This week at Game Developer Conference 2011 in San Fransisco Nintendo held a brief press conference detailing their latest handheld sensation the Nintendo 3DS. Though it’s already been sold in Japan and the U.S. release is right around the corner (March 27) the company is already detailing the system’s first major software upgrade. First up, Netflix is coming to the 3DS this summer. Users will be able to access their Netflix movies and TV shows on the device and have the option to pause said content and resume it on the big screen via the Wii’s Netflix portal.
In addition, the 3DS will gain a new 3D video channel that will act as a gateway to 3D produced content like movie trailers, music videos, and comedy shorts. The channel will be automatically updated with new 3D content over a wireless connection. Ninty also hinted that 3DS owners will eventually be able to record their own videos in 3D using the devices dual rear-facing cameras.
The house that built Mario went on to further detail the Nintendo eShop, a place where 3DS users can browse and download all kinds of content including DSiWare games, Game Boy and Game Boy Color classics remastered in 3D, and a Virtual Console which will include titles from Sega’s Game Gear and TurboGrafx-16. All of this plus a web browser is expected to make its way to the 3DS via a software update in late May.
Speaking of Mario, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata teased a Super Mario 3DS title by showing a logo for the game; a small grey raccoon tail juts out of “o” in Mario likely hinting at what’s to come (perhaps a long overdue sequel to Super Mario Bros. 3?).
And finally, Nintendo announced a partnership with AT&T that will give 3DS owners free access to 10,000 WiFi hotspots. SpotPass, a 3DS software feature that automatically receives new game content and system updates even while the device in sleep mode or charging, will take advantage of the WiFi access points to do its thing.
The Nintendo 3DS releases March 27 for $249.99. Preorder yours today.
If you’ve purchased a 3DTV then you already know that exciting 3D content is annoyingly absent from the retail space. You can’t even pick up the best 3D feature film Avatar unless you buy it with a Panasonic set. But I’ve got some good news for you, so listen here. Walt Disney Studios has made plans to release “at least” 15 Disney films in 3D this year. The selection includes older classics such as The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast as well as modern hits such as Tangled and Tron: Legacy. Disney promises that the latter two films will release in 3D day-and-date and packaged with the Blu-ray 2D version. Be sure to look after the break for the full PR which lists other Disney hits getting the Blu-ray 3D treatment in 2011.