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Nintendo kicks off 3DS demo tour around U.S.

Company wants to put its 3DS portable-gaming device in the hands of consumers to help them get a better feel for how its works. Get ready NY, Chicago, SF, and LA.

Nintendo's 3DS Nintendo

The Nintendo 3DS is going on tour.

Starting tomorrow, Nintendo will offer demos of its upcoming portable game player in four U.S. cities. The company will have what it calls Demo Pods and Demo Squads available to let folks play titles and ask questions about the device.

The 3DS is easily one of the most anticipated products of the year. The device comes with the ability for gamers to play titles in 3D without the need for special glasses. In addition, it comes with built-in cameras capable of snapping 3D photos. It's scheduled for a March 27 launch in the U.S. for $249. It launched in Japan last month and sold out within 24 hours.

By offering a demo of its 3DS prior to launch, Nintendo is taking a page out of Microsoft's book. Last year, Microsoft brought its motion-gaming peripheral to Macy's stores nationwide to give consumers a quick demo of the technology. The Kinect was on display in a number of major cities around the U.S. between July and September.

Microsoft never said whether those efforts paid off. But considering that it has sold 10 million Kinect units since launch and that the device is now the fastest-selling consumer electronics product ever, that approach certainly didn't hurt sales.

According to Nintendo, the 3DS demos will be at New York's Grand Central Terminal through March 30, Chicago's Citigroup Center through April 3, San Francisco's Pier 39 through April 3, and Los Angeles' Third Street Promenade through April 3.