Nintendo (NTDOY) unveiled plans Tuesday to launch a 3D version of its popular DS handheld game device, marking yet another move by an electronics maker to take advantage of 3D technology.
The Nintendo 3DS is expected to launch sometime before the end of March 2011, according to the company. But it's a safe bet it's likely gunning to come out months ahead of that deadline, in order to take advantage of the crucial holiday sales season.
Nintendo plans to roll out its 3DS with technology that allows users to go without those funky 3D glasses. This strategy is similar to one recently adopted by television makers, which showcased their 3D TVs, some sans 3D glasses, at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
The Japanese gaming giant noted its 3DS will be backwards compatible, which means all the existing software customers have from their Nintendo DS and DSi games will work on the new device.
Nintendo has high expectations for its 3DS, noting it will be the successor to its Nintendo DS series, which has sold a total of 125 million units since its inception six years ago through December. That's more than doubles arch-rival Sony (SNE), whose PSP handheld game player racked up 57 million during the same period, according to figures on VGChartz.
Nintendo Goes 3D with DS Handheld Game Device