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Nintendo to release new 3DS handheld

Tue 23 Mar 2010 8:01am GMT / 4:01am EDT / 1:01am PDT
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System will allow users to play 3D games without the need for special glasses

Nintendo has announced it will release a new handheld hardware system, the Nintendo 3DS.

The console is to launch during the 2011 financial year, with the company claiming it will let users view games in 3D without the need for special glasses. It will aslo be backwards compatible with older DS games.

The company will announce full plans for the system at this year's E3 to be held in June.

The Nintendo 3DS will be the next in the handheld series which has so far sold 125 million units, and includes the DS Lite, DSi and the larger DSiLL.

At the start of the year, EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich predicted that Nintendo would announce a successor to the DS in 2010, to stay ahead of competition from Sony, Apple and other competitors.

"Nintendo has always had a controlling stake in the handheld market, despite facing numerous competitors, and EEDAR believes one of the biggest reasons for Nintendo’s success in the handheld market is their ability to remove opportunity gaps for competitors to enter," he said. "Nintendo’s transition from the GBA to the DS, a year earlier than anticipated, was a brilliant strategy to remove any upper hand the Sony PSP could have by being first to market."

Major publishers, including Ubisoft, have said that they are reducing their support for the DS console after sales for the format plummeted last year. A new handheld with a unique selling point compared to other portable systems could see publishers show renewed interest Nintendo hardware.

29 Comments

checks date.....hmmm not april 1st.....so ninty think 3d is the next big thing, working in movies.....not sure for games. No glasses is a big plus though.

Posted:4 years ago

#1

Damien Robson
Studying Games Software Development

15 0 0.0
Once again, Nintendo appears to be seizing the helm of the innovation ship and steering it towards a better destination. This will work wonderfully for them if the market is ready for it in 2011 and games companies can make the 3D worthwhile.

Posted:4 years ago

#2

David Amirian
Writer

59 3 0.1
i would assume 3D costs more money to make than "2D" games. especially considering we don't even know how the tech works and how much development time would have to go into something that looks decent at all. How is this thing even going to work? Is it gonna have mini-projectors or something?

also, it would be interesting to see if it even carries over the DS' selling point of "touching" -- are you going to be touching air instead of a screen or what?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by David Amirian on 23rd March 2010 8:54am

Posted:4 years ago

#3

Stephen McCarthy
Studying Games Technology

205 0 0.0
I hating them at this point, I get a DSI, they just get out a DSIXL. Now it 3d ds!!!
This is getting pointless.

Posted:4 years ago

#4
You gotta love it. Whilst the main console guys battle for console supremacy, Nintendo go portable with 3DS. Lets hope the R4 works for apps like colors!

Posted:4 years ago

#5
Interesting video of a Japanese 3D DSi game here:

http://www.eurogamer.net/videos/could-th...

Posted:4 years ago

#6

Aurélien Pocheville
Engine programmer

1 0 0.0
Interesting video.
I'm asking myself if this '3D' would not be just changing viewpoint with orientation information, i.e. fake 3D. The main challenge is to 'calibrate' and be reactive enough. If that is the case, it will be interesting to see how Nintendo has solved these problems.

Posted:4 years ago

#7

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

951 180 0.2
This is what I consider to be a 'true successor' to the DS, which is good timing because my beloved original DS has a broken hinge now because I knocked off my table when doing some cleaning in the weekend. Maybe I can tough it out instead of buying a new one until this is released but we'll see. I'll miss the GBA slot when I do purchase a new one but if this 3d one works out it might be worth waiting for it.

Posted:4 years ago

#8

Russell Watson
Senior Designer

86 34 0.4
Milking the 'expanded market' one feature at a time. Sounds even more Gimmicky than the DSI. They should of released the one new version with a camera, bigger screens and this.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Russell Watson on 23rd March 2010 2:18pm

Posted:4 years ago

#9
the 3DS is just the start for the Nintendo 3D handheld device plan...i can forecast that as soon as the 3D handheld is set in the marketplace, that a new slightly bigger, slightly better "3D si" would be released followed a year later by a "3D xi" which would be beneficial to the consumer for some advantage over the previous version. In some respects this is great from a move on to newer tech point of view and at the same time improving gripes with the older handlheld. I have handed down to wife or kids the older versions and jumped on the newer version bandwagon. How many others do the same, which all contributes to continuous DS sales.

Nintendo is a smart company who like profitable hardware so im sure what they have in mind would not be too expensive for the technology breakthrough being implemented.

Happi Gamin:)

Posted:4 years ago

#10

Luis Morales
Public relations

51 1 0.0
It's funny how this companies like Nintendo,Sony, etc...are trying to implement the 3D technology at consumer living rooms, and hand held devices. Has anyone ask this question? but there are implications regarding health issues (not everyone), but there has been questions raised about 3D and how it can affect an individual. I guess we have to wait and see how people embrace this technology and see what happens.

