Nintendo's 3DS, a handheld gaming console which offers 3D images without the need for glasses, looks set to hit UK shelves on Friday March 18.

Retailers including BestBuyUK, Asda and WH Smith have all made the device available for pre-order, with the delivery date named as March 18. However, pricing is still unknown. Asda, WH Smith and BestBuy all ask consumers to pay a depsoit ranging between £2.91 and £2.97 to pre-order the console.

Meanwhile, GAME and also both have the device listed on their website, although the delivery dates are not specified and users can't pre-order the 3DS either.

According to gaming website, Eurogamer, WHSmith, Best Buy UK and Woolworths all had the console priced at £299.93. However, this price has since been removed from the websites.

The Nintendo 3DS is set to launch in Japan first on February 2 and is Japanese pricing has been revealed as ¥25,000 (£188.97) in Japan.

A filter over the display splits the on-screen image and sends a slightly different image towards the user's right and left eyes, providing the illusion of depth.

The DS was first launched in 2004 and has been revised several times. Nintendo had sold 132 million of the portable devices from the launch through to June last year, but recently sales have been slipping. Between April and June 2010, quarterly sales of the device dropped by almost half.

Nintendo revealed last week it expects sales of the 3DS will hit four million by the end of March. However, the firm believes around 1.5 million of these sales will be in Japan.

It is hoped UK pricing will be released at a Nintendo press event scheduled for Wednesday 19 January.