Japan’s Kyoto-based Nintendo Co Ltd (7974.OS) said it would launch a 3D-capable version of its DS hand held game console in Japan on Feb. 26 and, and March in Europe and the U.S. Kyoto-based Nintendo Co. had promised the 3DS for sometime before April next year, and so the announcement is not technically a delay. But its forecasts had assumed the machine would on be on sale sooner.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said 3DS will cost 25,000 yen ($300) in Japan, where it will hit stores Feb. 26. Overseas prices and specific dates will be announced later.
The DS was first launched in 2004 and has been revised several times. Nintendo had sold 132 million of the portable devices from the launch through June this year, but recently sales have been slipping. Between April and June this year, quarterly sales of the device dropped by almost half.
For the year through March 2011, Nintendo expects to sell 23.5 million DS machines, including 4 million 3DS, down from its earlier forecast for 30 million. It sold 27 million DS machines the previous fiscal year.
Games developers and hardware makers are vying for a piece of the 3D and motion-sensing gaming space as competition between the industry’s giants heats up ahead of the traditional rush of new releases in the run-in to Christmas.
Sony has released in Europe and the United States its PlayStation Move system, which enables users wearing special glasses to play 3D games using highly responsive and intuitive wand-shaped motion controllers.
The system, which uses Sony’s PlayStation 3 console, will be released in Japan on October 21.
Microsoft’s highly anticipated Kinect motion-sensing system for the Xbox 360 videogame console will hit the Japanese market on November 20.