Posted:4 years ago

#11

Simon Small
Studying Bachelor of Multimedia (Games and Interactivity) / Bachelor of Science (Computer Science and Software Engineering)

18 0 0.0

The result is that it should work even if the "3DS" is placed on a table.

Of course, very few will know for sure before E3 and those who do know will probably have signed NDAs, but it is an approach they are familiar with as it was used for the DSi in one or two titles, including the title shown in Matt Martin's Eurogamer link

Posted:4 years ago

#12

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,263 2,376 1.0
My trip to E3 just got a little more intriguing.

I'll hold off further comments until I learn more of the device.

Posted:4 years ago

#13
Nintendo seem intent to keep surprising - not only is "3D" coming from them surprising, the timing of this announcement is quite unusual.

Going to be harder for Sony to announce a PSP2 that surprises now.

Posted:4 years ago

#14

Jon Burton
Director/Head Designer

8 0 0.0
The device will have a lenticular screen. As it's a handheld, getting the viewing position right is very simple. It's based on the technology used on the 3D posters/rulers/cards etc. you used to get. They will have alternate scanlines so every other one reaches your other eye. Really surprised no-ones done this before. We were toying with a clip on lenticular lens for the PSP for our F1 game.

Posted:4 years ago

#15
I don't really get people's comments about Nintendo's previous marketing strategies, with their slight hardware updates for the DS like the iXL. If this device is really doing what they claim it can, it will finally be the step forward in handheld gaming we've been waiting for Nintendo to take.

I've always appreciated Nintendo's efforts to be innovative in gaming. Like their experimentation with motion control,the powerglove, and with 3d, the virtualboy. This time it seems technology is finally catching up with Nintendo's vision about gaming and so far they have proven they can indeed change the industry's landscape.

Only thing I worry about is 3rd party developers finding their way to the new handheld and being able to implement the technology as well as I expect Nintendo to do.

Posted:4 years ago

#16

Stephen McCarthy
Studying Games Technology

205 0 0.0
Just asking, why can this not been done with the DSI now?

Posted:4 years ago

#17

Chris Hayward

34 0 0.0
@Stephen

They're planning hardware upgrades as well, I assume this will involve Nvidia's Tegra II chip which was announced about a year ago (citation needed)

Posted:4 years ago

#18

Jack Loftus
Contributing Editor

95 0 0.0
What's confusing are all the comments (not necessarily here) from people complaining about Nintendo's incremental hardware updates. If these updates were viewed as undesirable by the people who really matter, the customers, I'd understand it, but they're not, because people keep buying Nintendo products. So, really, when someone mocks Nintendo for doing something profitable, like hardware updates that keep selling and selling year-over-year, they just look like an idiot.

Also, haven't we learned by now that calling anything Nintendo does these days a "gimmick" reflects more poorly on the person who's saying it than it does Nintendo? Honestly, tsk tsk.

Posted:4 years ago

#19

Russell Watson
Senior Designer

86 34 0.4
@Jack

Not at all. It just makes the consumer look like an idiot whose willing to continue to hand over cash. Just because something is the latest and greatest, even if the previous wasnt even 9 months ago. When you have almost half a dozen pieces of hardware out there with different capabilities it takes point out of a console as a standardised platform. People buy Nintendo products similar to the same reason they buy Apple products ... because its Nintendo.

Not only that, looking at the Wii Library of games ... I'd say the majority of them utilise the wiimote as a gimmick feature.

Incremental updating of hardware so frequently, in any market, particularly when it relates to capabilities often leaves the consumer feeling disenfranchised. When they end up not being able to access content B because they X version of the hardware. I'm also sure it will be a pita for some developers as well trying to turn around games on tight budgets.

Nintendo are striking while the iron is hot while they have mindshare in the mainstream.

Posted:4 years ago

#20

Jack Loftus
Contributing Editor

95 0 0.0
"Not at all. It just makes the consumer look like an idiot whose willing to continue to hand over cash"

If I can be serious for a moment, one of the biggest, most troubling failures of the current generation is this: Developers calling their own customers stupid. Does Lionhead know you're calling consumers stupid for making informed choices about how they spend their money? Outside the "enthusiast press" and "hardcore development/gaming community" I've seen very little complaining about anything Nintendo is doing these days. But hey, why let facts or trends get in the way of a snarky Internet comment, right?

And this has absolutely no basis in reality:

"People buy Nintendo products similar to the same reason they buy Apple products ... because its (sic) Nintendo. "

But thanks for sharing your opinion.

"Not only that, looking at the Wii Library of games ... I'd say the majority of them utilise the wiimote as a gimmick feature. "

Now, I'll just ignore the fact that motion control is but a component of Nintendo's dominant overall Blue Ocean strategy right now, and ask you this instead, just for kicks: I'm sure you and your colleagues are hard at work on Natal and Sony Move games that will buck this trend, right? Because the 360 and PS3 are more "serious" consoles with a better chance at success in the space?

