The 3DS Preview Event has begun! Since it’s essentially impossible for one humble news man to crank out full articles as things are happening, on everything that’s happening, I’ll be updating this post continuously (check every five to ten minutes or so) with new game announcements (should any arise), as well as release dates, word of new English trailers and screenshots, and so on. Expect in-depth impressions to pop up later on in the day. For now, let’s just sit back, watch, and wait for the awesome to come pouring through.

9:03 – Here comes Wossy!

9:03 – It’s the glasses!

9:04 – Laurent Fischer, NoE’s director of marketing, takes the stage to explain the history of 3D technology + Nintendo, as well as the 3D effect used in 3DS.

6:06 – Here’s a basic trailer showing off the 3DS’s unique features.

6:11 – Heeeeere’s SpotPass! Works as we’ve had it explained before – enter a Wi-fi hotspot, and your 3DS will update and receive data automatically. Some of this will affect certain games.

6:13 – Some of the content transferred via SpotPass (in Europe) will be other 3D content like sportscasts, etc.

6:17 – Too much talking, not enough game footage! Shaun the Sheep animated shorts to be created exclusively for 3DS.

6:22 – StreetPass’s “Mii Meet” feature demonstrated again. As you pass other 3DS users with their system in Sleep Mode on the street, Mii data will be exchanged automatically. It emulates a real-life “meeting.” Of course, you can turn the feature off to protect your privacy.

6:23 – Friend Codes simplified. No software-exclusive codes, no need to input codes manually.

6:25 – Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono, producer of Street Fighter for the 3DS, takes the stage.

6:28 – Meanwhile, Reggie’s on-stage in New York. They’ll post up a webcast of the New York event later on today.

6:31 – Street Fighter 4 to use Street Pass to have versus battles using fighter figurines automatically. How you can have a battle without actually playing… is a bit beyond me, I must admit. We’ll have to see it for ourselves. (George Clooney jokes directed at Mr. Fischer ensue.)

6:35 – Shibata-san, President of Nintendo of Europe, takes the stage.

6:40 – Glimpses of Rayman 3D and Rabbids 3D, a pair of Tom Clancy’s games, and more.

6:42 – The producers of Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer head on-stage.

6:46 – Here’s the first real trailer of the day, PES 2011 3D. “LOOK OUT FOR SPACE. BASK IN THE ADULATION.”

6:48 – From Twitter: U.S. release date – March 27 for $249.99.

6:56 – Dead or Alive Dimensions trailer shown. It’s interesting to see a more diverse palette of games on the 3DS versus the original DS which worked to appeal more to younger audiences with only a few games targeted specifically at an older crowd. Developer love for their 3DS software is also really encouraging.

7:01 – Nintendogs + Cats critters have face recognition.

7:03 – Enough talking. MORE FOOTAGE! Even the host seems to want to cut to the chase; he’s asking for Europe’s release date.

7:04 – Here’s a trailer of onboard software like the Mii Creator and AR-card games. We saw a similar trailer for Japan’s event.

7:08 – Software lineup trailer, showing pretty much the same footage from Japan’s event. Meanwhile, GBA games confirmed for the VC system via the NoA event.

7:11 – European release date announced: March 25! Wow!

7:16 – And that’s the presentation. I guess the biggest surprise is that Europe’s getting the 3DS before America – but no newly-announced software? Normally Ninty gives their Western audiences a bone or two in situations like this. And with no English Ocarina trailer it’s beginning to look terribly unlikely that it’ll be arriving in the West until the tail end of the launch window (i.e. June) at best.

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