3DS launches in Japan

Nintendo fans in Tokyo endure the frigid cold to pick up the new glasses-free 3D handheld.

TOKYO--Nintendo released the 3DS in its native Japan this morning, one month ahead of the system's scheduled March 27 release in North America. Chilly February temperatures and strong winds were of little concern to fans who began lining up in the dark predawn hours to get their hands on Nintendo's latest handheld.

Yodobashi Camera employees donned their signature sweater vests for the festivities.

GameSpot was on the scene at the Yodobashi Camera in Tokyo's Akihabara neighborhood, a massive electronics superstore ranking among the city's largest. Though the crowds were robust, not everyone was there to pick up a 3DS. As coincidence would have it, there was a new toy based on the popular Kamen Rider television show being released on the same day as Nintendo's latest dual-screen portable. Those waiting for the Kamen Rider item and the 3DS were instructed to wait in the same line. The line thinned out considerably when store employees informed the crowds that they wouldn't have enough Kamen Rider toys for everyone in the queue, but there were still plenty of would-be 3DS owners left waiting it out until the doors opened.

The prospective 3DS buyers, mostly bundled up in heavy winter jackets, were eventually let into the store at about 8:30 a.m. after waiting outside since well before sunrise. The scene in the Yodobashi was brisk but orderly, with fans shuffling through the massive store along predesignated pathways snaking throughout the store to prevent crowding around. Those finally making it to the register had their choice of 3DS systems in either cosmo black or aqua blue, as well as the eight Japanese launch titles, including Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition and Professor Layton and the Mask of the Miracle. Throughout all this, Yodobashi Camera's signature theme song, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," poured out from the PA speakers on repeat.

There seemed to be plenty of 3DS units in stock, and those who had neglected to preorder a unit were able to pick up one of the several hundred unreserved systems available inside. Afterward, a sizable number of brand-new 3DS owners tried out the portable's Street Pass social functionality outside the store. As for GameSpot, you can find out what this site's editors got up to with the new hardware in this live Today On the Spot 3DS launch special straight from Tokyo.

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Discussion

244 comments
mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

morphine all those are pc titles except mgs check well most ne way so continue claiming nintendos milking , but remember this pc started the whole milking process with the sims and nintendos games arent always the same! theres always one or two things new about them , you just hate nintendo we get it now shut up pc fanboy mgs started with nintendo

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

@Morphine_OD Wrong, I own a powerful gaming PC, fitted with an i7 920 and GTX 295, and I own all the consoles from the last two generations. Your point is valid with Mario, but not Zelda. Just admit you were wrong and move on. You sound more like a troll with every post.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

@dawnofhero I started with the original Nintendo and my life has been changed forever by games like Half-Life, MGS, DeusEx, Planescape: Torment, Fallout, Warcraft etc. You notice that among those only MGS has it's roots on Nintendo? Because if you do - take a cookie. All that Nintendo does is milking it's Mario and Zelda franchises. They introduce and reintroduce them from year to year. And this games are the only legendary hits on their platforms. @x-2tha-z Lol you are wrong. Nintendo can't make an experience. They can make only Zelda and Mario. Sony and Microsoft all the way. Also 2K, Rockstar, Ubisoft. While I've been playing Half-Life and DeusEx, you've been waiting for the next Zelda, while playing Mario. Because there are NO other viable franchises on any Nintendo platform.

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

@Morphine_OD In future, it might just be better to admit you were wrong instead of making a feeble attempt to validate a flawed perception.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@Wormkid_64 and thewwwyzzerdd :D Well, it is good to see you both so excited for it. I have to admit that I haven't felt that way for so many years, for either a game or a console. I envy you both.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

I also just read in the news that the 3DS will play 2D and 3D Netflix programming,3D trailers,comedy shorts,and music videos. It has now been confirmed that it will record 3D video,and a Super Mario title is being worked on by the same team that made Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2. Imagine if they made two:Mario Galaxy 3 for Wii and Galaxy 3DS for....c'mon guess.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@ kavadias1981 Firstly,thanks for not phrasing your comment as some kind of insult.Too many flame wars around here if you ask me. Secondly,the simple fact is I'm pumped. I'm weak. Since the dawn of video games,my family has always bought a console right as the next generation came out,never full price.From the NES all the way until the Wii,which I bought 3 years into its life at 250 bucks,plus one I bought as a gift for 180 after trade-in value of other stuff.This will be the very first console I buy brand new day one,simply because I am pumped. I have a blast with my DSi,and if I ever think,"You know what would make this better?"The answer is,"More graphics power,better connectivity,an analog stick,and the ability to play MP3 files." The 3DS grants that and WAY more.The fiscally responsible choice is to wait for a bundle or something.But for the first time in my electronic life,I do not have the patience.I am simply...weak. Kudos to your fiscal wisdom and strength of patience.

