Chiba: Nintendo’s 3DS game machine packed with glasses-free 3-D technology goes on sale in February in Japan, and March in Europe and the US, not in time for year-end shopping, the company said Wednesday.
Kyoto-based Nintendo Co. had promised the 3DS for sometime before April next year, and so the announcement does not signal a delay.
But there had been speculation and hopes it might be available by Christmas.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said 3DS will cost 25,000 yen ($300) in Japan, where it will hit stores on 26 February. Overseas prices and specific dates will be announced later.
The portable machine looks much like the DS machines now on sale, and has two panels. The top panel shows 3-D imagery, giving players a relatively immediate illusion of virtual reality _ such as a puppy licking the screen that appears to live inside the machine.
The 3-D games don’t require the special glasses that are needed for 3-D theater movies or 3-D home-console games like rival Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 3. They also don’t need 3-D TV sets.
Iwata said the drawback for 3-D technology was that the appeal of the feature can’t be conveyed easily in TV or magazine ads.
Fears have also been growing about the health effects of too much 3-D as some people have gotten sick looking at 3-D movies or playing 3-D games.
“We are not taking the success of the 3DS for granted,” Iwata told reporters at Makuhari Messe hall in this Tokyo suburb. “The value of the 3-D experience can be understood only by getting people to try it out.”
Nintendo said that several 3-D games were in the works including its trademark Super Mario games and “nintendogs + cats.”
Outside game developers were also preparing products, such as a 3DS “Biohazard” from Capcom Co.
The 3-D handheld version of “Metal Gear Solid,” from Konami Digital Entertainment, shown to reporters on the machine as a demonstration movie, but not in playable game form, presented vivid animation of jungle scenery, buzzing bees and a warrior’s hands, all in 3-D, inside the tiny screen.
The 3-D feature is adjustable by a button at the side so players can choose the amount of 3-D razzle-dazzle they want.