3DS-mock up: It´s a DSi

March 24, 2010

A lot of people are going nuts over Nintendo´s announcement of the Nintendo 3DS-handheld. Granted, I´m one of them. Currently, many enthusiasts are creating fancy mockups, but I believe that they get something fundamentally wrong. Of course, that is personal speculation at this point of time, but I seriously doubt that both screens of the 3DS will be 3D-enabled. Rather, the upper screen, that´s just to look at anyway, is capable of outputting a 3D-image, while the lower screen stays a touchscreen, maybe multi-touch enabled.

We also have to keep rumors from facts. GameCube-level graphics, smaller border between both screens and analog stick(s) are rumors. What´s part of the facts are 3D-capability, backwards-compatability, which confirms a touchscreen, and…that´s it. Personally, I doubt that Nintendo will pack the surface of its new handheld full of stuff. There won´t be two analog sticks, a d-pad and buttons. That´s too much. Rather, they´ll include an analog-enabled d-pad as well as analog face-buttons. A d-pad is simply more effective on a hanheld-device and a second stick isn´t necessary, because you can control a potential camera by drawing over the touchscreen. The upper screen is going to be the 3DS´s main attraction. It makes sense for only one screen to feature 3D. For one, You have no problems with touching into the 3D-image, therefore ruining the effect. And secondly, the 3D-technology relies on certain angles. Therefore, you can only concentrate on a single 3D-screen, as the other one would consequently be out of angle. That I made the upper screen 16:9 stems from the hope that Nintendo´s going to include proper video-playback and maybe even using NetFlix, preferably accompanied by James Cameron and his Avatar-movie. There would be no other device that´s naturally featuring 3D and it would make for a great marketing blitz.  As for the rest…the 3DS will look a lot like the DSi. There´s really no need to change the design, it´s aesthetically fine. So as long as Nintendo doesn´t give up the clamshell design, I´m not expecting too many design-changes. Here´s how I imagine the 3DS:

The only thing that goes against my beliefs of an upper widescreen is that it makes holding the DS on its side for reading weird. Some time ago I thought about how Nintendo could easily compete in the eBook-market against Amazon Kindle and Co., but I´d prefer two same-sized screens for that. We´ll see.

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Nintendo 3DS announced – WHAT?!

March 23, 2010

In an official announcement on their Japanese website, Nintendo today announced the next Nintendo-handheld, the Nintendo 3DS.

So, why it was announced today, no idea. It also isn´t April 1st. It´s real. The Nintendo 3DS will be released within the fiscal year, which means before March 2011. The most surprising feature, though, will be 3D. The 3DS will offer 3D-effects without the need of any special glasses! Real 3D. Also interesting is that the device will be 100% backwards-compatible to DS and DSi. That´s it.

What a weird day to wake up to. I have to regather my mind before writing more thoughts on the 3DS. What I can say now: It feels as if the final step into virtual reality is beginning. 3D images! Just yesterday I was planning an in-depth article on the whole visor-affair, that often is picked up by fans. And the 3DS definitely will give hints at the Wii-successor. But Nintendo definitely won´t support 3D-TVs, because nobody has those. So does that realy mean…built-in projector or 3D-visor? Who knows. It´s an exciting time!