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3DS gets price and launch date on September 29

For all those awaiting crucial price and release date details for Nintendo's next handheld games console, the company has announced that confirmation will come on September 29, according to Bloomberg Japan.

The 3DS will succeed the Nintendo DS, currently the world's best-selling handheld console with 129 million units shifted over the course of six years.

Like the DS, the 3DS will have dual screens with the lower one sporting touch screen sensitivity, though the upper display will be in widescreen format and able to display 3D images without the user needing to wear special 3D glasses.

Back in June, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said that the new handheld will have launched worldwide by March 2011, the end of the current financial year.

The Nintendo DS was first released in North America in November 2004, Japan in December 2004, then Australia in February 2005, and in Europe by March 2005.

Following that, the DS Lite, DSi, and DSi XL all launched in Japan first. The DSi and XL were released  in November 2008 and 2009 respectively, and then in North America, Australia and Europe three to four months later.

North American investment analysts such as Michael Pachter (Wedbush Morgan), Colin Sebastian (Lazard Capital Markets), and David Cole (DFC Intelligence) all expect a price point in the region of US $249.

That's the same amount as Sony's 2009 version of the handheld PSP, the PSPgo, which struggled at retail, though Nintendo believe it brings enough to the table to justify selling the 3DS at a price that reflects the platform's higher development costs.

Sony, meanwhile, has refused to talk about a beefed-up successor to the PSP, instead concentrating on the September launch of the PlayStation Move motion control system for the PlayStation 3.

Microsoft has the Kinect hands-free camera system for Xbox 360 timetabled for November; both manufacturers see the addition of motion controls as a way to widen the appeal of console gaming just as Nintendo has done with the Wii since 2006.