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Nintendo Announces New Nintendo 3DS Portable System
Nintendo Announces New Nintendo 3DS Portable System
March 23, 2010 | By Christian Nutt

March 23, 2010 | By Christian Nutt
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Nintendo has announced its newest portable hardware, the Nintendo 3DS (a name which is marked as "temp" in the brief press release issued by the company). This new handheld is planned for launch in Nintendo's next fiscal year, which ends March, 2011.

The new hardware is not an update to the original, 2004-launched Nintendo DS hardware -- as its Lite, DSi and DSi XL have been. According to the press release, the new platform will "succeed" the Nintendo DS -- which stands as Nintendo's most successful hardware platform ever.

The platform will allow users to play 3D games without the need for special glasses, the release said. No details on this technology, nor other aspects of the platform, beyond its backward compatibility with existing Nintendo DS and DSi games, was revealed.

Pricing and software lineup details are also presently undisclosed.

The release promised that more details will be revealed at Nintendo's E3 press conference. The E3 show begins June 15, 2010.

[UPDATE: More reports and analysis have emerged regarding the Nintendo 3DS since its announcement last night.

Japanese reports from the Nikkei business publication and Asahi (via Engadget) said the 3DS will achieve naked eye 3D by using a parallax barrier technique from electronics manufacturer Sharp. Some cell phones in Japan already use the technology.

The 3DS screen, according to Nikkei, would have screens smaller than four inches diagonally, making it smaller than the DSi LL, which has a 4.2 inch screen. Other features may include vibration and control sticks, but none of this has been confirmed by Nintendo.

Analyst Colin Sebastian with Lazard Capital Markets said Tuesday that he expects the 3DS to garner wide support from game publishers. "Given the significant popularity of Nintendo handhelds, its dominant position in the market, and track-record for successful innovation, we expect that game publishers including [Activision, Electronic Arts, and THQ]will back the platform with meaningful development resources," the analyst said.

"We also believe that a new DS will generate increasing unit sales for Nintendo driven by the new platform," he wrote. The Nintendo DS line of hardware has sold over 125 million units worldwide.

Sebastian also said the fact that the 3DS won't require 3D glasses opens up the handheld to the mass market. "If Nintendo is able to achieve a realistic 3D experience without the need for glasses, we believe 3DS could have broad appeal, and spark a new cycle of innovation within the industry," he said.

Sebastian added that he believes "the 3DS could help reduce the competitive threat from smartphones."]


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Comments


Leon T
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A bit early for April fools.

Patrick Reding
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It's a shame this product will inevitably be tainted by Virtual Boy comparisons from now until E3 at earliest. I think it was a dumb move for them to tease the product so early. Not to mention that's it's yet to be seen whether 3D graphics will actually add something to the gameplay or simply result in a blurry, nausea-inducing, unplayable mess like many other attempts.

Mike Kasprzak
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Well 3D is definitely an interesting gimmick to pursue. Nintendo seems unlikely to take the phone angle, so that's just crazy enough to work.



If CES and GDC were any indication, 3D is our next big gimmick.

Ciro Continisio
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Don't you all think that Nintendo has now more reason than in its Virtual Boy's days??

Do you think they would release a 3D portable device, if they had even the slightest doubt that it could induce nausea?...

Then, they say early 2011, it may be early 2012... at that time, I think they will amaze us once again.

Rodrigo Cordeiro
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Once more Nintendo is a step forward in the entertainment industry...

Tim Trzepacz
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I'm still finishing up my first DSi title! How am I ever going to pay for this expensive development box if they keep releasing new systems before I've managed to get a product out?

Prash Nelson-Smythe
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Is it so hard to link the press release?:

http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/pdf/2010/100323e.pdf



@Tim:

As you can see in the link above it has backwards compatibility with all DS consoles.



When I first saw this I thought they were referring to the headtracking 3D trick that someone made using the DSi camera, but why would they release a whole new console for something that was already possible with a previous one? I think there will be more to this new DS, not yet revealed in this announcement. Nintendo have always done a lot of innovation in input rather than just output so there is probably a new input method. I'd say an accelerometer but they are nothing new... so what else? Perhaps a built in vitality sensor to be released along with the Wii's version with integrated software? We'll see...

George Kotsiofides
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I think comparisons with the Virtual Boy will only really be made by people like *us*.



The majority of DS owners, I'm sure, have no idea what a Virtual Boy is...



