"This isn't the launch of a new gaming device - This is the launch of a new Entertaiment era..." [Sotoru Shibata]
The UK release date for Nintendo's 3DS console has been officially set for the 25th March 2011.
Speaking at the 3DS preview event in Amsterdam this afternoon, Nintendo's Managing Director of Marketing and PR, Laurent Fischer, spoke about the 3DS console which will be released in two colours - Aqua Blue or Cosmos Black (nothing was shown or mentioned about the Red 3DS console originally shown at E3 2010).
Fischer went on to describe the 3DS' new wireless communication features SpotPass and StreetPass.
SpotPass will allow users to download fresh content for their console such as news from Eurosport, TV items from SKY 3D and even short films like Aardman Productions' Shaun the Sheep, which will all be presented in stunning autostereoscopic 3D without the need for 3D glasses.
Meanwhile, Streetpass will download game data, statistics and content from other 3DS users even if the console is in Sleep Mode. This feature has already been Incorporated into games like Super Street Fighter IV.
Capcom's producer of the Street Fighter series, Yoshinori Ono discussed how StreetPass will allow users to engage in battles with other 3DS users everywhere. He said: "Street Fighter battles have always been head-to-head but now battles can take place anytime, anywhere, with anyone, immediately..."
Ono said that Super Street Fighter IV will have a line-up of 35 fighters (including classic characters,) and it will also feature a Channel Live mode, which will allow 3DS users to watch battles between other 3DS users.
Other developers that were featured at the Amsterdam event included Ubisoft, who said that they would have up to eight launch titles for the 3DS including Assassin’s Creed: Lost Legacy, Rayman 3D, Ghost Recon: Shadow Cell, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Battle of Giants and Driver Renagade.
Konami announced that they have developed Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 for the 3DS. PES' Producer Naoya Hatsumi spoke about how the 3D capabilities of the 3DS has allowed them to improve realism and express depth. Hatsumi said that a new camera angle called Player's View means that the camera is centred just behind the player and helps to immerse gamers in all the footballing action.
Team Ninja announced that they would be releasing a version of their popular Dead or Alive series for the 3DS. The Head of Productions, Yosuke Hayoshi said that: "Dead or Alive: Dimensions [3DS] will be a kind of 'Best Of ' collection of highlights from the previous four Dead or Alive games" but he went on to say that it would feature some new content as well. He said that the new game would be: "A whole new dimension in 3D fighting games..."
Nintendo Europe's CEO and President, Satoru Shibata, spoke about the long-awaited PilotWings Resort and Nintendogs + Cats as well as the range of Pre-loaded Software that would be included in the console.
The software will feature a Daily Activity Log which turns the 3DS into a useful pedometer, whilst the new 3D Motion Camera and Mii Studio will allow players to take a 3D photos of themselves and convert it into a recognisable Mii avatar for use in some games.
A new StreetPass game called Face Raiders will also be included in the console free of charge. The game will post pictures of players' Miis into a shooting gallery! The 3DS will also feature Augmented Reality software, which has recently been used in the PSP game, EyePet.
Furthermore, the 3DS will come with its own Internet Browser and E-shop which will allow players to access and download new Nintendo software more easily.
Shibata also gave details of the kinds of existing DS games that we could expect to see being developed for the 3DS over the coming months, including Animal Crossing, The Sims 3, Steel Diver, Paper Mario and many more...
Shibata claimed that there would be a "Launch window between 25th March and 30th of June 2011 where more than 25 games would become available to 3DS users..."
The preview event helped to answer several burning questions that fans had about the new 3DS and its capabilities. However, the end of March still seems a long way off. Nevertheless, the various games and features that have been developed so far have definitely piqued Mini Gamers interest.
Keep checking back with the Mini Gamers blogsite over the next few months for all the latest news concerning this revolutionary new console.