • Rabbids Travel in Time (Ubisoft)
  • Rayman 3D (Ubisoft)
  • Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D (Capcom)
  • Ridge Racer 3D (Namco Bandai)
  • Samurai Warriors Chronicles (Tecmo Koei)
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked (Atlus)
  • The Sims 3 (EA)
  • Super Monkey Ball 3D (Sega)
  • Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition (Capcom)
  • Thor: God of Thunder (Sega)
  • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Shadow Wars (Ubisoft)
  • Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D (Ubisoft)
Nintendo Titles "In the Works" (Nintendo's Wording)
  • Animal Crossing game
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
  • Mario Kart game
  • Paper Mario game
  • Star Fox 64 3D
Until now, the Nintendo 3DS' big draw has been 3D without the need for special glasses. At the same time, Nintendo has warned that those six or below should avoid the device, or at least avoid 3D on it.

It's unclear how much of a draw 3D on a portable gaming system will be. Consumers are still trying to get their heads around 3DTV, much less 3D gaming. It's also unclear if 3D can help pull consumers away from the iPhone's Gamecenter, or even the upcoming Android PlayStation Phone.  We'll see how well the device is received in late March.

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