Japanese gamers eagerly anticipating Nintendo’s latest handheld console, the Nintendo 3DS, finally have a date for when they will be able to purchase the console.

For Americans and European gamers, the wait should last no longer than April 2011 with an announcement planned for January 19th.

Unveiled at Nintendo World 2011, Japanese gamers finally discovered when they will be able to purchase the highly anticipated Nintendo handheld and how much it will cost.  The lucky date that gamers should be putting in their diaries being February 26th 2011 with a price of ¥25000($308) for the console. Alongside this will be a selection of eight games, all of which have been officially announced as the launch line-up for the Japanese Nintendo 3DS launch period. Details on pricing  for the games were also unveiled with games being priced between ¥4800 ($57) to ¥6,090 ($73).

American and European gamers won’t have to wait long to get their hands on the new Nintendo handheld either. While no official dates or prices were revealed, Nintendo did state they plan to release the console in these regions before April 2011. The company plans to showcase the Nintendo 3DS in a three day event beginning on January 19th, at which point it will unveil further details on future launches. Game Rant will work publish these as soon as we get them.

The major surprise is that only one first party Nintendo game will be released at launch, with Nintendogs & Cats being the only the only in-house game. No announcements have been made over the fate of other high profile first party titles such as Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Paper Mario 3DS or the latest Kid Icarus game, though one could speculate it was optimistic to expect all of these to be released in the launch period. Elsewhere in the launch line-up there is clear support from the third parties with strong titles such as Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask and Ridge Racer 3D heading up the list of games.

It should be noted that while this list provides a definite look at the Japanese launch line-up, this will be the first launch of the console worldwide and therefore when it comes to the American and PAL region releases, we may (and hope to) see a wider selection of games available.  Games such as Winning Eleven are traditionally Japanese-only and usually end up becoming something like Pro Evolution Soccer in other regions. Certainly the launch lineup is diverse in selection with choices that should cater to both casual and hardcore gamers though speaking personally, it would of been great to see one or two more first party offerings.

Are you excited by these launch games? What other games would you like to see added to the North American and European launches?

Source: GameSpot

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