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

@thewwwyzzerdd lol true their line up for the launch of the 3ds is rather good its about the only reason Im considering buying one... (RE, MG, Street Fighter, ect) Its a formidable line up a great mix of casual and "hard core"(lmao at ppl who call them that) games.

thewwwyzzerdd
thewwwyzzerdd

x-2tha-z im confused that was sarcasm right? about a weak launch lineup affecting demand? because everything ive read said that its sold out, and Ive talked to a couple retailers that said that most of whats coming to america has already been preordered. also this launch lineup is really as weak as people are saying, street-fighter, ridge-racer, pilotwings, madden, pro evo soccer, these are all pretty big names. If there is even 1 game worth playing on day one i would consider that a decent launch. I mean who really not has the money to buy 3 or 4 games day one at 40$ a pop? or the time to play them for that matter? thats not even mentioning the little augmented reality games packed with the system. kavadias1981 I can tell you why I preordered it. I dont want to deal with mass sellouts first of all, it was months before i could find a ds lite to buy, or a wii lol. Also I trust nintendo enough to make the gamble to be honest, at the very worst i have a shiny new ds that can stream netflix (announced this morning)

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

@Morphine_OD Nintendo has made some classic games that Sony and Microsoft could never compete with. And to say that the Zelda series is a copy and paste franchise? You must have not played any other Zelda game besides the first one to make such a biased statement. Either that or your first gaming console was the Xbox... 360.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@Wormkid_64 Why would you be happy to pay for a system and then wait until the good games come out. Why not just wait until the 3DS bundles come out and play existing good games on the console/s you already own. I'm not criticising your decision. I just want to understand why you would do that.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

@x-2tha-z You mean copy-pasting the essential plot about Link and Zelda over and over? And releasing ports, remake etc on every platform? Sure. Zelda is just another storyless piece of an excellent gameplay. First one was a breakthrough, that's for sure. But it's the only experience on Nintendo. The majority of games are just like that on the other consoles. However Nintendo just love to shove up a piece of disconnected game-design into it's public. Works obly for gamers that don't care about art-design, sound-design, story, realism and general graphics technology.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

@GregSci Excuse me, but I don't plan on regretting my 3DS purchase. It's not everyday a person gets to buy a new system day one you know.

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

@Morphine_OD What about the Zelda series? I'd call the Zelda games "an experience". A very good one, too.

GregSci
GregSci

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

Here's the thing.People speak of a weak launch line-up,but does it matter?After dropping $250 bucks,I'll be happy just playing with the built in stuff until the good games come out.I'll have a chance to save more money for the games,instead of blowing over 300 big ones at once for games. Besides,just because LoZ,Mario,Star Fox,and all our other Nintendo friends aren't here at launch,doesn't mean they aren't coming ever.The same thing happened with the DS Phat back when it first came out.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

Nindendo can't make an experience. It makes only games. 3D doesn't bring em any closer to the real monsters of the market like Sony and Microsoft.

lithus
lithus

@clockwork_boy: umm yeah, considering their asking $250

Tevi
Tevi

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

This proves that a weak launch line-up will have a big effect on demand, even for hardware as cool as the 3DS. Such a shame.

Flint247
Flint247

@Fred5107 Comparing the 3DS to NGP is like comparing oranges and apples.

Flint247
Flint247

Less than a month left until the US release! :D :D :D

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

3ds have already sold out obviously , if not they had good amount ready, here in the us its already confirmed to be a sellout just on preorders already so its doing what ds did pretty much it theres nothing that can compete it right now it wont be til a yr for ngp , if even then it will not sell as good as 3ds because of the fact its nintendo and nintendo always did good/does good with its handhelds

soulless4now
soulless4now

I'm more interested in the numbers sold since the Big N likes to brag about stuff like that.

