The Nintendo 3DS eShop will launch in May, not at the launch of the handheld, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has confirmed.

"The first system update is scheduled for late May, at almost the same time around the world," said Iwata during an investor call. "Upon this update, you will be able to use some features including: Nintendo eShop, Transfer of Nintendo DSiWare from Nintendo DSi to Nintendo 3DS, and Internet Browser."

The Nintendo eShop will sell Virtual Console software, Nintendo DSiWare and new Nintendo 3DS software. Nintendo will also distribute classic games with a new 3D look, called 3D Classics.

It's disappointing to have a new platform launch without its complete feature set, but we'd rather have the handheld launch in March than wait until May.