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Nintendo broke new ground in the spring of 2011 with the launch of their hand held 3D gaming device, the Nintendo 3DS. It's only been a few months since that launch, and already the Japanese games giant is looking to gain greater public interest with the introduction of Nintendo 3DS 3D TV services. Perhaps Nintendo know they'd better be quick to get the 3DS up in the popularity stakes, especially with the Playstation 3D TV looming on the horizon and possible ready to take a huge chunk of the 3D gaming market. The arrival of Sony's breakthrough 3D dual player gaming solution towards the end of 2011 may well eclipse anything that the Nintendo 3DS can improve on now, even if the 3D TV service turns out to be spectacular.

Mobile 3D TV has always been likely to play a big role in the growth in the acceptance of 3D TVs in general as viable entertainment options. Smaller screens lend themselves perfectly to solving the known problem of how to make 3D TV without glasses into a workable solution. Based on that , there does seem a good possibility that Nintendo 3DS 3D TV offerings will give the console a much needed boost.

The original launch of the portable 3D games console was announced with a fanfare, with many Nintendo fans - and some knockers too - fired up to welcome a new king of gaming devices. But it's no secret that the high hopes have not so far resulted in massive critical acclaim. In fact, there are reports that the 3DS is struggling to realise anywhere near the volumes of sales that were anticipated. Gamers are reportedly turning off the 3D function of the device, which of course is big bad news for Nintendo, along with any other games manufacturers who've been looking to 3D games as the next big thing in gaming.  Maybe the Nintendo 3DS 3D TV capability will turn around its fortunes?

So let's see what Nintendo and the 3DS can offer to 3D TV fans- especially those that are very much against the need to wear 3D glasses to watch good quality 3D imaging.

What's been announced? What will the Nintendo 3DS 3D TV service give us?

On the 20th June 2011, Nintendo announced that they'd formed a partnership with Japanese TV networks Fuji Television and Nippon Television to bring full 3D TV programming to users of the Nintendo 3DS. This initial announcement was focussed on Japan only, and the service actually went live on 21st June.

How does the 3D TV service work on the 3DS?

Using the Spotpass facility on the console, the 3DS can automatically download 3D content. The content is offered free, but of course does carry adverts which offset the cost to Nintendo and its partners. Users just need to keep the Spotpass facility enabled to keep the auto download working.

What 3D TV content can you watch on the 3DS?

With the service released in Japan only at this stage, it'll be no surprise that available content is Japan centric. Here's a few examples of what is available to watch:

1. Train View. Japan loves its trains, and this show takes viewers on a rail journey from the perspective of the train drivers seat.
2. Nippon TV run a 3D animal show named Animal de Calendar, which ties 3D animal images in with horoscope predictions.
3. Professional Sumo wrestling in 3D. Wow! This Fuji TV broadcast captures the popular girls group known as Idoling and sumo wrestling fun.
4. 3D sculptures - a tour of the Hakone Open Air Museum which takes in the sculptures which have become famous throughout Japan.
5. Watch magic tricks in 3D with a group of well known and popular Japanese magic entertainers.
6. 3D Sport. For weekends only, this 3D programming looks to cover a good mix of interesting sports including gymnastics, volleyball, basketball, and motor racing.
7. 3D news - a daily news broadcast which showcases any worthwhile events that might grab the viewers interest.

When the Nintendo 3DS 3D TV service launches in the US, it's believed that Netflix services will be available....and before that you can expect to see a UK launch with rumours of content on show from Sky 3D and others to be announced. There are reports suggesting that announcement will come at a Nintendo press event on July 19th.

On this page I'll be bringing you updates as they're received on plans to open up the Nintendo 3DS 3D TV services in other countries, plus any updates on 3D content for the US and UK regions.

Stay tuned.