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Nintendo adds 3-D video channel, Netflix streaming to 3DS

March 2, 2011 |  1:38 pm

Nintendo on Wednesday said it will launch a dedicated channel featuring short form 3-D videos and movie trailers for its 3DS handheld game console, set to hit stores later this month.

The announcement, made at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, was one of several new features Nintendo is layering onto the 3DS to help it compete against Apple's iPhone and iPad, which have made major inroads into the market for mobile games once dominated by Nintendo.

Reggie Fils-Aime, head of Nintendo's U.S. operations, said the 3DS will be able to support Netflix's instant streaming service and, by late May, be able to connect to the Web via 10,000 wireless Internet hot spots hosted by AT&T.

The Japanese game company also said it will launch eShop, an online marketplace similar to Apple's iTunes app store, to sell downloadable games for its 3DS.

Set to go on sale in the U.S. on March 27 for $250, the 3DS features two screens, one of which displays stereoscopic 3-D images that can be viewed without glasses. Nintendo said it will distribute a number of handpicked 3-D videos as well as 3-D movie trailers to the device beginning in late May.

But Fils-Aime emphasized that "the primary function of the 3DS is to play games." About 18 games, priced at $40 apiece, are slated to launch with the device later this month, including Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, Ridge Racer 3D and Super Street Fighter IV 3D.

-- Alex Pham