Well it seems like Nintendo has surprised me again. According a PDF on the investor relations portion of their website, Nintendo has announced their next portable console. The 3DS, which is its temporary name, will allow for 3D without wearing special 3D glasses. It will also be backwards compatible with the DS and DSi. Not only will it release (probably in Japan) by the end of the fiscal year (March 2011), it will be officially announced with additional details at this year’s E3 on June 15th, 2010.
Here are some of my thoughts on the announcement that have come to mind as I’ve put the pieces of information that we’ve received about the 3DS thus far together. I’m actually amazed by Nintendo with this one. First, doing 3D on a portable console is a really smart move in my opinion. 3D without glasses has the problem that it’s hard to maintain the 3D illusion across viewing angles. On a portable system, the amount of viewing angles are already naturally limited. As such, it’s probably easier to maintain the illusion across this smaller spectrum of viewing angles.
Also, “developers on the DS2” before have anonymously said this console is rather similar to the GameCube. This information has been going around gaming websites for a while now. On the other hand, Satoru Iwata mentioned in an “Iwata Asks” article that the GameCube had 3D technology that was never used. Maybe the 3D technology on the 3DS has evolved from the 3D technology present on the GameCube.
Finally, the timing of this announcement almost seems a little odd. However, since it’s posted in the investor relation part of the site and Nintendo’s fiscal year starts in March, it seems that Nintendo is actually using this announcement as a business decision. I assume this will increase the stock price of Nintendo and future interest in the company.
While I admit I still don’t understand the purpose of 3D in gaming, I am excited to see how Nintendo will use the technology in the 3DS!