Nintendo 3DS goes on sale in US in March

Nintendo’s next handheld system, the first ever portable 3D gaming platform, will be hitting store shelves in six months as the first new system to come out in more than four years.

That’s later than the company’s internal expectations, according to the Associated Press. However, it fits in line with Nintendo’s announced release date of before the beginning of spring.

Anticipation for the 3DS is high not only because it carries the unique feature of being a portable 3D system but also because it’s the first new piece of video game hardware since the launch of the Wii in November 2006.

The 3DS uses a technology known as autostereoscopic 3D, which means it can display images with the sense of depth, without the need for viewers to wear 3D glasses. This is achieved by embedding thousands of tiny mirrors directly into the display the makes it appear as though the screen is multiple layers deep.

Nintendo’s DS family is one of the hottest product lines ever for the video game giant. During the last fiscal year it sold 27 million DS units, more than any other video game system on the market.

In Japan, the 3DS will be released February 26 for 25,000 yen ($300). The company did not announce a specific date or a price point for the US, despite earlier promises that it would announce those details at the same time as its Japanese plans.

Only a handful of titles have been confirmed for the new 3D system, including a new Mario game, Metal Gear Solid, and an entry in Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts series. A solid launch game list has not yet been confirmed.