Nintendo reveals new 3D handheld, the Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo has revealed it will unveil a brand new piece of hardware in June, a new handheld console with 3D effects known as the Nintendo 3DS. The company describes the new handheld as allowing games to be “enjoyed with 3D effects without the need for any special glasses.”

So, uh, wow.

The 3DS will go on sale “between April 2010 and March 2011,” though as the revealing of the hardware will take place at the E3 games expo in June 2010, it’s fair to say we won’t be seeing until then, at the very earliest.

How is this related to the Nintendo DS series of consoles? Well, in short, it isn’t. Nintendo describes the 3DS as the successor to its successful two-screen handheld, though it will come with backward compatibility for Nintendo DS and DSi games. That makes it the fifth series of Nintendo handhelds, after Game & Watch, Game Boy, Virtual Boy, and Nintendo DS.

According to a report by Nikkei, the 3DS will also come with a new joystick and force feedback:

“Nintendo plans to give the new system a 3-D joystick and a force feedback mechanism that will let players feel the collisions of a game character, for example. It had already acquired related patents at the end of last year. The firm is also considering employing an accelerometer so that games can be played by tilting the 3DS.”

[Via press release]