Nintendo, Best Buy Ready 3DS Launch

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glasses-free 3D handheld game player, the 3DS, will be given a New York City welcome starting at 9 p.m. March 26 at  the Best Buy store in New York City's Union Square.

Between 9 p.m. (March 26) and midnight (March 27), shoppers will receive hands-on demos and enjoy food, music and giveaways until midnight, when the $250 suggested retail system will officially go on sale at retailers across the country.

The 3DS will ship with a collection of pre-installed games and features, the company said.

Nintendo said midnight launches are also being planned at several Best Buy stores throughout the country.

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Nintendo said it will be installing more than 6,000 kiosks at retailers across the country over the next couple of months that enable shoppers to demo the new Nintendo 3DS system.

"Nintendo 3DS can play 3D video games and take 3D pictures, but that's just the tip of the iceberg," said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. "The 3D display is amazing in its own right, but just as compelling are the new forms of game play it delivers, and the groundbreaking ways it will connect players to new content ... and each other."

Nintendo 3DS has 18 games available on launch day, with more than 30 total available by early June. Nintendo-published games available March 27 include:

• Pilotwings Resort is a high-flying aerial adventure with 30 missions, and the ability to go sightseeing and snap pictures in the game.

• Nintendogs + Cats lets users train and interact with a virtual puppy and kitten. The pets react to voices and will even welcome users with licks of the face as they lean into the player. Three different versions of the software are available, each featuring a different starting breed: Toy Poodle, Golden Retriever or French Bulldog. In each version, players can eventually unlock all 27 different breeds.

• Steel Diver is an immersive 3D submarine combat adventure that allows players to control speed, depth and pitch, and use both the touch-screen and motion-sensitive controls to navigate through undersea environments and fire torpedoes at enemy ships and obstacles.

Nintendo's third-party publishing partners are rolling out their biggest names for launch day.

Games ready for March 27 include Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition from Capcom; The Sims 3 from EA; Madden NFL Football from EA Sports; Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D from Konami Digital Entertainment; Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars from LucasArts; Ridge Racer 3D from Namco Bandai Games America; Super Monkey Ball 3D from Sega; Bust-A-Move Universe from Square-Enix; Samurai Warriors: Chronicles from Tecmo Koei America; and Asphalt 3D, Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D, Rayman 3D, and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Shadow Wars from Ubisoft.

Meanwhile, Nintendo is working on Nintendo 3DS games from popular franchises, including The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D; Star Fox 64 3D; Kid Icarus: Uprising; and new installments in the Super Mario, Mario Kart, Animal Crossing and Paper Mario series. The system is also ready to play nearly every single Nintendo DS game with its original 2D graphics. Nintendo DS games that required the use of the Game Boy Advance slot are not compatible with the Nintendo 3DS system.

Nintendo 3DS features two screens. The top screen displays 3D images without the need for special glasses. The bottom screen is touch-sensitive. It also has three cameras.

One inner camera points at the user, while two exterior cameras let the player take pictures of friends and family in 3D or 2D.

The 3DS weighs approximately 8 ounces and is available in Cosmo Black or Aqua Blue.

Built-in games and applications include Mii Maker, which uses facial-recognition technology to create a Mii character that looks just like the user; Face Raiders, which requires users to shoot at comical depictions of their own faces as well as others around them; AR Games, which superimpose graphics and animations on the real world using the included AR cards; and Nintendo 3DS Sound, which lets users listen to MP3 or AAC music files, or make their own recordings and play with them using fun filters.

The StreetPass feature lets some games and applications wirelessly swap small bits of game data as users pass other Nintendo 3DS users throughout the day, if they choose. SpotPass, on the other hand, lets the Nintendo 3DS system detect wireless hotspots or wireless LAN access points and allows users to obtain information and game data when the system is in Sleep Mode.

Free software and videos will also become available with future system updates.

Nintendo said it will soon roll out a series of additional features for Nintendo 3DS, including an Internet browser, an online store called Nintendo eShop, the ability to access 3D Hollywood movie trailers, automatic and free access to more than 10,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots nationwide and the ability to stream Netflix movies (Netflix unlimited membership required).


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