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Nintendo 3DS to Ship in Fall?

British website CVG is reporting that the Nintendo DS’s replacement, the “3DS” will be shipping six months earlier than expected.

Last month Nintendo announced its intention to release a 3D model of its uber-successful handheld DS gaming system. The unit would not require glasses, and it would be compatible with existing DS games. The announcement also claimed that the 3DS would release in March of 2011, although it was not clear if it would be a Japanese only release. More was expected to be revealed at E3 in June.

We likely won’t have confirmation of the release date until E3, but if it is true, it means that Nintendo is confident in the appeal of its 3D games (and has since gotten over the horror that was VirtualBoy). Pushing it up to fall will not only position it for the holiday shopping season, it could be a move to compete with Microsoft’s Natal, which is also scheduled for a fall release.  It is also unknown if the suggested October release date will be Japanese only.  In the past, North American and European dates typically are within a few weeks of each other at most, while Japanese release can be as much as six months before, which could explain the multiple dates.

We won’t know anything for sure until E3, but with the release of the release of the Natal, the Sony Move, several big title games, and now possibly a 3D Nintendo DS, it could be a big year for the video game industry.

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