As the war among gaming consoles heat up, Nintendo came up with a new handheld gaming device that will blow away casual to avid gamers. The new DS handheld device was finally unveiled during the E3 Expo in Los Angeles. Aptly called 3DS, the handheld gaming system offers 3D technology for watching movies and playing games without the special glasses. There are also updates to Nintendo classics like Donkey Kong, Zelda, and Kirby. As promising as the new unveiling seems to be, the technology is only limited to handheld devices and it will take some time to finally see 3D on big-screen TVs.
The 3DS sports a 3.5-inch upper screen and a touch screen bottom. Gamers can tweak the 3D effect with the slider found on its side. The features include the “Slide Pad,” motion sensor, and a couple of cameras for 3D photos. Gamers can expect better graphics and more partnerships from several game developers once it is finally launched.
After launching the Nintendo Wii, this is by far one of the best innovations the Super Mario creator has come up with. This will hopefully place the Japanese video game maker ahead of the pack, while Sony and Microsoft are trying to offer more than just gaming in their consoles through improved software specs and a whole variety of features. Sony is set to release its Move motion-sensing platform on September 15, while Microsoft will come out with its “Kinect” motion-sensing game system on November 4.
How the 3DS works without the glasses
Nintendo’s 3DS makes use of a LCD screen made of a “parallax barrier.” The technology allows the eyes to view the image’s varied portions because of the aligned pixels. This innovation, however, is only available to the handheld device. As a result, it looks like two thin blinds are placed over the screen, and the trick works by letting both the left and right eyes see their own versions of the image. When these versions are combined, the brain processes the image as 3-D, according to Nintendo Co. president and CEO Satoru Iwata.
The 3DS has some requirements to fully catch the 3-D effects. First, viewers or gamers have to be seated at a certain angle without enough distance from the screen. Although analysts and technology experts were blown away, what seems to be the main concern is the pricing of such an innovative gadget. The technology behind the new version of the DS device is obviously expensive, so many are expecting that 3DS might be sold at a high price.
Nintendo didn’t drop any hint to the pricing of the 3DS, However, Iwata, the president and CEO, doesn’t seem to mind the price barrier. He said that the company has had experience marketing products for the mass market and it had been successful with the release of Wii and its DS handheld device. In fact, when the Nintendo Wii came out in the fall of 2006, it came with a $250 price tag. At this price, the console didn’t have difficulty selling fast online for months. The company has been successful with the release of Wii, which sold more than $70.9 million, followed by Xbox 360 console’s $40 million and the Sony PlayStation 3 at $35.7 million. The Nintendo 3DS is expected to hit stores sometime in March 2011.