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3DS technical details leaked - report

By Dan Pearson

Wed 22 Sep 2010 9:23am GMT / 5:23am EDT / 2:23am PDT

Two ARM11 CPUs and single 133Mhz GPU in Nintendo's new handheld?

The technical specifications of the Nintendo 3DS have reportedly been leaked, revealing that the machine will boast two ARM11 CPUs, a single 133Mhz GPU, 4Mbs of VRAM, 64Mbs of RAM and 1.5GBs of flash storage.

The details, passed on under conditions of anonymity to IGN, would mean that the handheld is using the processors which are currently powering the Zune HD, various Android phones and iPhone and iPod touches prior to Apple's A4 chip.

Previous reveals have indicated that the machine's PICA200 GPU would have a graphical processing power somewhat equivalent to the Wii, but IGN's report suggests that this may be an understatement, instead likening capcity to a lower resolution Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.

The proposed 1.5Gb of flash storage is a huge leap over the DSi's 256Mb, allowing for a closer integration with Nintendo's download services - a move which would further strengthen the device's defences against piracy.

Currently, Nintendo is remaining quiet on the leak, although further details could well come alongside next week's announcement on system pricing.

Eurogamer's Digital Foundry has now posted an in-depth breakdown of what the specifications could potentially mean for the capabilities of the 3DS, and why Nintendo may have dumped the Nvidia chipset many thought it would use, in favour of the older PICA-200

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Antony Cain Lecturer in Computer Games Design, Sunderland College

264 22 0.1
Can't wait; if it can do something similar to Epic Citadel it'll be great.

Time to dream of Mario Galaxy 3DS!

Posted:6 years ago


Richard Westmoreland Game Desginer, Exient Ltd

138 90 0.7
I was hoping for more flash storage. Lets hope you can expand it with SD cards.

Posted:6 years ago


Josef Brett Animator

296 0 0.0
Mario Galaxy 3DS would be awesome! I think it is a game that would fit the 3D perfectly.

Posted:6 years ago


Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator

962 187 0.2
Advanced Wars 3D or a Golden Sun 3d (imagine the summons) would be fantastic.

Posted:6 years ago


Jack Ward Fincham Assistant Producer, Stainless Games Ltd

4 0 0.0
@Richard Westmoreland - Perhaps Nintendo should cash in on some of the seized flash designs for R4 carts and make a flash card adapter for DS-Ware titles. I'm not the biggest fan of the DS but if I bought one I would certainly expect an ability to remove titles from built in memory.

Posted:6 years ago


Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,518 3,213 1.3
@Richard. Yes, you can expand capacity with SDHC cards. Currently up to 32 GB with SDXC cards having a theoretical maximum of 2 TB's. And you can download directly to the card (just like you can on Wii now).

Posted:6 years ago


Ron Festejo Creative Director, Microsoft

19 0 0.0
I have to admit that I wasn't overly excited about this, when I first heard about it... but I'm starting to come around. It'll be about the software/games, as usual.

I wonder how long it will take before people figure out a way of cracking this console. Nintendo hasn't been able to tackle piracy across all of their console. It must be hurting them badly.

Posted:6 years ago


Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games

367 211 0.6
yummie yummie :) looking forward to it!!

this is expected to be huge. a nintendo console, with all the right titles, right visuals, unlimited gameplay options, 3d, online... well... do we have anyone from japan here that he could send me one when it comes out? :)

Posted:6 years ago


Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,518 3,213 1.3
@ Ron Festejo:

THQ stated Nintendo has some new anti-piracy measure in place that impressed them greatly going so far as to say it's too sophisticated to even describe.

Posted:6 years ago


Jamie Watson Studying Bachelor of Games & Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology

179 0 0.0
um....looks good,i wonder if nintendo could if another or faster GPU in there,then this would rock!! (it already does)

Posted:6 years ago

Its obviously a huge leap over the DS, and that is enough to get me excited. But it also seems relatively underpowered compared to lots of other devices - I have a 1Ghz Galaxy S already sitting on my desk, with 512MB RAM.

(this article didn't mention it, but I read elsewhere the two ARM CPUs are running at 266Mhz).

Its also interesting to see 2 CPUs running at a relatively low speed, than 1 running at 400Mhz. Guess it might be the way the system architecture is done - maybe one is bound for GPU/visuals, and the other more general purpose.


This also leaves the door open for a PSP2 - plenty of room for a much more powerful handheld (although its also likely that the fidelity difference between the 3DS and a PSP2 would be a lot smaller, based on some of those 3DS screens).

Edit: was actually 266Mhz, not 200Mhz - post amended.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Michael Shamgar on 23rd September 2010 4:23pm

Posted:6 years ago


Antony Cain Lecturer in Computer Games Design, Sunderland College

264 22 0.1
"This also leaves the door open for a PSP2 - plenty of room for a much more powerful handheld"

but... Nintendo have shown time and time again that having the most powerful tech is irrelevant. They're getting very good at delivering kit that is well suited to the present rather than the future.

Pretty sure that last sentence is entirely lifted from one of Rob's articles but it still stands :)

Posted:6 years ago


I don't dispute that - but then people would argue that the same applies to the DS over the PSP. And whereas the DS has easily outsold the PSP (2:1), and sold heaps more software - the PSP has definitely been a huge success for Sony (and I'm sure sold a lot more units than most people would have predicted).

It does look like Nintendo is initially targeting 'gamers' more with the 3DS than it did with the DS: if they can establish the 3DS as a handheld for gamers, then Sony's work with the PSP2 will definitely be cut out for them.

Posted:6 years ago


Stephen McCarthy Studying Games Technology, Kingston University

205 0 0.0
I does look like it better for "gamers" this time about. Nintendo is starting to get back in my good book for the 3ds.

Posted:6 years ago


Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,518 3,213 1.3
1. iPhones require beefier specs because they have an operating system running in the background just like a PC does. You need to compare the 3DS to the smartphones the same way you compare specs of a home console to a PC.

2. Take a look at the clip below. It's the GPU being used in the 3DS. Still think it's underpowered?

Posted:6 years ago


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