Nintendo held two special press conferences focused on its upcoming 3DS handheld today, one in New York City for North America and one in Europe.
Here's a round-up of everything Nintendo announced, including when the 3DS will hit store shelves to how much it'll cost. How many games will be available at launch and what's new about those pesky Friend Codes? Plus some old school handhelds return thanks to the Virtual Console. Find it all and more below.
Release Date, Price and Colors
Mark your calendars, March 27 is the official 3DS launch day in the U.S. Nintendo 3DS's will retail for $250, or about the same price a Wii did back in 2006. The system will be available in Aqua Blue and Cosmo Black. It seems Nintendo is saving the red 3DS seen at last year's E3 for a future Mario mashup bundle or something.
Our friends across the pond will get the 3DS on March 25, two days earlier than us. Pricing wasn't announced for any regions in Europe as of this writing.
How Many Launch Games?
There will be over 30 games ready for you to play with between the March 27 launch and June E3 gaming expo. Nintendo announced plenty of hardcore games such as Dead or Alive: Dimensions and Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D, as well as casual games such as Nintendogs + Cats and Pilotwings Resort. Now you can trick mom into buying you a 3DS to teach you responsibility and discipline with your virtual pet, while you secretly go off to shoot the undead in !
Nintendo's first party games will of course be the coveted The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Kid Icarus: Uprising.
Universal Friend Codes
One word: UNIVERSAL. That's right, the 3DS is ditching the one-friend-code-for-every-game and going with just one master code. Gamers need only register it once. Sounds like something remotely along with what Sony and Microsoft have had for ages. Welcome to the world of social Ninty.
Home Button Brings Multitasking
Aside from the already known A/B/X/Y, D-pad, analog circle pad (previously called "slide pad"), the Home Button doubles as a pause button. Gamers can pause in the middle of a game and jump into other 3DS functions, such as browsing the web, listening to a song, etc. Finally, multitasking.
Mii, Mii, Mii
The Wii kicked off the Mii making trend and now the 3DS has the feature too. Expect Nintendo to put a lot of emphasis on in-game Mii integration this time around on its handheld. Now, how did Grandma look again?
Built-in Motion Sensor, Accelerometer and Pedometer
Just like the iPhone and Wii, the 3DS will have motion control. We foresee quick and easy Need for Speed and Asphalt Racing ports. Tilt-controlled driving games are extremely fun, but after the hundredth racing game, the control scheme does become a bit stale.
A built-in pedometer also comes in handy to keep track of your steps.
GameBoy and GameBoy Color Games Return
There were rumors of Nintendo reviving its old GameBoy and GameBoy Color games via its Virtual Console. It's all true, we can't wait to play some Metroid II or Pokemon Red/Blue. GameBoy lives! Pricing for GB and GBC games weren't released, but it'll most likely be reasonable if current Virtual Console games are any indication.
3D Game Demos and Video Content
Demos are an important part in deciding whether or not to purchase a full game. There will be 3D game demos available for trial through DSiWare.
No 3D video content was announced for North America, but in Europe, 3DS owners will have access to 3D video from EuroSport, Aardman Animations and Sky.