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Nintendo 3DS to Launch March 27; Will Cost $249

Announced at E3 2010, the 3DS has been in and out of the news for months. It almost feels as though we know everything there is to know about the console. Except, of course, when we can buy it ourselves. However, now the device finally has an official U.S. release date and price. Nintendo executive Reggie Fil-Amie today revealed U.S. availability and pricing for the 3DS at an event in the Nintendo World store in New York City. 

The 3DS will launch March 27 with a retail price of $249. Nintendo says there will be roughly 30 games available between the launch day and E3 in June. Among the upcoming titles are Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, Madden NFL Football, The Sims 3, Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D, and LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars.

European pricing is still a little hazy. Nintendo held a second event in Amsterdam today and said that rather than a set price, pricing would be left up to retailers. Retailers in the UK are reportedly planning a £229.99 price tag, which translates to roughly $368 by today’s conversion, while European retailers (such as Amazon France) are going with €249 ($336). So yes, Europeans are kind of getting screwed, but they are also getting the device two days early, on March 25. We doubt that’s any consolation, but it’s something.

In case you need a refresher, the 3DS offers glass-free 3D gaming and also includes the ability to take 3D photographs thanks to dual cameras on the back of the device. It’s got a slider that allows you to adjust the 3D intensity, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a little analog ‘circle pad,’ a home button that will take you right back to the home screen (it’ll pause your game if you press it mid-session), and a charging cradle for desktop juicing. As far as new software is concerned, you’ll get an activity logger that acts like a pedometer, counting your steps and awarding coins that can be exchanged for bonus content. There’s also the ‘Street Pass’ function that lets you share limited amounts of information, such as Miis, with passers-by who also have the feature activated.

Who’s going to buy one?