Parallax Dreams

It's not just the promise of 3D that's odd about Nintendo's 3DS - the timing of the announcement is also curious

Nintendo is a company which has always played by its own rules, sticking two fingers up at industry orthodoxy while calmly continuing to make solid profits even through the leanest of times. This is a corporate trait which has only been enhanced by the recent success of the DS and Wii, which have left larger rivals scrambling for a response. However, even taking Nintendo's rogue mindset into account, there's unquestionably something very strange about announcing the successor to the most successful console of the past decade in a terse press release.

Yet that's exactly how we learned of the existence of the 3DS - without hype or fanfare, Nintendo simply issued a couple of paragraphs to the wires. Its next handheld console will be launched during the financial year to March '11, it'll be fully backward compatible with existing DS software, oh, and one little thing - it'll have a 3D display without the need for special glasses.

Bombshell dropped, Nintendo proceeded to airily imply that we can find out more at E3 if we're bothered, and wandered off nonchalantly, leaving the Internet and the mainstream press alike to implode under the weight of speculation, claim and counter-claim.

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