World and Nation

Shorts (left)

T to begin posting real-time arrival data on trains today

The MBTA is to release real-time data Friday telling riders where subway trains are located and how long it will take for the next train to arrive.

That means that in a matter of days riders will be able to use their phones or go online to find arrival times and navigate the Orange, Blue, and Red lines with less frustration.

The move represents a low-cost way for the MBTA to offer the transit-riding public access to information that people standing on platforms have long been waiting for, and it comes less than a month after the T finished releasing similar data for all 187 of its bus routes.

That release has spurred a flurry of free or low-cost bus applications designed by third-party software developers, and similar applications should begin appearing next week for the subway system, MBTA officials and software developers said.

Meanwhile, the T is also beginning to install live maps at subway stations, so riders can see real-time location and arrival information, without needing a phone or Internet connection, though it will be years before those screens are installed at all stations, because of budget limitations.

“I think, for the MBTA, this is a giant step forward,” said Richard A. Davey, the T’s general manager since March. When Davey came on board, the agency was a few months into a pilot program that released data for five bus routes to the tech community.

Nintendo says 3-D device will arrive after holiday season

Nintendo, with its mobile gaming throne being threatened by games on Apple iPhones, has been planning to fight back with a new hand-held console with a 3-D display.

But Nintendo revealed a hitch to its plans on Wednesday. The company said its new 3DS console would not be available until early next year, tentatively February, meaning it will miss the crucial year-end holiday sales season.

Nintendo also said its profits would be held down because it expected lower holiday sales from the 6-year-old DS portable machine, which the 3-D player is meant to replace, as well as slowing sales of its Wii home video game console.

“We are not taking the success of the 3DS for granted,” Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s chief executive, said Wednesday at Nintendo’s annual conference, held here outside Tokyo. “To popularize it, we will have to overcome unprecedented hurdles.”

Although Nintendo has sold far more of the aging DS consoles than Apple has sold iPhones so far, Apple has started to explicitly promote the iPod Touch and iPhone as gaming devices. Nintendo’s console-based game empire is also threatened by the rising popularity of casual online games like FarmVille on the social networking site Facebook.

In the six years since the DS hand-held machine was introduced, Nintendo has sold 132 million units, more than twice the number of Sony PlayStation Portables sold over a comparable period.

In comparison, Apple said in July that cumulative sales of iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches had reached 100 million; the earliest of those, the iPhone, was introduced in 2007.

So far, Nintendo has stayed on top by challenging the status quo in the game industry. But Nintendo faces a recent proliferation of rival approaches to gaming. Angry Birds, a game from the Finnish developer Rovio, has been a smash hit on Apple’s iPhone and iPad, for example, while FarmVille, developed by a Silicon Valley start-up, Zynga, has millions of users.

The new 3DS console has won rave reviews since a prototype was shown at the E3 trade show in Los Angeles in June.