Nintendo 3DS will be released in US in March 2011

image The Nintendo 3DS has a release date set for early 2011!

The iconic gaming company’s much-buzzed-about hand-held 3-D device will go on sale in Japan in February, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said at a Tokyo news conference.

It will sell for the equivalent of about $300.

Iwata said the portable gaming console will be released in the United States and Europe in March.

The 3DS, which was unveiled at E3, lets the user play games, including updates to the "Legend of Zelda" and "Mario Kart" series, in 3-D without using special glasses.

The model Iwata displayed Wednesday looked slightly different from the one demoed at E3 in June.

Iwata highlighted several new features. Gamers will be able to take pictures of themselves and automatically convert their image into “Miis,” –personalized in-game avatars like the ones from Wii console games. The 3DS will allow multi-tasking and have a Wi-Fi connection that will allow it to download updates and new software, even while it’s "asleep."

“Tag” mode will be available using the 3DS’s Wi-Fi, which will let gamers share information from one console to another without needing to physically link the devices.

Nintendo had not announced a release date for the 3DS at the E3 expo. But many observers expected the company to follow the path of most major gaming releases and hit the market in time for the holiday shopping season.  Unfortunately, it will not make it in time for the holiday season.

Most gaming reviewers who have spent time with the Nintendo 3DS have given it high marks. Because hand-held 3-D is new, Nintendo is hoping to change the atmosphere of portable gaming.

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