Nintendo hosted a big event this past weekend in Tokyo during which they released some details about the upcoming launch of the hotly anticipated 3DS. If you’re curious about when we’ll get our hands on it stateside, Nintendo will host a similar event January 19th with details on the U.S. launch. But back to Tokyo and what was revealed there:
Perhaps the revelation that’s generated the biggest buzz is the anticipated battery life for the 3DS. Apparently 3 to 5 hours worth of playing time, and perhaps 3 hours to fully recharge, isn’t quite what fans were hoping for. While the DSlite can get double to triple that amount of battery time, it’s not rendering things in 3D or powering three screens. I don’t do a lot of hand-held gaming, so I can’t really say one way or the other just how big of a deal this is, but I will say that during a recent trip to Chili having longer battery life with my DSlite was definitely a good thing.
Also revealed was pricing for games, which had a few shocks for people as well. In Japan, games will run between 4,800 yen ($57) to 6,090 yen ($73), basically the same price one pays for games on a home console. Considering many gamers on the go are getting games, even full games, from app stores for around ten bucks these days, those prices are sure to cause some sticker shock. Is a glasses free 3D experience really worth the premium price? Nintendo’s latest bold experiment will answer that one way or the other. As for the 3DS itself, it will cost about 40% more than the current DSi; about 25,000 yen ($306). Again, is the 3D experience worth paying a home console price for a hand-held console?
Finally it was revealed that eight games will be available at launch, which is February 26th in Japan. Curiously, only one first-party title, Nintendogs and Cats, will be among that bunch. Consider the feverish anticipation for games like Pilot Wings, Kid Icarus, and even old-school revivals such as Zelda and Star Fox, the lack of any of those titles, or even a Mario title, for launch is interesting.
So what does this all mean for us Stateside? Well, it gives us a pretty good idea of the price range, and maybe even a sneak peek at what games will be available at launch. While things may very a little for the release here in the West, it probably won’t be dramatically different, especially when it comes to price. Still, we’ll know more in just over a week.