"Nintendo are striking while the iron is hot while they have mindshare in the mainstream."

Another question: Four straight years at the top of both the console and portable space is too long a period of time to use the cliche "striking while the iron is hot," unless you misspoke?

Anyway, what do I know? Not much, apparently.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jack Loftus on 23rd March 2010 3:44pm

Posted:4 years ago

#21

Russell Watson
Senior Designer

86 34 0.4
Well, for a start these are my own opinions expressed, not Lionheads. It doesnt take a second of thought to realise that I am not a spokesperson for Lionhead. As for remarks about idoicy, I'd say the same about calling someone so for expressing their opinion. If you also want to be picky, I didnt actually call them idiots, I said look like :)

As for the rest of your post:

A) Neither Natal nor Move are the primary controllers for their respective consoles. So thats moot. I didnt say motion control was a gimmick either. Just that the majority of games in the wii library _utilise_ it as a gimmick.

B) If you want to talk about sales trends and facts, then I'll underline Ubisoft and EA reducing their Wii/DS development.

"Another question: Four straight years at the top of both the console and portable space is too long a period of time to use the cliche "striking while the iron is hot," unless you misspoke? "

In terms of hardware iteration 4 years is not a long time. Infact tradionally its considered only one cycle. Considering Sonys reign with the playstation + ps2, which essentially labeled an entire generation, the cliche stands.

For the record, I'm a fan of Nintendo and own a Wii + DS. I also mentioned no comparisons to the 360 or PS3. I simply disagree with numerous iterations of hardware. Conclusions, jump to.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Russell Watson on 23rd March 2010 4:32pm

Posted:4 years ago

#22

Daniel Man
3D Animator

1 0 0.0
Wait, so does this mean we'll be able to look forward to a bunch of 3D shovelware as well? And of course a new DS is announced before the last version even has a chance to attract dust! Nintendo....you have some weird business going on in there....

Posted:4 years ago

#23

Paul Cardy
Programmer

16 0 0.0
@David Amirian - Good point regarding how the user would interact by touch with a '3D' screen. Perhaps one screen will be touch based and one parallax-barrier/lenticular?

Posted:4 years ago

#24

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,263 2,376 1.0
@Russell. If I may, I'd like to clarify your statement "B) If you want to talk about sales trends and facts, then I'll underline Ubisoft and EA reducing their Wii/DS development. "

I've commented on this here before though it's not a commonly understood notion just yet. EA and Ubisoft are not reducing their Wii/DS line up for the factors most assume. The problem was that both publishers were putting far more product on the shelf than could be consumed by the market. Combine that with other publishers doing the same and you had products not selling at all simply because the supply was far greater than the consumable demand. Wii and PS3 have almost the exact same software attach rate and in fact the Wii sells far more 3rd party software than the PS3 but it's distributed over far more product. Meaning individual titles suffer low per unit sales.

EA, Ubisoft and some other publishers have finally realized this problem and have adjusted their distribution pipelines accordingly. The allotted budget remains the same but he number of products will shrink. For example if they have $20 million budgeted for 10 products last fiscal year, they'll have $20 million allotted for 5 products this fiscal year.

As you can see, the reason for the reduction is not due to Wii owners not supporting 3rd parties but 3rd parties over saturating the market trying to capitalize on a concept they didn't fully understand at first.

My sincerest apologies for rambling way off topic but I feel it my duty to ensure people, specifically here given their involvement with the industry, be properly informed instead of repeating the mantra chanted by the average forum goer or video game industry journalist (neither of which on average should have the credibility of a sea slug).

Posted:4 years ago

#25

Shamsuddeen Salihu-Alkali
3D Environment/Prop Artist

6 0 0.0
@ Jon Burton ..
I was thinking the exact same thing although i didn't know what the tech was called. The tech looks like the ones they used on pokemon/digimon/DBZ cards and cereal boxes e.t.c. Wasn't expecting this from nintendo but wow! nicely done, sony will have a hard time making the psp2 special.

Posted:4 years ago

#26

Faye Lansdell
Studying primary education

1 0 0.0
My dad is a teacher and today showed his class of 10 year olds the 3d game on the ds that is purported to be similar to what will be on the 3ds. all the 26 pupils reacted with wow!

Posted:4 years ago

#27

Robert
Programmers

10 0 0.0
@Paul Cardy

do you not feel there would be an issue with adjusting for focal depth?

Posted:4 years ago

#28

Tony Johns

520 12 0.0
1. 3D if it means that characters will spring out from the screen from you, is not as big as it sounds in practice.

2. Being first on the market is not always a good thing, like what happened to SEGA during the Saturn and Dreamcast years.

3. Nintendo have already had brand loyalty ever since the Gameboy years, and without top games to capture the public's eye from the opposition it seems that Nintendo have been really lucky to have a good run.

Posted:4 years ago

#29

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