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Nintendo plans e-reader functions for 3DS

Iwata denies Apple influence as new wireless features hinted at

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has revealed some of the company's further plans for the upcoming 3DS handheld.

Speaking to the Nikkei, he mentioned that e-reader features may be included. "As you carry it with you while out and about, it will seek out and automatically connect with wireless LAN spots, and download information," he said.

"We're thinking about functionality where it will automatically acquire newspaper and magazine articles." This would seem to be an extension of the current DS range's burgeoning use as a wireless internet and marketing platform in Japan.

Despite these possible design decisions, Iwata is adamant that Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad had not been inspirations. "I personally am a user of iPhones and iPods," he told Venture Beat. "I think of what these mean to me as a competitor. But I never thought of them when we were designing the 3DS.

"If some people think that this might be the answer to the iPhone, then that should simply be the result. That is, it was not our goal to do that, but if people think that, it is the result. We never try to think in terms of any competitive product or company.

"If you do that, you just focus on a certain narrow area. Rather, we should think much more broadly... If you say it is a solution against what Apple offers today, it is also a solution against all of the other competition."

While Sony's PSP range is currently the only other competitor in the handheld market, rumours abound that a new model might be in the works. Last week, Capcom boss and former Sony man Derek Reeves told GamesIndustry.biz that the PlayStation manufacturer must release a new handheld soon if it wants to compete with the 3DS.

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Latest comments (7)

Julio Gorgé Managing Director, Lemon Team10 years ago
The 3DS would be a horrible e-reader. The low pixel density 400x240 screen just sucks for text. However, the news title might be a bit misleading… if Nintendo's only planning a simple RSS news reader that works via wi-fi, then I guess it should do an OK job at that. That's little to do with what someone would undertand as e-reader capabilities today.
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in japan there are people who read cell phone novels. i think this e-reader thing is for such novels.
see http://whatjapanthinks.com/2008/10/06/ro...

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Christian Kulenkampff on 21st June 2010 7:25pm

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Lorenzo Cicione10 years ago
Julio, I didn't know people read in 3D :P
Although, if they still read in 2D, as I do, the resolution is 800x240: not that bad :)
But I guess the screen is just too small.
Probably, sometime in the near future I'll just go for a real e-ink ebook reader... or an ipad?!
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Show all comments (7)
Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer 10 years ago
But we have to remember that the current DS already have the classic book series on it as a software. So it should not be too much of a problem. But I do agree with Lorenzo that the screen could be too small for reading books or magazines. But then again, in Japan everyone is doing everything on their mobile phones, which are usually smaller than their DS, so it could work in Japan. But for overseas, you really have to have that kind of integrated infrastructure to do so. If you are living in countries as backward as Australia (where I live) nothing online really works as you are still on the tedious copper wires and unstable wireless networks. So that kind of functionality may not really be popular.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 10 years ago
I've never liked E-Readers in any case, I always like to read from print. But in any case I doubt it would make a good e-reader anyway, maybe for small articles but I wouldn't read boks from it.
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Julio Gorgé Managing Director, Lemon Team10 years ago
Good point Lorenzo, however I'm not sure you can use the 800 pixels of the screen in "2D mode" (if that is evne supported). I have no access to the 3DS SDK (yet) so I have no way to know.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.10 years ago
Like Haven noted, the original DS has the 10 Classic Book collection and they have various features in Japan and at Safeco Field in Seattle. I don't see a big problem with E-Reader utilization on 3DS.
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