Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nintendo To Launch New Handheld 3D Gaming Console On March 27

SAN FRANCISCO (Dow Jones)--Nintendo Co. (NTDOY, 7974.OK) said Wednesday that it will launch its new handheld 3D gaming console in the U.S. market on March 27 at a price tag of $250.

The new 3DS will allow gamers to view 3D content without the need for special glasses. The console is seen as key for Nintendo to maintain its strong lead in the handheld-gaming market, which has come under fierce attack in recent years by the sharp rise in mobile gaming on smartphone devices such as Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhone.

"Nintendo 3DS is a category of one--the experience simply doesn't exist anywhere else," Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said in a statement.

Like the existing DS console, the 3DS features two screens. The bottom touch-screen is used to help players control the game, while the top screen renders the game in 3D images, the scale of which can be controlled by the user, or turned off completely.

The console will also add a control called the Circle Pad, which provides 360 degrees of movement direction.

Nintendo also said more than 30 3DS titles will be available in the first three months after the console's launch. They include new Nintendo titles such as "Pilotwings Resort" and "Steel Diver," as well as third-party titles from publishers such as Electronic Arts Inc. (ERTS), Capcom Co. (9697.TO), Lucas Arts, Konami Corp. (KNM, 9766.TO) and Ubisoft Entertainment SA (UBI.FR).

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