At a Tokyo press briefing, Nintendo announced that its new 3DS handheld will release in Japan on February 26, 2011 for Ą25,000 ($299), and will debut in the U.S. in March, price as yet unknown.
The initial launch will offer Aqua Blue and Cosmo Black colors, Nintendo said. Specifics of its launch plans for the U.S. and Europe will be announced "later", and there was no word on pricing outside of Japan.
Company president Satoru Iwata, speaking to reporters at the event, said: "We are not taking the success of the 3DS for granted. The value of the 3D experience can be understood only by getting people to try it out."
During the presentation, Iwata also said that Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles will be sold via a 3DS-specific Virtual Console service on the platform, with some “classic games” updated and re-released in 3D.
Iwata announced a number of new services for the 3DS explaining that Nintendo will be working with with Fuji TV and other broadcasters to distribute free 3D videos to 3DS owners.
The company will also launch a new "Itsunoma ni Tsuushin" download service, via which the console automatically downloads content such as rankings, free software and notices whenever it successfully connects to Wi-Fi connection.
Nintendo also announced Miis are coming to the 3DS, and showed a Mii creation studio during the presentation. This feature allows users to photograph their face using the console's in-built camera and automatically have it turned into a Mii, which can then be adjusted by the user. This data can be converted into a QR code which can then be shared with other 3DS systems.
Iwata was keen to emphasize the system's more powerful "Tag" mode, where games and systems can communicate with one another while the console is in sleep mode. Multiple games will be able to communicate with one another simultaneously while in sleep mode.
Both Namco Bandai and Capcom announced their support for the tag mode feature, the former in the guise of Ridge Racer 3D and the latter in Street Fighter IV 3DS, which producer Yoshinori Ono explained would allow players to "fight anywhere".
Nintendo did not share details of a launch lineup. However, a video reel shown at the event showed clips of numerous 3DS titles, including: Kid Icarus, Super Street Fighter IV, Resident Evil: Revelations, Samurai Warriors, Dead or Alive, Pro Baseball Spirits, Metal Gear Solid, Paper Mario, Chocobo Racing, Super Monkey Ball, Star Fox, Animal Crossing and a 3D version of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
[Update: The original version of this story misreported that the 3DS Virtual Console would include Game Boy Advance games. Gamasutra regrets the error.]