Nintendo's 3DS to Hit Japan in February, Elsewhere in March

Nintendo's 3DS, the first portable game device with a 3D screen, will go on sale in Japan on Feb. 26 next year, the company said Wednesday.

The 3DS will cost ¥25,000 (US$298), Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's president, told a packed news conference in Chiba, near Tokyo. It will launch in Europe and the U.S. in March. Precise details will be announced by local Nintendo subsidiaries.

The device has a screen that doesn't require the user to wear 3D glasses. Instead, a filter over the display splits the on-screen image and sends a slightly different image towards the user's right and left eyes, providing the illusion of depth.

The DS was first launched in 2004 and has been revised several times. Nintendo had sold 132 million of the portable devices from the launch through June this year, but recently sales have been slipping. Between April and June this year, quarterly sales of the device dropped by almost half.

Nintendo is hoping the 3DS will revive interest in its the DS.

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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