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Nintendo 3DS to get Netflix support

Nintendo 3DS users will be able to download movies and television programs from the Nintendo library, Nintendo announced this week.

By Matthew Shaer / March 2, 2011

Nintendo 3DS, shown here, will get Netflix support, Nintendo reps announced today.

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Nintendo 3DS – the forthcoming, next-generation, 3D-capable handset – will be supported by some kind of Netflix application, making it easy for users to stream a range of television programs and movies from the Netflix library. That's the news today from Nintendo exec Reggie Fils-Aime, who spoke this week at the Game Developers Conference keynote address in San Francisco.

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The 3DS debuted in Japan last month, and is due stateside on March 27. The price for the device is set at $250 – pricey for a handheld gaming platform, but short of the $300 originally forecast by some tech bloggers. "We really want Nintendo 3DS to be the next must-have," Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata said at GDC, according to USA Today.

3D support, obviously, is part of that – the 3DS will be the first piece of gaming hardware to harness glasses-free technology.

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But as evidenced by the Netflix partnership, Nintendo obviously sees the device as something more than a simple gaming device. And it will have to be: An increasing amount of gamers are downloading content for their smartphones or iPads, instead of purchasing a dedicated device such as the 3DS. Meanwhile, Sony and Ericcson recently unveiled something called the Xperia Play – otherwise known as the PlayStation phone.

Competition, in other words, will be fierce. Wired reports that Netflix should be available for Nintendo 3DS users by this spring; presumably, you'll have to be a Netflix member first. We'll get you more on the Nintendo 3DS as soon as we have it. Also: If you haven't done so already, you should sign up for our weekly Innovation newsletter. Which is also free! It goes out every Wednesday.

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