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Nintendo 3DS to launch with 18 games

The upcoming 3D device, which doesn't require 3D glasses, is set to launch with 18 games next month. It should have 30 titles available by early June.


Nintendo expects 18 games to be available to U.S. customers when its 3DS portable-gaming device launches next month.

The lineup of titles hitting store shelves on March 27 will be highlighted by Nintendo's own Pilotwings Resort, an airplane game, as well as Nintendogs + Cats, which will allow gamers to take care of puppies and kittens from the device. All of Nintendo's games will retail for $39.99.

In addition, Capcom will be launching Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition on the 3DS next month, and Electronic Arts will be offering up The Sims 3 and Madden NFL Football. Sega fans will find Super Monkey Ball 3D, while Ridge Racer 3D will be available to racing fans.

Ubisoft will have the largest third-party presence when the 3DS launches, offering four games, including Rayman 3D and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Shadow Wars.

Nintendo's 3DS is one of the more anticipated gaming releases this year. The portable allows gamers to play 3D titles without the need for special glasses. At a press conference last month, Nintendo revealed that the portable would go on sale for $249.99 and hit store shelves on March 27. It also said at the time that some of its more popular franchises, including The Legend of Zelda, would be made available in the launch window.

Nintendo echoed those sentiments this time around, saying that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Star Fox 64 3D, and a new title in the Mario Kart series were on the way. However, it would only say that those titles would be made available at some point in 2011.

All told, Nintendo said that it expects to have 30 games available to customers by early June.

It should be interesting to see if consumers will respond to 3DS games the same way they have responded to DS titles, namely by opting for Nintendo games over third-party releases.

Last month, Nintendo revealed that 11 of the top 20 best-selling games in the U.S. last year were available to the Wii or DS. Nine out of those games were published by Nintendo. Three out of the five most popular DS games in Japan last year were published by Nintendo or Nintendo-owned companies.

The issues third-party game companies have had selling their titles on Nintendo platforms has not gone unnoticed. EA CEO John Riccitiello went so far last year in an interview with IndustryGamers to say that Nintendo isn't always looking out for the best interests of its third-party partners.

"It's not lack of trying," Riccitello said in the interview. "They start the morning thinking what's best for their own intellectual property."

Whether or not that's true is up for debate. But by the looks of things, several developers, including EA, seem keen on capitalizing on the 3DS sooner rather than later.