Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime confirmed a $249.99 price point and a March 27 release date for the 3DS handheld in the U.S., along with titles including a 3DS version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The confirmation of the March U.S. release date is in line with Nintendo's promise to release the handheld during the current fiscal year. The device, which allows for 3D stereoscopic effects without the need of glasses, arrives in Japan at the end of next month.
Speaking at a Gamasutra-attended press conference in New York, Fils-Aime said the 3DS will have an unprecedented level of third-party publisher support, compared to any previous Nintendo platforms.
In all, there will be over 30 games in the handheld's "launch window," Fils-Aime said, or between launch and E3 2011 in June.
Nintendo officially confirmed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
for 3DS, a 3D stereoscopic version of the revered N64 game from 1998. Reports of its existence first emerged at E3 last year, but Nintendo's announcement makes the game official for U.S. audiences.
Other confirmed titles include previously announced games such as Kid Icarus
, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
and Tecmo's Dead or Alive: Dimensions
On Nintendo's digital storefront, it will offer a steady progression of Game Boy and Game Boy Color hit titles on virtual console, in addition to new downloadable titles.
The 3DS, as previously revealed, will also have 3D video playback for pre-produced 3D videos and built-in augmented reality games.
Fils-Aime added that the 3DS will also have a built-in activity log that tracks a user's personal movement and virtual activity. The log will track which games users play and how long, and will also include a pedometer that encourages users to walk -- movement earns play coins gamers can spend to buy bonus content.
Fils-Aime also said there's an important change in way Friend Codes are implemented. With 3DS, only one code necessary and players only register once. They will never have to input code to play with friends online. Gamers will see who’s playing, what they’re playing and can join them much more easily than what was possible before with Nintendo's oft-criticized current Friend Code system.