Mario 3D Land opens Nov. 13, Mario Kart hits Dec. 4

Nintendo drops North American dates for 3DS slate, Kid Icarus delayed to 2012, Zelda: Four Swords downloadable for free starting Sept. 28, system update to enable 3D video recording.


Mario Kart 7
Super Mario 3D Land
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition

Western Nintendo fans could get a rough idea of when their most anticipated 3DS games would launch from the Japanese launch dates revealed at the company's pre-Tokyo Game Show press event last night. However, those wanting specifics had to wait for Nintendo of America to nail down its local launch dates after the event.

Mario Kart 7 takes flight December 4.
Mario Kart 7 takes flight December 4.

The biggest names given release dates were Super Mario 3D Land, now set for a November 13 release, and Mario Kart 7, which will debut on December 4. Previously, both games had only been confirmed for their respective launch months. Nintendo also dated the free downloadable DSi, DSi XL, and 3DS edition of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, saying it would be available from the eShop store front from September 28 through February 20 of next year.

Other release dates confirmed include the Wii and 3DS editions of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games arriving on November 15, Fortune Street for the DS hitting December 5, and 2012 windows given to the 3DS games Kid Icarus, Luigi's Mansion, Paper Mario, Animal Crossing, and Mario Tennis.

Beyond game release dates, Nintendo announced that a 3DS firmware update later this year will give the system the ability to capture 3D video. The same update will provide new content for the system's Street Pass Mii Plaza mode.

Super Mario 3D Land is an all-new installment in the 26-year-old franchise, though it contains many of the hallmark features of the series. As detailed in GameSpot's hands-on with the game from the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Super Mario 3D Land contains both 2D and 3D sequences, where the action takes place on the device's top screen, and the bottom screen serves as a menu.

GameSpot also went hands-on with Mario Kart 7 at E3, and it too is an original installment in the series. In addition to an expected roster of Mushroom Kingdom racers, Mario Kart 7 adds underwater and airborne racing to the series for the first time. The game will also have an increased emphasis on kart customization.

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