The Nintendo 3DS is a portable game console produced by Nintendo, first released on February 26, 2011. A distinguishing feature of the system is its ability to produce "3D effects without the need for any special glasses" via a process called autostereoscopy. The device was released in Japan on February 26, 2011, Europe on March 25, 2011, North America on March 27, 2011 and Australia on March 31, 2011. The 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.