$300 is 50% more than the Wii is currently. I don't remember off the top of my head what Gamecubes were going for at DS launch time (Q4/04). Between $100-150 IIRC. So, relatively, taking into account the rise of the yen and the dollars fall, I guess this is kinda reasonable but, really? 2x the price generation over generation?
Nintendo on Wednesday announced additional details regarding its 3DS game console. As expected, Nintendo 3DS will only be available in late February, 2011, in Japan and in March, 2011, in other countries. The device features a number of innovations that will enable new experience of mobile video gaming. Unfortunately, graphics-wise the console will not bring any tangible improvements apart from support for stereo-3D.
Nintendo 3DS features a 3.53” autostereoscopic 3D top screen with 800x240 resolution (400 pixels for each eye) and a 3.02” bottom touch screen with 320x240 resolution. It has three 0.3MP cameras – one inner and two outer – to deliver the stereo-3D effect and take stereo-3D pictures. It includes a motion sensor, a gyro sensor, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n controller, a Slide Pad that allows 360-degree analog input and so on. The device also has a special slider that can increase, decrease or disable stereoscopic 3D (S3D) effect. The 3DS comes in form-factor that is similar to the predecessors and is fully compatible with Nintendo DS titles. The console uses DMP Pica 200 graphics processor. As announced previously, it will have a slot for SD cards as well as support cartridges for previous-gen DS systems.
Given the fact that the main screen of 3DS supports 800x240 resolution only, it is clear that there will be no video services to watch movies or any capabilities akin to those of modern smartphones that rely on high-resolution screens. Moreover, forthcoming video games will not offer better level of details than contemporary titles due to effective 400x240 resolution in S3D mode. Still, Nintendo believes that stereo-3D alone can tangible improve gameplay.
"When you can play games in 3D, the characters can be seen in 3D, which will naturally increase the dynamism. In addition, you can feel a stronger sense of realism to interact with the worlds inside the games, and as you will be able to better comprehend the height, width and depth of the gaming world, you can more freely move around and explore the world," said Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, at Nintendo Conference 2010.
Nintendo 3DS will also feature a number of social-based game-related functions, such as Street Pass that will be able to automatically detect and communicate with other Nintendo 3DS devices in various places such as in a town or on a train.
"You can then communicate and exchange information with total strangers through video games," said Mr. Iwata.
Nintendo will release 3DS first in Japan on the 26th of March, 2011, at the price of ¥25 000 ($299), which is higher than the price of Sony PlayStation Portable in the U.S. (PSP-3000 costs $169, PSPgo costs $249) as well as Nintendo DSi ($149).