The news comes courtesy of a "supposed employee" who posted the information in the NeoGaf forum. A U.S. launch date has not been revealed yet, but we anticipate limited availability in March. Pricing should be close to the $300 price tag in Japan, which makes it the most expensive Nintendo game console in history. The high price should be keeping a lid on excessive demand as well.
From the NeoGaf forum post:
“Ok well I got the OK to tell people about this from my work, but we officially got word in that all US based Game Stop stores will be taking reserves on the 3DS starting on the 26th. Depending on the place holder price you will be required to drop a minimum of $25 on a reserve. This is a personal guess but since we need a estimated time of release I would assume Nintendo is about to officially reveal the price and release day anytime from the 25th to January 1st. (UPDATE: The reserves DID infact start today! if your GS can’t find it in their system the SKU is 020132.)”
If the poster is correct, then we should be getting a release date any day now, which is somewhat odd as the important holiday shopping season has just passed and Nintendo has to hope that consumers have at least $300 left over for the new device as well as some dough for a few games. Sony will have to be much more creative in pitching the device than it was during the Christmas season when it hoped that red paint for the Wii would deliver a new sales incentive (which it did not: according to Amazon, the red Wii arrived at #57 in the ranks of video game best sellers.)