* New DS lets users play 3D games without special glasses
* Nintendo to unveil details at E3 show in June
* Shares close up 0.3 pct vs Nikkei's 0.5 pct fall
(Adds analyst comments, background)
TOKYO, March 23 Nintendo Co 7974.OS plans to
launch a new model of its DS handheld game console that allows
users to play three-dimensional (3D) games without using special
glasses, aiming to reinvigorate demand for the five year old
The Japanese company said the new portable player,
tentatively named "Nintendo 3DS", will be able to play titles
created for previous DS models and will be launched in the
financial year starting in April.
Nintendo, which competes with Sony Corp (6758.T) and
Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) in video games, declined to give details
such as price and launch dates, but said more information will
be announced at the E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles in
"This will certainly stimulate demand for the DS," Rakuten
Securities analyst Yasuo Imanaka said.
"But, we need to keep in mind that this is a portable
machine. If you expect the kind of full-blown 3D visuals shown
on TVs or in movie theatres, you could be disappointed."
Sony plans to release 3D titles for its PlayStation 3 game
console in time for the planned release of its 3D TVs in June.
That game console can be upgraded to become 3D-capable using a
Electronics makers and software creators have high hopes
that growing interest in 3D movies, sparked by the sci-fi
blockbuster "Avatar" and other recent titles, will drive sales
of their 3D-capable hardware and software contents.
Nintendo has sold more than 125 million units of the DS
worldwide, but the company expects unit sales of the dual-screen
machine to fall 4 percent in the year ending March 31, its first
ever decline in annual sales.
Ahead of the announcement, shares in Nintendo closed up 0.3
percent at 27,970 yen on Tuesday, outperforming the Nikkei
average .N225, which slid 0.5 percent.
(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Rupert Winchester)