Nintendo's upcoming 3DS handheld will be released in October 2010, in time for Christmas but going up against Microsoft's motion-detecting Project Natal.

Industry sources have told games blog CVG that the Japanese games company will be announcing the device at E3 and are planning to launch it in October. Previously, we only knew that it would be launched before March 2011.

The platform supposedly allows gamers to enjoy 3D without having to wear special glasses. Nintendo simply says that it's "the new portable game machine to succeed the Nintendo DS series", referring to the October date as just "rumour and speculation".

We'll know for sure whether it's going to be announced at E3 when the conference takes place later in the year between 15 and 17 June 2010.