Breaking News: Nintendo Announces 3DS!

Update: Andriasang gives us more details on the announcement from the Japanese press. There will be a control stick included in the 3DS, a long-overdue feature. Rumble is mentioned as well. Release date window is between April 2010 and March 2011, which means we may get a holiday release this year. Imagine the sales and demand if this new handleld is finished in time for the holidays! Finally, it is believed that the system uses Sharp LCD 3D screens, possibly debunking Kotaku’s speculation on Nintendo definition of 3D and likening the experience our IMAX.

Original write-up: We knew it was going to happen, but we never expected it to be this soon. Rumors of the spiritual successor of the Nintendo DS have been afloat since late last year. Our director Jarrod Nichol even wrote a full-blown article about the sequel to the DS, but we didn’t even come close to Nintendo’s ace card. The power of a GameCube, having no gap between the dual screens — these are the features that have been talked about the most. But as we all know, Nintendo no longer depends on power alone when it comes to new hardware. As the name implies, Nintendo’s latest handheld will employ 3D technology, but without the use of 3D glasses to do so.

I can’t wrap my head around how will this work. It all depends on Nintendo’s definition of 3D. Are they referring to common technology in which graphics appear in a 3D space outside of the console, or is there another catch? Kotaku speculates about the latter by offering an example of a recently-released DSiWare download in Japan that exploits the camera as a tracking device, allowing one to manipulate the viewpoint of the game itself by moving around the DSi. Think Echochrome and Super Paper Mario.

This is the download in question. As you can see, it’s pretty cool and Nintendo may have something like that in mind…but basing a whole console around this concept may limit the types of games developers want to make. Morever, moving around the handheld with most games may feel clunky and weird. I will certainly be extremely impressed if Nintendo comes up with “true 3D” without glasses. I’m assuming that the handheld may be equipped with a camera and special light source in order to pull off IMAX-like 3D…perhaps the duel screens will also help to play tricks on our eyes?

Backward compatibility with DS and DSi titles have also been confirmed, meaning that touch screen and camera functionality will be intact with the 3DS. However, will they be upgraded? Will the 3DS have a better camera? Will Nintendo mimic the iPhone when it comes to touch screen controls? E3 2010 will reveal all the answers, and our team will surely be there to cover as much as possible.

And the imaginary chess game between Nintendo and Sony continues. “Your move, Sony!”

Source: Kotaku

12 thoughts on “Breaking News: Nintendo Announces 3DS!”

  1. Wow, great catch there Ahmed. Besides the new 3D tech, is there anything new with this handheld? I saw the demo and it was quite impressive, honestly it was. But it seems like everything else will remain the same which is a missed opportunity.

    1. I updated the news with more speculation from the Japanese press…and the demo video I posted here is NOT the actual 3DS as I’ve explained. It’s a DSiWare game that’s released in Japan and Kotaku speculates that the 3D shown here will be used as a basis for Nintendo’s next system, but this is looking less likely as follow-up rumors have been showing. The 3DS seems that it will use miniature 3D LCD screens so the experience will be similar to watching an IMAX movie. Still though, I just can’t wrap my head around all this. How the heck will it work without glasses?

      So far though, it’s like you said, Steven; it looks like a more powerful DS but with the addition of 3D to the mix. We still do not know the full story about this system though. It’s up to you guys to get us the good stuff from the E3 show-floor. I’m expecting upgrades to the touch screen function that will make them similar to the iPhone, and some of the stuff Jarrod predicts in his editorial may work well with this new system. Nintendo will tread very carefully though and try not to go overboard with features in order to make the price-point affordable to the public.

  2. This is interesting. My article was right about using a heavy GPU, which is great news. I really want to hear more about the system specs and what else makes this interesting. 3D is pretty awesome if they can pull this off. I’m just curious what else the system will feature. A portable with rumble and an analog stick is good news in my eyes.

    This is going to be one bad ass E3 guys.

  3. I think it will have two cameras that track the position of our eyes and then making the 3D effect, of course it will have the acelerometer too to pull this off, but who knows, awasome news indded,

  4. Yeah it’s no joke, as it was introduced by Iwata-san himself in Japan. I’m kind of curious how Nintendo was able to add rumble to the portable while increasing the battery life. That’s pretty surprising. As for the whole 3D thing, I’m still kind of perplexed by this because the tech involved in getting IMAX 3D into the home has been ultra complex. Having this same tech without the need for glasses seems almost like a pipe-dream, but if they’ve found a way to make this work, giddy up!

    1. @Marc-Andre Lacroix: Nope, but it will most likely be carts given Nintendo’s tradition with handhelds. It’s the most convenient…also, backward compatability with DS games make carts much more likely.

      @Jarrod Nichol: I have no idea how they’ll pull this off. It’s too mind-boggling to tell you the truth.

  5. Yeah because I’m wondering what they’re going for here. To get stereoscopic IMAX 3D, you need glasses. There’s a company that’s trying to do this with no glasses, but the price is insanely high. Thus, I’m kind of curious what they are really trying to achieve. Any type of 3D with no glasses will be quite a selling point, so long as it works. Like I said before, E3 is going to be quite telling.

  6. Uh-oh. Nintendo has confirmed that the DSi XL will NOT allow users to re-download all the games they downloaded from the DSiWare. That limitation is extremely scary in the face of this news that the 3DS will feature the DSiWare store. One can only hope and pray that Nintendo changes their policy before the new device comes out. If not, everyone will be forced to re-buy all the games they already bought on their first DS if they want to play said games again.

    1. I had the feeling that Nintendo would be taking that route. I think that things are going to be the same with the 3DS, which I don’t really mind to be honest. So far, handheld downloads aren’t exactly something that I really need to have compatible on upcoming systems….except for handheld Virtual Console games, which haven’t been announced yet.

      The big problem is the early announcement of the 3DS, which renders the XL obsolete to tell you the truth. I was going to put down some cash for the XL, but held off as soon as the 3DS was announced. I love the concept of big screens and really want one, but the 3DS is a bigger priority. If Nintendo slashes down the XL’s price to half or something, I may consider buying it.

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