Pilfered Nintendo 3DS caught in pics, on video

The March launch of the Nintendo 3DS is right around the corner and Nintendo fans are starting to get psyched. I mentioned last week that Gamestop has started taking pre-orders even though they don't have a firm launch date or price. One of my co-workers here in Framingham, MA went in to put his money down and he was number 22 on their list; let's hope Nintendo has a good supply of launch units or plenty of people are going to be disappointed. (Twenty-two may not seem like a lot but I've seen game console launches where every store only got a dozen or so units in the first shipment, and Gamestop hasn't really advertised the pre-order program yet.)

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But that's a worry for another day; a day when we at least have a firm launch date. Until then we can continue to deal in rumor and gossip. Which brings us to a bunch of leaked images of a Nintendo 3DS that was supposedly smuggled out of one of the factories where they're being manufactured. There's a video too, which I'll embed below (and hope that it doesn't get pulled) but don't get your hopes up; just as the person turns it on, the video ends. It looks like it powers on into some kind of debug menu or something. The original source of the images is Chinese forum tgbus.com but 3DSBuzz.com re-published them and ferreted out some data points. The system has 96 megs of RAM and a 1300 mAh battery (larger than that in either the Nintendo DS or DSi) to keep that 3D goodness flowing. So that's...exciting, right? While it's nice to get a better look at a mostly finished 3DS, what would really excite me is a retail price and ship date, and Nintendo is still mum about both of those. But they've got to tell us soon, right?

Peter Smith writes about personal technology for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @pasmith.

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