Nintendo 3DS becomes Amazon UK's most pre-ordered console

Nintendo's latest handheld, due for release in Europe on March 25, has shunted the PS3 into second place in the process of becoming Amazon UK's most pre-ordered console to date.

Pre-release demand for the console is 20 percent higher than for 2007's PlayStation 3, and is currently 56 percent more than for 2006's Nintendo Wii.

European stockists have been allowed to set their own price for the dual-screened portable, and while most UK retailers started off at £225 (€260), many are now listing the device for between £190 and £200 (€220 - €230).

Even so, Euro-zone buyers are facing a comparatively hefty hit. North Americans can get hold of a 3DS for an MSRP of $250 on March 27, equating to £155 or €180, while Japanese early-adopters stumped up ¥25,000 apiece (£190, €220) in February.

Australians, usually subject to restrictively high video game prices, are looking at £215 or €245 come March 31, though South Africans are looking at 2800Rs - that's £250 or €280.

Still, those looking to import from cheaper territories should be aware that 3DS games will be region-locked: the North American 3DS will accept only North American 3DS games, for example.

Sony is expected to launch their successor to the PSP, provisionally named the NGP, towards the end of 2011, and Microsoft has responded to the growth of mobile gaming with a range of Windows Phone 7 handsets.

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