(Love mine though! Lovely machine, regardless of its obvious flaws!).

Michael Smith
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There's display technology to refract every other line of pixel to each eye. The big drawbacks are that 1) you need a special display (not a problem in a system with a built-in display) and 2) your eyes have to be at the right position for it to work (less of an issue on a handheld device). It seems this would be the most ideal case for such a display. 3D works best with live rendered scenes, so it has the potential to take off better than 3D media captured by camera. All that said, still seems like a poor direction, if true. I prefer the 3D trick over unique images for each eye.

Patrick Reding
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To be honest, I'm not convinced 3D is any less of a fad now than it was in the 1950s. I'm not saying it won't sell well, but I would advise caution to survive a possible bubble bursting.

Prash Nelson-Smythe
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@Michael,



There's another technology called MLD (Multi Layer Display), which as I understand it works with two layers of LCD display and requires a slightly thick screen. Apparently, it's not quite as in-your-face 3D but does not suffer from the problems of needing your eyes in the right position, glasses, dizziness, eye-fatigue etc., because it does not even attempt to deliver a different image to each eye. I suspect it has the effect of producing a 3D world within the screen rather than bringing a 3D world out of the screen, if that makes sense.



So it's not cutting edge 3D but good enough and without the annoying side effects. Also, it's already in use in gambling machines so it's tried and tested and can't be that expensive. For these reasons I think Nintendo might use this or something like it. They know a large part of their audience aren't really into escapism and immersion. A 3D image that sits neatly in your device rather than jumps out at you might suit them better and work better for long periods. And anyway, how annoying are those 3D films where things jump right at you between your eyes. That effect truly is gimmicky.

Roberto Alfonso
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This will be interesting. Stereograms? Head tracking? Since it is backwards compatible I would think HT is the way they chose. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrhieUAJt-8

Michael Hayes
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3D is a nice snuggley blanket that will protect me from emulators.



That being said, I am excited for this. The DS is my fav system to play and develop for, so I can't wait.

Maurício Gomes
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Cool, a console that I cannot use! (the "3D without glasses" technology that I've seen so far, not only make me only see a distorted 2D but also make me dizzy... It is a issue on how stereoscopy work on my brain...)

David Giganti
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They released the DSi about a year ago, why even make the DSi if they were coming out with this. For people that bought the DSi (I being one of them), it makes me think i wasted my money. Because it would be in '3D' would the old games still work? From a consumer point of view, I think it's early even just for an announcement on the new software. I can't say I'm not a little excited that it's coming out. But I truly believe that the announcement of the software was to early, Nintendo should of waited for the DSi to become a bit older. But that's just my opinion. So the other then the fact that I think they announced it to early, the product will be a great advancement in software or a fancy version of the virtual boy.

Kale Menges
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http://www.gametrailers.com/user-movie/nintendo-ds-3d-hidden-pict
ure/341097?playlist=featured



Don't over-think how the 3D will be accomplished, people. It's simpler than you think, and I've already seen similar ideas work on the iPhone/i-touch.

R G
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Didn't see this one coming. Will be interesting to see what this is going to look like and how it will play.

Christopher McLaren
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Why release it after only releasing DSi a year ago? $$$ It's a commercial world and they have to make money somehow. They also get more publicity for DSi now to make more sales. If they said later then people would hold off buying a DSi.

Roberto Alfonso
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Why not? The DSi will be two years old by the time this 3DS is launched. Easy to forget that the DS is already 6 years old, and that other than the DSi, the DSL and the DSiXL are incremental updates only.



The GBA had only 3-4 years before the DS appeared.



The handheld market moves faster than the home market because it takes a lot more time for companies to recover costs from a home console.

Doug Poston
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Will they (can they) make it backward compatible with the DS?



I guess we can only speculate now, but the backwards compatibility of the GBA and DS with previous generations were great for developers, publishers, and early adopting gamers.

Roberto Alfonso
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I wonder if they will include touch capabilities in both screens. Or whether there will be two screens at all (I have dreamed with a clamshell DS where there is a single, flexible, vertical touchscreen!).

Jason Withrow
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I just hope the thing is durable. Really. I'm not even a klutz, I just can't glance at my PSP without fearing that it's not on a secure enough shelf. My DS fatt has fallen from a height onto concrete and just lost a chip of the L button. I would like this trend to continue.

