Nintendo brings 3D to new game console

Nathan Smith

     Over the past decade, 3D entertainment has become more and more popular. Movies like Avatar, Alice in Wonderland and a pack of films out of Pixar’s animation studios have done well to increase the novelty of 3D technology, but what about 3D games? The gaming company that brought you consoles like the Wii and Gamecube is out to rectify this dearth of 3D games with one of their most innovative devices to date.  The Nintendo Company announced March 23 that during the June session of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), they would announce their latest handheld console; one that they claim can produce “3D effects without the need for any special glasses.”

     Little is known about the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo’s tentative name for their new product, but there are a few details that have managed to preempt the E3 announcement.  The Nintendo 3DS will feature a backwards-compatible software that is capable of running games and software from any of the previous models and designs of the Nintendo DS.  There will also be hardware similarities between the 3DS and the past DSi, including two cameras, one on the front of the console and one on the back.

     Unfortunately, this is all that can be confirmed about this new product, but there are logical speculations as to what features the Nintendo 3DS may have.

     According to the RPAD television industry, who reportedly convinced Nintendo developers to speak with them on the 3DS, this new handheld console will still have the trademark two screens of its former models, but they will be used in conjunction as one vertical panorama, rather than two separate displays.

     The Japanese industry news website,, states that in 2009 Nintendo acquired patents that may suggest the utilization of “a 3D joystick and a force-feedback system,” to create a more entertaining response to certain in-game events.  The website also goes on to state that Nintendo may be considering what is called an accelerometer, a sensory device that is used for things like tilt control – like that of the Warioware games.  Also, for those fans of the Nintendo 64 rumble pack, Nikkei also reports that the Nintendo 3DS will utilize its own rumble pack for a more entertaining gaming experience.  And though it is still unconfirmed, it is logical to assume that the Nintendo 3DS will feature a more advanced wireless connection system than the handheld devices to come before it.  These advancements in wireless connection may lead to a more useful market for over-the-air downloads of things like E-books and even video games.

     With all of these speculations, however, it is important to realize that they are just that; speculations.  Until Nintendo releases the official information on the 3DS, nothing can be confirmed.

     As for the financial side of the Nintendo 3DS, estimates on the actual price of this console are not yet available, but given the pricing trends of previous handheld devices from Nintendo, the device may cost somewhere between $200 and $300 initially.

     The Nintendo 3DS will be announced somewhere between June 15 and 17 of this year during E3 2010.  Nintendo intends to release their new product in the fiscal year ending in March 2011, so be on the lookout for this new 3D gaming device.  Though, if the device performs just as well as Nintendo claims it will, the Nintendo 3DS may be difficult to miss.