Japan’s Nintendo launched Saturday the world’s first video game console with a 3-D screen that works without special glasses, a device the entertainment giant hopes will reverse its sliding fortunes. But as the 3DS makes its debut in Japan, it will be looking for a place in an increasingly crowded gaming market.
More than 1,500 fans queued outside Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara, the hub of Tokyo’s comic-book subculture, to be the first to own the machine, with many having spent the night on the streets ahead of the morning launch. “I’m extremely excited. I can’t wait to start playing it,” said Arisa Kubo, a 19-year-old nursing student who began queuing on Friday night.
“The quality has dramatically improved,” said Kubo, who tried a pre-sales demonstration of the console last month. “The screen is beautiful. 3DS is totally different from the normal DS.” Nintendo, which for many gamers is synonymous with its “Super Mario Bros” series, is facing a raft of challenges to its one-time domination of the market.