Nintendo 3DS: the official NZ launch details

09 Feb 11

Nintendo has finally come through with the final New Zealand launch details for its upcoming glasses-free 3D handheld console. As reported by Game Console last night and now confirmed by Nintendo, the device will release on March 31st and carries a recommended retail price (RRP) of NZ$453 "based on currency conversion rates as at 2 February 2011".

However, at least one retailer has already listed the device for NZ$449, and we expect most other local retailers to follow suit.

The 3DS will be available in two colours upon launch: Cosmos Black and Aqua Blue. It will come bundled with six augmented-reality cards. "When the two outer cameras are pointed at the cards, they read the cards and superimpose images and animations onto the scene. So users shouldn't be surprised if they see a dragon popping out of their kitchen tables," reads the press release from Nintendo. "Developers can also use this technology to add creative new experiences to their games."

The 3DS will come with pre-installed software, such as the game "Face Raiders", which "asks users to shoot at funny depictions of their own faces". The 3DS also acts as a pedometer when in Sleep Mode, which allows users to earn Play Coins by simply walking with their 3DS in tow. These Play Coins can then be traded for additional content in supported games. Nintendo 3DS Sound is an application that features sound-manipulation tools and can be used simply to listen to music. An upgraded internet browser will be added at a later date via system update.

The 3DS, while also allowing the transfer of Mii characters from the Nintendo Wii, also features a comprehensive Mii Maker tool. "Users can either wirelessly import Mii characters from their Wii or use the camera to take a picture of  a person and have an automatic Mii character created."

The press release confirmed that the Nintendo eShop won't be available at launch, and will be added by system update at a later date. The eShop will eventually allow access to the existing Nintendo DSiWare and also the new Virtual Console service for 3DS, which gives users access to classic Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles.

The StreetPass functionality (which allows a 3DS to interact with other units in the direct vicinity) is available at launch for those who choose to activate it. However, while not addressed specifically in the press release, Game Console understands that the SpotPass functionality (which allows a 3DS to interact with compatible wireless hotspots) won't be available upon launch. Stay tuned for any developments in this area.

Finally, while an exhaustive list of launch titles was not provided, the partial list of games available between March 31st and early June includes Pilotwings Resort, nintendogs + cats, Steel Diver, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D Edition, The Sims 3, PES 2011 3D, LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, Ridge Racer 3D, Super Monkey Ball 3D, Crush 3D, Thor: God of Thunder, Samurai Warriors: Chronicles, Dead or Alive: Dimensions, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D, Rayman 3D, Asphalt 3D, Combat of Giants Dinosaurs 3D, James Noir's Hollywood Crimes, Driver Renegade, Puzzle Bobble Universe and Rabbids 3D.

According to the official Australasian Nintendo 3DS launch site, you'll get the chance to test out the 3DS before it releases (if you're in Auckland) at Albany Westfield, Sylvia Park Westfield or St Lukes Westfield on March 1st.

So, what do we all think of these details, then? Day-one purchase, wait-and-see, or not at all?

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