Global 3DS launch set for early 2011

Nintendo’s 3DS will not be released in any territory this side of Christmas.

Instead, the format holder has confirmed at a conference in Japan today that the device will roll out globally in late Q1 2011 – and with a price close to 200, as MCV and our retail sources predicted as far back as June.

Japan gets the device first, on February 26th, in blue and black variants.

3DS hits North America and Europe just a matter of weeks later, in March – although specific dates for those territories were not given by Nintendo Japan. Nintendo of Europe and Nintendo of America will make their own announcements in due course.

In Japan the 3D handheld will cost 25,000 – that works out to around 188. That suggests a price of around 199 for Europe, and $250-$299 in the USA.

Nintendo also confirmed that the device design shown at E3 (pictured) is the handheld’s final look – although the device now boasts a telescopic, PDA-like stylus.

The handheld will also get its own Virtual Console digital download library, packed with Game Boy titles, and also a number of experiences built around the on-board camera.

These include an app that creates Miis from a photographs, and a number of Nintendo-made augmented reality games.

Nintendo, in Japan at least, is also building a new Wi-Fi service for the device, called ‘Wifine’.

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