Nintendo to add 3D movie capture to 3DS handheld

The game company said it would add the new features in a software update to come next month, and new interactive features

Nintendo said Friday that a software update for its 3DS handheld due in late November in Japan will add the ability to shoot movies in 3D.

The company said the movies will be limited to 10 minutes in length. It also added several different record modes, including the ability to shoot stop-action animations.

Company President Satoru Iwata outlined the new features in a prerecorded presentation streamed online, which the company called "Nintendo Direct."

Iwata showed the multiplayer features of the upcoming version of Mario Kart 7 for the 3DS, which will be launched Dec. 1 in Japan. These include a dedicated online channel for the game to set up racing communities, as well as the ability to obtain new go-kart parts and set up races with other individuals that come nearby physically using the device's "StreetPass" feature.

The 3DS will also expand its online social features, adding a map to keep track of where avatars are from, as well as new group games and the ability to move contents to a different console via the online store.

He also outlined a host of new games that will soon be available for download in Japan, including one that allows users to send handwritten messages and pictures back and forth.

Nintendo has been aggressive in launching new titles and features for the 3DS, after it was forced to slash prices when sales sagged following the launch earlier this year. The company is racing to draw users before rival Sony releases its powerful Vita handheld, due out in Japan Dec. 17 and in Europe and the U.S. on Feb. 22. Both companies are also fighting off a deluge of inexpensive but popular games on mobile phones and tablets that often appeal to more casual gamers.

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Jay Alabaster

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