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.

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

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.

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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