Nintendo says its glasses-free handheld 3DS will go on sale on March 27
in the U.S. for $250. That's the same price that the revolutionary Wii
console cost when it went on sale in 2006.
The gadget features a touch screen on the bottom and a 3-D screen on
top. It has three cameras, one facing the user and two facing outward.
The latter two let you take 3-D photos, which can be instantly displayed
on the screen. There's also an accelerometer and a gyroscope. These
track players' movements and how they tilt the screen, so they can play
games with motion-based capabilities or see the 3-D games from different
A "Mii Creator" uses photos you take of yourself to instantly create a
cartoon avatar based on your image. Then you can adjust it as you like.
The 3DS includes new social features, including "StreetPass," which
lets users exchange game information with other 3DS users nearby. For
example, your Mii avatar or game high scores can appear on your friend's
3DS if they have also chosen to activate this feature.
Nintendo Co. said more than 30 games will be available for the 3DS by
early June. Games will range from "Nintendogs + Cats," which adds
feline companions to the popular puppy simulator to "The Legend of
Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D" to 3-D versions of EA's Madden NFL Football"
and Capcom's "Resident Evil: The Mercenaries." Older games, including
those for the original Game Boy, will be available for download.
3DS will be available in black and shiny aqua blue. It can play games
from older DS systems, but they just won't be in 3-D. The 3-D gradient
is adjustable on the 3DS, or it can be turned off completely. If your
eyes don't adjust to the 3-D screen immediately, it helps to start out
the games in 2-D mode and then slowly turn up the 3-D slider.
Nintendo recommends that children aged 6 or younger should not play
3-D games because it could affect the development of their vision,
similar to warnings issued by makers of other 3-D products.