Entertainment, Hardware, Software Programs

Live Coverage: Nintendo 3DS Unveiling

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Console gaming giant Nintendo is hosting a press conference in New York at 9am Eastern to unveil the 3DS, its next-generation handheld with a special display that needn’t special glasses to depict the third dimension.

A number of blogs like Engadget and Gizmodo are covering the unveiling right at the spot and BSN is providing this remote live coverage so you can follow the announcements as they happen.

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Here we go, Nintendo?s North American president Reggie Fils-Aime takes the stage…

The presentation has gotten off to a bad start due to some technical issues that Reggie is resolving right now.

Time for an inevitable stats. He covers handheld gaming from the Mario brand to the DS and Wii and says 3D is the future. He especially emphasizes glasses-less 3D technology that the 3DS console sports as a killer feature.

Reggie says this is not your Ma and Pa’s 3D: "What you’ll recognize is that this is a different kind of 3D – you haven’t experienced this before, not in theaters, not at trade shows."

Besides the glasses-less 3D display technology that paves the way for a new kind of gaming on the gadget, the 3DS handheld boasts 3D video playback and 3D photography. Reggie’s sales pitch follows: "Wouldn’t it be great to have a realistic 3D picture of your child, and play it back on the same device for years?"

"While Nintendo is recognized first as a video games company, we see ourselves as part of the entertainment industry," Reggie explains and said that the company is today going to announce titles, launch date, launch titles and more.

They are going to offer the console in two colors at launch: aqua blue and obsidian black. What, no white 3DS?

The console has the home button, a first for them, that – you guessed right – takes you to the home screen. 

There’s also a new notification light and it will ship with an extendable stylus and a charging cradle included so it can stay in sleep mode indefinitely.

A 2GB SD card will also come bundled and you’ll be able to replace it with a more spacious memory card to boost your storage.

There’s also the 3D depth slider on the console’s side that lets you adjust the perception of depth on its 3D screen.

And now, time for some games…

Nintendogs and Cats lets you take care of virtual puppies and kitten and they can find you because they "remember your face," Steeldiver (new arrival) puts you in the shoes of a submarine commander and it taps the built-in gyroscope sensor to let you rotate the console to aim.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Kid Icarus Uprising are also shown using new 3D targeting controls.

Also demoed: Dead or Alive Dimensions that challenges you to "crash your rival through a 3D background."

Other launch titles include Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer, EA’s upcoming Madden NFL game

Super Street Fighter 4 with Street Pass: "You can win a battle without even knowing it," says Reggie, explaining the game will let you wirelessly request a fight with opponents online. It’ll also pack in a spectator mode for watching other folks fight without participating.

Over thirty 3DS-optimized games are expected to be available between the launch and E3, spawning genres like sports, action, shooter, fighter, family, racing, and RPG.

The console comes with several built-in applications, such as pedometer that tracks your walking and jogging sessions, Activity log that records both physical movement and action and Mii maker for creating your virtual representation simply by snapping your face with a built-in front-facing camera.

You’ll be able to  swap Miis from 3DS to 3DS using Streetpass. Because Streetpass connects automatically, Reggie explains, "community building can happen automatically," he says. "The local wireless connection connects in sleep mode or while you’re playing a game."

Spot Pass allows games to get new content over the Internet, automatically while in sleep mode and even as you’re playing the game. Fortunately, you’ll be prompted to approve broadband transfers.

A new friend code system will use just one code to register your friends over a local network.

Other software goodies on the 3DS include an enhanced web browser, a suite of augmented-reality games called AR Games and FaceRaiders, a cool application that snaps your face to use it in a shoot
ing gallery – wow!

Other software features will be delivered in the future through software updates.

And now, the most important piece of information: Nintendo will put the new 3DS on store shelves March 27 and it’ll go for the suggested retail price of $249.99.

Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo?s North American president, wraps up the presentation with a believable sales pitch. He says the following:

Nintendo 3DS is 3D games, plus 3D video, plus 3D photography. No special glasses or skills to enjoy it. It’s a breakthrough – there’s nothing else like it. It’s a category of one.

How true… Apple, are you watching this? Can’t wait to get our hands on the new 3DS handheld and play some cool 3D games!

And that’s it, folks – the presentation is over…