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Nintendo 3DS to launch on March 25

Nintendo will release its 3D portable gaming machine in Britain on March 25, it was announced today.

That means there’s just two months to wait until you can get your hands on the new 3DS which looks set to revolutionise the way we play games on the move once again. With around 25 hit titles due out for the gadget before the summer, owners will not need to wear special glasses to see the 3D graphical effects.

No 3D glasses required

But Nintendo has warned children under six should not use the machine in 3D mode as their eye muscles may not have fully formed during those years.

As well as awesome 3D graphics in titles such as Streetfighter and Pro Evolution Soccer, the machine comes with THREE cameras.

One can take a picture of the owner while playing games while two lenses on the front can capture a 3D image and turn the owner’s face into an animated Mii character, like the ones found on the Wii.

These can be used during gameplay and also sent directly to other 3DS devices using a new function called StreetPass.

When you walk past another DS owner, your Mii will be delivered to their handheld allowing you to connect online later. But it only works if you have the function turned on, which is sensible due to the obvious safety concerns.

President of Nintendo Europe Satoru Shibata said: “The 3DS combines classic gameplay with new 3D and social elements. It will appeal to long time gaming fans and newcomers”.

Among the other new features are a touch sensitive 360 degree circle control button, which works like a mouse. It also comes with a built-in pedometer to count how many steps you walk and a gyroscopic sensor to respond to your body movements.

Connects to BTfon hotspots

In Britain, the 3DS will automatically connect to BTFon wireless internet hotspots allowing owners to get online and download or share content. A deal with Sky, Eurosport and Aardman will bring content to the device too including short films, sport and Shaun the Sheep.

Nintendo’s Laurent Fisher added: “Nintendo 3DS is not just about being able to watch and play in 3D without glasses – it also offers unique social experiences. In the way Wii brought families together, Nintendo 3DS will appeal to a broad range of people”.

Available in either Cosmos Black or Aqua Blue, the 3DS features a Depth Slider to adjust the level of 3D visuals to a comfortable viewing point. The top screen shows the 3D images while the bottom touchscreen makes use of a stylus stored in the unit itself.

Each system comes pre-loaded with a variety of fun games, applications and features, while an upgraded internet browser can be downloaded.

Downloadable games

The Nintendo eShop will also offer access to downloadable games and has built-in parental controls to limit internet access and some of the wireless functions through a PIN code. And if you want to play online, a specific code for each 3DS device allows you to give your unique number to friends and let them see when you are connected for multiplayer and what games you are playing.

Thankfully the 3DS will play previous DS games but with titles such as Nintendogs, Lego Star Wars, Steel Diver, Mario Kart, Super Monkey Ball, Dead or Alive and Animal Crossing all on the way or in creation, the 3DS looks set to be a surefire hit!

It is certainly revolutionary and exciting stuff. Just over nine weeks to go then. Not that I’m counting!

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