The Nintendo 3DS is a handheld game console first released on February 26, 2011 by Nintendo. A perceiving difference feature of the system is its ability to produce "3D effects without the need of 3D glasses" via a process called autostereoscopy. The Nintendo 3DS was released in Japan on February 26, 2011, Europe on March 25, 2011, North America on March 27, 2011 and will be released in Australia on March 31, 2011. The Nintendo 3DS succeeds the Nintendo DS series of handheld systems, which primarily shares the handheld console market with Sony's PlayStation Portable. The Nintendo 3DS features backward compatibility with Nintendo DS series software, including Nintendo DSi software.