Computer and Video Games thinks they have some solid launch information
on the 3DS
. Supposedly, their sources in the UK game industry have told them that the 3DS is slated for an October release. It's definitely earlier than expected but it would leverage the 3DS against Natal and Move. We've seen Nintendo "compete by not competing" before, dropping something out of the blue to draw attention away from a competitor's product without directly competing with that product. Releasing a new portable while Sony and Microsoft are focusing on the home console scene does sound like Nintendo's style. They could also keep all their bases covered by releasing that new Zelda on the Wii.
Of course I'm still cautiously optimistic about the 3DS, but it remains to be seen if it'll be a real gaming machine or just another casual gimmick box like the iPhone and
iPod Touch XL