In the most unceremonious fashion — a financial forecast — Nintendo announced the price and release date for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan.
The Nintendo 3DS will launch on February 26 for 25,000 yen (roughly $300). It’ll arrive in the United States and Europe in March at the earliest, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
(Update: Nintendo also held a press event in Japan with lots of 3DS announcements. Kotaku has the final specs and some good news: Nintendo DSi owners who bought downloadable games will be able to transfer them to the 3DS.)
If history’s any indication, the 3DS will cost less than $300 in the United States. As Gaming Age points out, the DSi XL, Nintendo’s latest handheld, sells for 18,000 yen in Japan (roughly $215 now), and $170 stateside. My completely speculative, uninformed guess? $250 in the United States.
My experience with the Nintendo 3DS is limited to a handful of brief tech demos at the E3 industry expo in June. What I remember most is that the glasses-free 3D effect appears to recede into the screen, rather than popping out, and that you need to stare at the screen head-on, and a little over a foot away, to get the best picture. Nintendo was wise enough to include a hardware slider for controlling the 3D effect or switching it off completely. Also, it looks pretty cool in its best moments.
But as with 3D television, 3DS will be all about the content. The list of planned Nintendo 3DS games is 70-strong so far, but how many will be available at launch is unclear. I also haven’t heard anything about 3D movies since Nintendo mentioned the possibility as E3. If I were buying a 3DS, I’d have to be convinced that the price premium was for future-proofing, not a passing fad. (Still open to debate, however, is whether 3D itself is a fad.)