If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

The 3DS: under the hood

DMP's PICA200 graphics core drives new Nintendo handheld's visuals

More of the technology behind Nintendo's newly-unveiled 3DS portable has been revealed. The two-screen handheld will be based around Japanese processor developer Digital Media Professional's PICA200 graphics core.

The chip, previously used in various mobile phones and arcade machines, apparently offers hardware-level shader support at slim filesizes and with minimal power drain, thanks to a proprietary collection of technologies known as Maestro.

Features such as anti-aliasing and per-pixel lighting are also supported, although the use of OpenGL ES 1.1 would seem to suggest that the chip will be fixed-function rather than programmable.

"Our company has the goal of realizing high quality graphics such as game consoles and glasses-free 3D while keeping power dissipation low," said DMP's CEO Tatsuo Yamamoto. "We are pleased that our long-developed Maestro Technology has been of assistance."

The 3DS has been mooted as having graphical clout almost on a par with the Wii. For more details on how the PICA200 might achieve that, browse the chip's official specifications and the technical analysis of them at sister site Eurogamer.net.

Tagged With
Author
Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer

Contributor

A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.