Nintendo’s highly anticipated press conference occurred earlier today in Japan. The biggest news was an avalanche of 3DS details, perhaps the most unexpected of which was a Feburary/March 2011 international launch of 3DS. Only the Japan price point and launch date have been concretely confirmed: the system will sell for ¥25,000 (US$299) on February 26, 2011, with North American and European releases to occur days or weeks later, during March. Price points and launch dates for those regions will be provided at an unspecified later date by the corporate headquarters of those regions.
The unexpectedly later launch date, coupled with reductions in Wii and DS sales forecasts, caused Nintendo’s stock price to tumble this morning -8.46%, or -$3.05, to a $33.00 price. Analyst reaction is mixed.
Reduced Wii and DS Sales Forecasts
In spite of Pokémon Black and White‘s release, Nintendo reduced its worldwide DS sales forecast through March 2011 to 23.5 million units, as compared to the originally forecast 30 million units. The company expects to sell 4 million 3DS units by March as well, which is provocative considering the handheld only has a month to achieve this number of sales. Wii also received a more modest reduction in its sales forecast through March 2011: 17.5 million units as compared to 18 million.
The software forecasts for DS and Wii were also stated: 125 million and 135 million, respectively.
3DS Launch and Price Details
The system will launch in Japan for ¥25,000 (US$299) on February 26, 2011. The North American and European launches should occur shortly aftewards during March 2011, but no later than March 31 as that’s the end of Nintendo’s fiscal year.
3DS Launch Colors, Packaging and Pre-installed Software
The system will be available in Cosmo Black and Aqua Blue colors (names of colors may change in your region), and will include a charging cradle, AC adapter, 2GB SD card, six paper playing cards (for augmented reality experiences with the 3DS’ camera) and a telescoping, metal stylus.
The system’s pre-installed software will include…
- Nintendo 3DS Cameras
Will allow taking of 3D pictures
- Nintendo 3DS Sound
Details unknown. Probably a media player like DSi’s.
- Mii Studio
Make a Mii on your 3DS. You can take your photo with 3DS’ cameras to have the 3DS suggest a Mii design based on your facial features.
- Chance Encounter Mii Plaza
Details unknown. This may collect other 3DS’s Miis when in sleep/tag mode, much as they can migrate to your Mii Plaza on Wii.
- AR (Augmented Reality) Games
This will use the six playing cards included with 3DS for games and experiences in which the 3DS’s external camera films the card in the real world and then animates objects on top of the card on the 3DS’ screen.
- Memory Notebook
This will allow you to save notes and memos for yourself.
3DS Home Button and Sleep/Tag Mode
Some, if not all, of 3DS buttons will be backlit. The home button will definitely be backlit, and it will allow gamers, in the middle of playing a game, to open an internet browser, enable or disable WiFi and change other system settings without ending the game that was being played.
While in sleep mode, the system will be capable of updating data on your games, downloading videos, games and demos, and potentially other items. In tag mode (which may be the same as “sleep,” ultimately), your 3DS will exchange game data with other folks who pass you by and have their 3DSs in tag mode. An interesting example of this occurs with Capcom’s Super Street Fighter IV 3D, where you can collect figurines of fighters in the game, and these figurines will battle other 3DS owners’ figurines– all through tag mode, without any input of your own. If your figure wins, you get a copy of your opponents’ figurine.
3DS Virtual Console and DSiWare Details
In a surprise move, previously purchased DSiWare titles may be transferred from DSi and DSi XL to your 3DS. 3DS’s online store, which will include DSiWare titles and game videos, will also feature a Virtual Console store like Wii’s, featuring black-and-white Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles, as well as “classic” titles that will be 3D enhanced. Not every Virtual Console title sold on 3DS will have 3D effects. No mention of demos was made. There is currently confusion as to whether Game Boy Advance games would be included on 3DS’s Virtual Console, as live blogs reported it would, but the Nintendo Japan webpage only shows GB and GBC examples.
3DS Game List
Here’s a compilation of announced/previewed titles and those listed in Famitsu.
Cubic Ninja (tentative title)
ASCII Media Works
Fish On (tentative title)
Mega Man Legends 3 Project
Resident Evil Revelations
Resident Evil The Mercenaries 3D
Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
Deca Sports Extreme (tentative title)
Unnamed Bomberman Game
Unnamed Kororinpa Game
Dead or Alive Dimensions
Samurai Warriors Chronicle
Unnamed Dynasty Warriors Game
Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater
Project Love Plus for Nintendo 3DS
Winning Eleven Series
Pro Baseball Spirits Series
Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle
Animal Resort (tentative title)
Ace Combat 3D (tentative title)
Table Pen Sports (tentative title)
Tales of the Abyss (tentative title)
Pro Baseball Famitsa 2011 (tentative title)
Ridge Racer R 3D
Unnamed Dragon Ball Game
Unnamed Pac Man & Galaga Game
nintendogs + cats
Pilotwings Resort (tentative title)
Starfox 64 3D
Kid Icarus: Uprising
The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time 3D (tentative title)
Animal Crossing (tentative title)
Paper Mario (tentative title)
Mario Kart (tentative title)
Super Monkey Ball (tentative title)
Unnamed Sonic Title
Unnamed Kingdom Hearts Game
Chocobo Racing 3D (tentative title)
Leap Out! Puzzle Bobble 3D (tentative title)
Combat of Giants (tentative title)
Ghost Recon Tactics (tentative title)
Splinter Cell 3D (tentative title)
Driver 3D (tentative title)
Sources: GoNintendo (live blog of press conference), Joystiq (backlit buttons, pre-installed software, augmented reality), Andria Sang (tech specs, sleep/tag mode), Andria Sang (Super Street Fighter IV tag mode details), GoNintendo (confusion over GBA’s inclusion in 3DS Virtual Console), Silicon Era (3DS games by publisher), Famitsu/IGN (translation of Famitsu’s 3DS game listings)