New DS could "accelerate" other 3D gaming formats

UPDATE: Blitz CTO theorises 3DS could use 'parallax barrier' screens; "consumers want radical change"

Nintendo's plan to introduce a new handheld console with 3D capabilities can help accelerate the adoption of 3D gaming across the industry, according to Blitz Games' chief technical officer Andrew Oliver.

Blitz, which has already released the 3D title Invincible Tiger and is an advocate of 3D gaming, believes that Nintendo will use 'parallax barrier' screens for its new hardware, already in use in consumer electronics such as laptops and cameras.

"I'm fairly sure it would be based on the parallax barrier method, which is better than lenticular screens and has seen some great advancements recently," Oliver told "It can also be turned off to give a perfect 2D screen as well. This screen already exists in the Fuju 3D camera and I have a 3D laptop from Sharp with this technology and it works very well for one viewer within a reasonable viewing area for a handheld."

"As a massive advocate of 3D, I'm definitely hoping that it will accelerate 3D adoption within other gaming systems," he continued. "When done properly 3D really adds a huge level of immersion to games. One of the problems facing its adoption is that some people are jaded about 3D, because it has had a history of being done badly. But when people see new carefully crafted 3D games, they will be convinced it's no fad - it's a fantastic jump into a new dimension."

The DS has been one of the most successful consoles to date with more than 125 million units sold in its various iterations. This new hardware, which Nintendo says will be a true successor to the current DS series, can offer a radical change for consumers, according to Oliver.

"I believe consumers want radical change," said Oliver. "Technology is always getting better and consumers are always demanding more.

"The current DS has had an incredibly good run and there are too many classic games to name. But after seven years since its launch I think its time for a radical upgrade. Touch screens were radical and new when the DS was launched, and are now mainstream. It looks like Nintendo could be ahead of the game again."

Oliver said he hopes that the hardware can offer a step up visually in terms of graphical performance.

"3D will literally add a new dimension to the DS. New movies such as Avatar have shown that 3D is very popular with consumers. The question is: will the new 3DS have new hardware to support the extra level of graphics that will be required to create good 3D visuals?

"If this is a whole new console, then it should be very exciting for publishers and developers," he added.

Nintendo unveiled plans for the 3DS today, with the promise of solid details at this year's E3 in June.

UPDATE: A report from Asahi in Japan also suggests that the 3DS will use parallax barrier technology, using 3D screens from Sharp. According to Engadget, the screens will be 4 inches diagonally, and the hardware will also feature improvements to WiFi transfers and battery life.

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Latest comments (11)

Nik Love-Gittins Senior Character Artist, FreeStyleGames12 years ago
I still think it's a fad....
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Stephen McCarthy Studying Games Technology, Kingston University12 years ago
Me too. I got a DSI not long a go and now I find my self left in the cold when I saw this.
It the Ipod all over.
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Antony Cain Lecturer, Teesside University12 years ago
You've probably got at least a good 12 months of DSi fun before this hits us. Even so, I imagine it'll be a long time until they stop catering for the 125 million plus 'vanilla' DS users
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Matt Martin Editor, GamesIndustry.biz12 years ago
There's an interesting theory piece over on Digital Foundry if you're interested, fad lovers:

[link url=
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Shane Boucher Game Design, Concept Art, 3D Design, Traditional Animation 12 years ago
I do not think 3D is a Fad at all, I just believe that most people have the misconception that it is still like the days with the paper red and blue glasses, and until Stereoscopic hits more wide stream into more homes, we will continue to see people calling it a fad. People just have forgotten that since the last appearance of "3D" and its poor quality, the entire industry and technology has flourished and expanded and will continue to grow every day.

I just got a full Nvidia 3Drig and even being in the industry as a designer, I was a bit hesitant to bite on to quick, like most. Though once it was up and running and popping in Resident Evil 5, I was blown away. It was truly amazing how much of a difference it made, bringing a new level of realism and tension to an already great game, it was like discovering and entirely new game. I think if any true gamer could sit down and have a good long experience with the tech maybe people would change there mind. I know when I was going through a racing replay it on a corner the car hit the gravel and in 3D it looked as though the dirt was pinging of my keyboard and past me.

So hopefully all of us as gamers, developers and publishers will give this tech the chance it deserves before condemning it to the fate of many a tech before.
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Nik Love-Gittins Senior Character Artist, FreeStyleGames12 years ago
@Shane...I'm still in the 'meh' brigade....
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Quang Vong Flash Developer 12 years ago
@Shane: Cool, so does that mean when you have a computer/console set-up with 3d - existing games
don't need to be re-programmd to get the 3d pop-out feel? If so then I'm really looking forwards to it.
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Shane Boucher Game Design, Concept Art, 3D Design, Traditional Animation 12 years ago
@Quang Vong: I have been testing just that fact and I have found and nvidia has a continuously updated list that you can download. So far I have been running through the current as well as older releases and it seems to be doing just that games like RE5, Batman AA, Stalker COP, Metro 2033 look amazing. I have even run through a few imports such as (A-Train 9) from Japan and though it has not be tested directly by nvidia, the minute you start the program, 3D vision (which can be enabled or disabled from the desktop nvidia control panel...I leave mine enabled at all times)pics it up and began running it in 3D. All it took was some adjusting with the depth reel on the back of the RF Emitter. I have not tested the console set up, but plan on running them through with HDMI, as I know Avatar (Xbox360/PS3)runs in full 3D.
When I run mine through more tests I will post and let anyone interested know what I run into.
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Leon Green Political lobbyist & Gamers Voice Director 12 years ago
Does the world really need another DS? Not so sure, also can't shake the feeling Nintendo is in blind panic over the iPhone...
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Doug Paras12 years ago
@Leon Maybe Nintendo wants to get a jump on the competition and not look as foolish as Sony and Microsoft do only now making a control similar to the Wii-mote. Its better in any business to get the technological jump on you're competitors.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Doug Paras on 24th March 2010 6:20am

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Leon Green Political lobbyist & Gamers Voice Director 12 years ago
Maybe...just find it hard believe it's going to work. I think they games industry is changing again with the rise of the iPhone and social gaming like farmville. And I'm not sure how much Nintendo appreciate that...
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