Nintendo surprised everyone by announcing that they will turn Nintendo DS into 3DS next year.

Nintendo is betting hard on the handheld market today, with several DS models to fit any audience. As late as now in March DSi XL was released, with larger screens well suited for e-books, that is meant to appeal to an older audience.

Now Nintendo has announced that yet another DS edition is on its way, with planned launch by March 2011. Saveral foreign magazines, such as MCV, however, argues that the console can appear on the market already this Christmas, to compete with Sony’s PlayStation Move controls and Natal from Microsoft.

The new DS model is currently announced under the name 3DS, and will as the name suggests, be designed for 3D games. The 3D trend is expected to take off next year, so many TV and home theater manufacturers have already begun to flood the market with products designed to replicate the 3D experience from the cinema at home.

Last fall the first pure 3D games was released on the console market. But instead of the earlier use of 3D glasses, Nintendo’s new console will have 3D displays. The console will also be backward compatible with older DS and DSi games. The Japanese game giant will not reveal more details of 3DS, but adds that the console will be further presented at E3 in June.

Read the press release here:

The original DS console was launched in Europe in 2005. The following year came the smaller model DS Lite. The two DS version has a sold a total of over 125 million units worldwide, as of today. The DSi release, with improved web access and camera functions, came on the market in 2009.