Those who are looking forward to the North American launch of the Nintendo 3DS on March 27th now have a couple more features to heighten their anticipation.
At the 25th annual Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco this week, Nintendo of America’s CEO Reggie Fills-Aime announced that the company’s latest handheld gaming system will support Netflix video streaming this summer. Those with a Nintendo Wii at home and a Netflix monthly subscription will also have the convenience of seamless transitions between the two gaming systems to pick up watching a video on one where it had left off on the other.
“Say you are away from home starting to watch a movie on the Nintendo 3DS. When you get home, you can go from the 3DS to streaming on the Wii to your big screen,” Fills-Aime said.
In addition, there will be a “short-form video” service available that will include movie and game trailers, along with comedy, music, and other types of brief clips. The main advantage for users here is the opportunity to view 3D movie trailers in 3D.
Also at the conference, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata spoke on the connectivity of the 3DS and the impact that the device will have on social gaming. The company will have over 10,000 Wi-fi hotspots available in airports, restaurants, and other busy locations around the world thanks to a partnership with AT&T.
“Nintendo 3DS will be the most connected Nintendo device ever, with its ability to link people via local wireless connections, while at the same time connecting them to people and content worldwide via hotspot connectivity,” Iwata said.
Finally, Iwata announced that a Super Mario 3D game is in the works and that more information will be available on the title in June.
“We really want Nintendo 3DS to be the next must-have,” Iwata said.
But it appears that Nintendo management needn’t worry too much about demand for the system. Over 400,000 units that were available for the Japanese launch of the device sold out in only two days. The company promises 1.5 million additional units available by the end of March in Japan alone, and will likely have no problem moving them off of retail shelves.
For $249.99, the 3DS is really shaping up to be a full-featured portable entertainment device and will definitely be on my radar once it launches.