While you were sleeping last night, Nintendo trucked out a ton of details about the 3DS, all of which we’ve gathered here for your convenience and slapped commentary on.
- Release date: February 26th in Japan. North America/Europe will receive it in March 2011, according to media reports. That’s later than many expected, but I’m happy we’ll have six months to save up for the pricey system, and developers will have more time to polish their launch titles.
- Pricing: ¥25,000 ($299) in Japan. Wii launched at that price in Japan, debuting at $249 in the U.S. If we’re lucky, we’ll see a similar difference. Still, that’s way expensive — you could buy a PS3 for that price.
What you get with each system purchase:
- Nintendo 3DS (in Aqua Blue & Cosmo Black)
- Charging cradle / AC adapter
- Telescoping metal stylus
- 2GB SD memory card
- Six augmented reality paper cards for included games/apps that use the portable’s cameras
New capabilities (not including previously discussed features like the stereoscopic 3D, analog pad, etc.):
- Enhanced, system-wide tag mode trades data with others for multiple games — even for carts not currently in your portable. If only this came out in time for Dragon Quest IX! You can see this demonstrated in the video below.
- Download content like game data and demos via Wi-Fi automatically while in sleep mode.
- Hitting the Home button allows you to access other system features without shutting down your game. Finally! I’ve wanted this for years!
- Ability to transfer software purchases/downloads from a DSi system to your new 3DS. It’s about time! Nintendo intends to implement a limit on how often you can transfer games and apps.
- Virtual-console style platform that lets you buy Game Boy and Game Boy Color releases (and possibly titles from other classic consoles) with support for new visuals that take advantage of the 3D display.
New built-in software:
- 3DS Camera - For taking 3D photos! Mostly for capturing goofy poses for a few minutes, then for recording vulgar images afterward.
- 3DS Sound - Perhaps this is something that will turn the 3DS into a serious iPod-style audio player? At the least, I hope there’s enough here to keep people’s attention longer than the DSi Sound app.
- AR Games - For playing augmented reality titles with the included AR cards/markers.
- Mii Studio, Chance Encounter Mii Plaza - Lets you create and trade Miis for your handheld. You can even create avatars based on photos you take! Apparently, you can trade Miis via QR codes and the enhanced tag mode mentioned earlier.
So, do you think that’s all worth $250-$300?