HaloPimp978
HaloPimp978

I plan on getting but whenever OoT & MGS come out.

mumui10
mumui10

@ChaosDynasty no im not a nintendo boy im a sony fan since ps1 ps2 ps3 also psp until now for me this time im going to switch to 3ds because games in ps3 is better in console not on portable , just like the way of the samurai portable its not good in psp and just like that and for me this lets try 3ds because sony's portble give me dissapointment on their portble games.

thingta42
thingta42

Wonder how many units the 3DS will sell

GregSci
GregSci

@Philly1UPer I don't think is brand new tech, of course, the 3D gaming is innovative, but the technology is not "top notch" and not justifying the price. Just look how a simple 133Mhz GPU and 64MB RAM are enough for: rendering 3D, graphics and sound, wifi, SO and more... Problem is, most people think this is "cutting edge" technology, and Nintendo just gets away with murder. Cutting edge is the Ipod with Retina Display (for 200$), A PS3 with Bluray (for 300$), not this. Nintendo just take us for fools... Price drop and I'll get one.

Fred5107
Fred5107

Nice... By the way, does anyone here think the 3DS is cool but not better than the NGP or is it just me? Just asking, I respect your opinions.

GregSci
GregSci

3DS is not worth 250$, maybe 150-170$, the hardware is dated by like 4-5 years and they're chaging it like a brand new Ipod with Retina Display. I'll get it only after price drop... or I'll better wait the 3DS-XL with a gourgeus 4.2" screen.

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

@lithus I can see why the price is like that. Its brand new technology, featuring 3D gaming without the need for 3D glasses. Unlike the soon to be 3D console gaming where you need to drop over 1,000 for a 3D ready TV and about 60 for a pair of 3D glasses.

gamerpipe
gamerpipe

It's not that cold these days.albeit I'm in bed in such time and would never relinquish the warmth of the bed to any stuff. ask my ipod, she knows.

clockwork_boy
clockwork_boy

@lithus Why? Do you think it´s too expensive?

lithus
lithus

still don't get how they can justify the price...same as the friggen console...

nohabs
nohabs

I wouldn't wait outside in the cold for any game.

OmegaAK47
OmegaAK47

Thats good to see Nintendo has alot of console to sell to the public. They don't want to have another Wii problem.

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

Nintendo console sells big in Japan. Well thats a surprise....

Gomtor
Gomtor

Ill wait for the PSP2.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@ DennisWZH You haven't heard of the augmented reality? You're judging this system far too soon my friend. Go to Nintendo's website, Nintendo.com/3DS and look up all its details there. Or look it up at the 3DS launch center here at Gamespot. Those who have used it say the 3DS's 3D is just the beginning.The system does anything but ride on the 3D "gimmick". As for LCD vs OLED,what major difference can possibly be seen on a screen smaller than a dollar bill? It's like how my friends tried to convince me how great HD is,but it really isn't that life-changing. On a large screen you see the difference,but when the pixels are smaller,like on a normal sized screen,or a phone or handheld on,then there comes a point where the differences in resolution are too small for me to really care. Gaming goes far beyond the visuals.If it didn't,I wouldn't be a gamer.I'd just buy paintings,since they'd be just as pretty,and cost less. @ isaacmj Thumbs up to you,that was gold.

neovalkyr
neovalkyr

Hey stop trying to convince people to buy one haha, the better chance I'll have at getting one.

SuprSaiyanRockr
SuprSaiyanRockr

@ mrzisawesome Thanks for clearing that up. The 3DS looks awesome, but I already have a DS, so I'm deciding whether it's worth $350 (I'd be saving for a while). If it supports mp3, tha'ts just fine; I need a new mp3 player.

TrueIori
TrueIori

@thewwwyzzerdd good point.

thewwwyzzerdd
thewwwyzzerdd

@ truelori I dont know if I would go that far, a couple guys managed to modify their specific 3ds unit (temporarily) to run a flashcart that could only play current ds games or older. Until the effect is possible to mass produce i wouldnt be too worried.

Night-Wolf93
Night-Wolf93

pre-order my from bestbuy lol can't wait.

Slash_out
Slash_out

Same as many, 250$ is too expensive. Here it's even 250 euro, meaning around 300-340$. There are no game released worth being played (is that even a serious launch line up? I mean... Seriously? Nintendodogs?). And anyway the hardware is not worth that much. It's 7 years old, even the gpu dates back to 2004. I'll end up eventually with it someday. Probably when it's half as expensive, and when a new version is released. but not at this price.