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Nintendo unveils 3DS handheld

Analogue nub! 3D photos! Metal Gear!

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Nintendo has unveiled the 3DS at its E3 press conference in Los Angeles.

Company president Satoru Iwata didn't announce a release date for the handheld but did unveil games, including Kid Icarus and Nintendogs from internal studios and a large range from third parties.

Third-party titles will include Metal Gear Solid, Ridge Racer, Batman, Assassin's Creed, Resident Evil, Samurai Warriors, Madden, Saints Row, Kingdom Hearts and DJ Hero. Iwata's called all his mates by the sound of it.

The machine will have improved visuals compared to the DS. "Something tells me this might cause a lot of enthusiasm in the development community," joked Iwata.

The lower half of the handheld has a touch-screen, a d-pad and an analogue nubbin - described as a "slide pad" - positioned above it in the top left.

The top screen, however, is a larger 3.5-inch widescreen display. As promised, it's got a 3D depth slider - you can maximise the 3D effect, remove it altogether or opt for something in between.

Apparently Nintendo decided not to make a 3D touch-screen because smudges and fingerprints impaired the 3D effect.

The 3DS will be compatible with DSi, and has a camera - with not one but two lenses on the exterior so that the 3DS can take 3D photographs.

Although Nintendo isn't announcing any deals yet, apparently we're to expect Hollywood 3D movies too, with trailers from the likes of Warner Bros., Disney and DreamWorks to be shown on the Nintendo E3 booth.

On top of that it will have free wireless functionality that automatically downloads things like rankings, ghost data and other goodies from neighbouring 3DS handhelds. Even when you're near a Wi-Fi access point you may find it downloading stuff.

Towards the end of the Nintendo E3 conference, US boss Reggie Fils-Aime asked a bunch of women to come out from behind the stage with 3DS units tethered to them so people could try them out.

"Coming soon" is the closest we got to the date, but we'll be playing it this week and asking questions, so hopefully we'll get closer!

Look out for our hands-on impressions of the 3DS later today US time.

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