Nintendo said Monday that it plans to ship around four million of its 3DS portable video game consoles by the end of March, 2011. Considering that 37.5% of that amount will be sold in Japan, it is highly likely that shortages of the systems may occur in Europe, the U.S. and other countries, even though the company promises to avoid them.
In an interview with Nikkei business daily, Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, said that the company planned to sell 1.5 million of 3DS consoles in Japan in its first month (starting from February, 26) and ship 4 million of the new-generation portable game systems worldwide by the end of March. Unfortunately, the launch date of 3DS outside Japan is unknown, it is only certain that the console will be released in March.
"It is important that we ensure a continuous supply," Mr. Iwata reportedly said.
Separately, Nintendo disclosed battery life of the 3DS. When playing stereoscopic 3D games specifically developed for 3DS, the console will last 3.5 to 5 hours depending on conditions. When playing DS or DSi games, which are naturally 2D only, the system will have a battery life of 5 to 8 hours. Full charge of the batter takes around 3.5 hours.
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.
Nintendo will release 3DS first in Japan on the 26th of February, 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).