Nintendo jumps into 3-D with E3 announcement of 3DS handheld

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      The rumours were true. At a media briefing today (June 15) in Los Angeles, Nintendo confirmed the 3DS, which will deliver full 3-D imagery without the need for stereoscopic glasses.

      The confirmation came with no release date or pricing information, but the new gaming system is a significant update to the company’s DS handheld. In addition to being able to display 3-D, the 3DS can also take 3-D photos, thanks to a dual camera set-up on the front of the unit.

      It’s also added revised graphics hardware, a motion sensor and gyroscope, and a joystick controller.

      The 3DS announcement came at the end of Nintendo’s annual press conference held on the first morning of E3.

      In the preceding hour, the video game developer and publisher ran through a list of upcoming games that pulls from its storied catalogue of game characters.

      The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will have gamers wielding the Wii Remote as a sword, and the Nunchuk as a shield. Mario Sports Mix puts the franchise’s characters on various sports fields, including volleyball, basketball, and even hockey.

      Those titles aren’t coming until 2011. Expected sooner are Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Donkey Kong Country Returns, both expected during the holiday season, and Metroid: Other M, which will hit shelves on August 31.

      Two key Wii exclusives from other publishers are Activision’s GoldenEye, a first-person shooter set in the world of James Bond and starring Daniel Craig as 007, and Disney’s Epic Mickey, in which the familiar mouse gets an update from game designer Warren Spector. Both games are slated for release this holiday season.

      But the 3DS was the show stealer. Expected at launch—whenever that may be—is Kid Icarus: Uprising. Nintendo is also working on a Nintendogs title for the 3DS that adds cats to the mix. Franchises that are expected to make an appearance on the new system include DJ Hero, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Resident Evil, Batman, Assassin’s Creed, and Metal Gear Solid.