Josh Green
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I've seen one of those Japanese stereoscopic cell phones. They're difficult to look at as you have to be at EXACTLY the right angle to view it properly. Granted, this was about 5 years ago, so hopefully the technology has improved since then. Btw, this is true stereoscopy and not basic MLD technology. It's the micro version of what tv manufacturers are trying to do on a macro level so that people can watch stereoscopic imagery without the use of glasses.

Urs Schaub
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Virtual Boy...haha i had this clunky piece of... ;)

Chris Melby
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I "STILL" have a Virtual Boy. :p



Anyways, COOL! But only if I can finally have my Wind Waker on the go, not just the visual style.

Thomas Nocera
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Intriguing and very timely concept for sure. I wonder if the next generation of Apple's I-Pad will utilize similar or perhaps the same technology to negate the need to wear 3D glasses?

Ian Uniacke
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Here is some logic for people who want to call it a virtual boy.



Power Glove is to Wii, as Virtual Boy is to ?



Hint: the answer has something to do with nintendo making bucket loads of cash.



That aside, I wouldn't be jumping to too many conclusions just yet. If I recall correctly this is about the same time of year Nintendo announced the DS. At the time they said it would have 2 screens. We were all thinking "wha..? ok goodbye nintendo it was nice knowing you". What they neglected to mention at the time was that one of those screens has touch sensitivity, and well the rest is history.

Josh Green
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How much you willing to bet games are download-only and not on physical media?

Roberto Alfonso
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It is backwards compatibility with DS, so it supports a media. I remember reading about a patent for a new Nintendo DS cartridge that was apparently larger (in size) than the current ones. While will support DSiWare or a similar concept, but DD only, i don't think so.

Ron Alpert
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Very neat. Even if it winds up being a gimmick, Nintendo once again wins the prize of getting everyone to talk about their next product, with plenty of time to spare. I feel they've earned the respect of the public and dev communities by now to the point where we know not to think they're just gonna pull a fast one. Their designers are clever and passionate, no matter what we will see some interesting results out of all of this.



I was a big fan of SegaScope 3D (8-Bit) with those blinking LED glasses back in the day - it still looks impressive to me! That being said, I am looking very forward to seeing these new 3DS games. Go Nintendo :)

Amir Sharar
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When the 3D screens were debuted for phones, many blog writers saw it as an unnecessary gimmick, some adding that it "is only suitable/useful for games".



Well, I suppose this application of the technology makes perfect sense. This technology is suitable for devices with only one user, which is what a handheld games machine is all about. This tech is suitable for a device that can be adjusted to the right distance for the 3D effect to work, which the DS being a portable machine would allow for. And being a games device, something that will feature 3D titles, this application makes a lot of sense.



What I find interesting is the timing of this announcement. With the Wii (or rather, "Revolution", aptly named in retrospect) we didn't have this many details prior to it's debut at E3. We do have quite a few details in regards to the 3DS in comparison. I suppose this is largely due to the market being very different now than 5 years ago. Back then, people would have been too skeptical and may have not given it a fair chance, and the strategy at that time was to let people play with it first and then be told about what it was. This time Nintendo has built it's name and like Apple can generate genuine excitement and hype by merely announcing planned products.

Alexander Bruce
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I'm not sure how far before an event it was, but I seem to remember that we knew all about what the DS was before E3 when it was first released.

Prash Nelson-Smythe
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@Josh Green:

"How much you willing to bet games are download-only and not on physical media?"



As someone stated, there is backwards compatibility so it will be able to take physical media, and therefore it seems very likely that 3DS games will use the same port (though it's not guaranteed). I remember reading an interview statement from someone at Nintendo a while back that went something vaguely like this: "Our customers are not asking for digital distribution so we are focusing on that". I think it still applies today. Seems basic doesn't it? In any other industry it's obvious. But the games industry often seems to try to tell its customers what they want. This is not like in the music industry where everyone was downloading mp3s and begging for a way to do it legally. The games industry is a larger driving force behind paid DLC, PSP Go etc. than gamers.

Jay Simmons
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I hope every game is red.

A W
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@Josh Green:

You can rest assure that Nintendo will not make the mistakes Sony made with the PSPGo.

George Kotsiofides
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@Jay



That would be awesome :)

Maurício Gomes
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I am posting this after the update...



Indeed, I saw with my own eyes the 3D stuff that the update claim that will be used on the 3DS... and my own eyes saw a confused 2D and caused vertigo and nausea... :(



That suck (at least for me) :(


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