Nintendo’s new 3DS handheld video-game player will play Netflix movies and connect to AT&T’s network of Wi-Fi hotspots next summer. Reggie Fils-Aimé, the president and COO of Nintendo North America, said that the 3DS platform will be an excellent way of promoting new games and other 3d-material.

The new features will be available after a major software update in May. After the update, the handheld console will also gain the ability to play 3D movie trailers in a format that doesn’t require special glasses to view.

Fils-Aimé made the remarks in a keynote address at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

One limitation of the 3DS has been the use of a removable cartridge to load games into memory for play. More modern game-playing devices like Apple’s iPod Touch store games on memory chips. With the update, the 3DS will be able to download additional game content even without a cartridge loaded, and can do so without charge over AT&T’s Wi-Fi network.

Above: Satoru Iawata at the stage.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, who also spoke at the conference, said he wants the 3DS to be the next must-have. His list of examples of must-haves included games like Angry Birds, Grand Theft Auto and Tetris.

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Nintendo announced also a new 3D version of its popular game franchise Super Mario. There was no official title or logo available. Iwata promised he’ll release more details at the E3 Expo in June.