Nintendo unveils 3DS handheld with 3D camera

In today’s 3D craze, Nintendo has announced its own plans to release new hardware for the technology. Speaking at their E3 press conference, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has displayed the developer’s first 3D handheld for the market.

Dubbed the “Nintendo 3DS,” the device will set the bar for 3D gaming, allowing players the ability to experience 3D effects without the need for any special glasses. It will feature a slider to adjust the technology by maximizing or removing the 3D content all together.

Other features of the device include:

  • 3.5 inch upper 3D screen
  • 3D depth sliders
  • Non-3D touchscreen on the bottom
  • Analog slidepad
  • Motion and gyroscope sensor
  • Integrated 3D camera

Nintendo announced a partnership with over 20 publishers to develop games for the handheld console. Titles mentioned include: DJ Hero 3D, Kingdom Hearts 3D, Saints Row, Madden NFL, Dead or Alive 3D, Ninja Gaiden, Street Fighter IV, Ridge Racer, Metal Gear Solid, Professor Layton, and Samurai Warriors.

Additionally, the Nintendo 3DS can communicate with other Nintendo 3DS systems without ‘knowing’, and will support wireless communication between systems regardless of the game. Nintendo has also paired up with Warner Brothers and Disney to bring three dimensional movies to the device.

The Nintendo 3DS is set to hit store shelves between March and April 2011.

Image Credit: Kotaku

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56 Comments

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Wow, you really need to read from more than one source if you actually believe that. Everyone is pretty much going ape crap over the incredible quality of the effect.

Shiranui said,
Haven't switched my DS lite on in over a year. Battery is probably buggered by now.

There was a point in time where I didn't use my original DS for a year or 2, and when I turned it on it still had full battery and it still lasts forever till this day, lol.

Where did the release date in the article come from? I've looked on numerous sites, and all say the same thing... "No release date announced"

3D yay.
Threat to Apple no.

Seeing what hardware is available at a modest price in the iPod touch you'd think Nintendo would make use of today's tech with TWO touch screens, an accelerometer and graphics/cpu boost. It seems they're more interested in profit than products that dont require upgrading every 2 years.

AnthoWin said,
3D yay.
Threat to Apple no.

Seeing what hardware is available at a modest price in the iPod touch you'd think Nintendo would make use of today's tech with TWO touch screens, an accelerometer and graphics/cpu boost. It seems they're more interested in profit than products that dont require upgrading every 2 years.

You do realise that the 3D illusion would be broken within seconds if you started touching the screen? Plus I'm not even sure if parallax wide touch screens are outside of the concept phase at this point.

Also, you don't even know what the clock speeds are - add to the fact that if you even quickly look at the 3DS games' visuals that they're already on-par with the Gamecube, and may even surpass Wii graphics eventually.

I wouldn't say it's a direct threat to Apple, more of an inadvertent one, as the 3DS offers whole games with bite-sized games on the side, where as the iPod Touch/iPhone pretty much offers the exact opposite.

AnthoWin said,
3D yay.
Threat to Apple no.

Seeing what hardware is available at a modest price in the iPod touch you'd think Nintendo would make use of today's tech with TWO touch screens, an accelerometer and graphics/cpu boost. It seems they're more interested in profit than products that dont require upgrading every 2 years.

....you have no idea what you're talking about, at all. This isn't a DS Lite, DSXL, DS ultra mega or anything else. It's a clear upgrade like a gba to DS, ps1 to ps2, or gamecube to wii. Beyond that, you have no facts or basis for any of your assumptions regarding power, and a 3D touch screen would not work with this technology, period, you can't obstruct the view.

I'm unimpressed to be honest, with things like the iPhone 4 coming I really think the days of the handheld console are numbered. After the 3D novelty wears off I can see it gathering dust next to my DS Lite and PSP 3000

Xerxes said,
I'm unimpressed to be honest, with things like the iPhone 4 coming I really think the days of the handheld console are numbered. After the 3D novelty wears off I can see it gathering dust next to my DS Lite and PSP 3000

Considering the 3ds is backwarss compatible why would you go back to the ds lite?

majortom1981 said,

Considering the 3ds is backwarss compatible why would you go back to the ds lite?

You misunderstood what I mean, once the 3D novelty has worn off (and it will) it will end up gathering dust with my DS Lite and PSP 3000 on a shelf (because that is exactly where they are now and have been for sometime).

When your mobile phone can play games just as well as a handheld, carrying around a handheld starts becoming redundant (well it has for me). I still play them from time to time but these days it's just more convenient to do so on my phone or iPod touch as they are always with me.

I was hoping to see something along the lines of downloadable game content and that it was no long cartridge based.

Biggest complaint about my Nintendo DS Lite is that the fact that you have to carry game cartridges around defeats the mobility aspect of the platform.

Hate to say it, but an iPod Touch looks like a more appealing gaming platform for me. I like Nintendo's franchise and think they have always done well in the mobile gaming industry. Problem is, you can get very decent games and even over the top mainstream developer titles (such as GTA: China Wars) on the iPod Touch. Plus you also have a kick ass video player, web browser, and music player built into a much more portable unit. No cartridges, either.

I am very intrigued by the whole 3D thing, however. I will no doubt check one out but don't have any plans to buy. Sorry Nintendo. After being a loyal fan for years (Original Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy Advance SP, DS Lite), the addition of a larger screen and 3D graphics just doesn't sway me enough me thinks.

Shadrack said,
I was hoping to see something along the lines of downloadable game content and that it was no long cartridge based.

Biggest complaint about my Nintendo DS Lite is that the fact that you have to carry game cartridges around defeats the mobility aspect of the platform.

Hate to say it, but an iPod Touch looks like a more appealing gaming platform for me. I like Nintendo's franchise and think they have always done well in the mobile gaming industry. Problem is, you can get very decent games and even over the top mainstream developer titles (such as GTA: China Wars) on the iPod Touch. Plus you also have a kick ass video player, web browser, and music player built into a much more portable unit. No cartridges, either.

I am very intrigued by the whole 3D thing, however. I will no doubt check one out but don't have any plans to buy. Sorry Nintendo. After being a loyal fan for years (Original Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy Advance SP, DS Lite), the addition of a larger screen and 3D graphics just doesn't sway me enough me thinks.

Look at all the complaints about the psp go. You dont want to be dependant o nthere being a wifi access point around.

You carry SD cards around for your camera so why not sd card like 3ds games.

majortom1981 said,

You carry SD cards around for your camera

Bad comparison. I have a 2GB SD card for my DSLR and it holds something crazy like 400 photos. I don't think in this day and age people carry around extra cards anymore.

Drunken Beard said,
You don't get a D-Pad on the iPhone

This is true. There is a virtual on-screen touch one that works almost as good. However, the D-Pad is the corner stone of any hardcore mobile gamer. Too bad "hardcore mobile gamer" is an oxymoron, otherwise I would agree with you. Mobile gamers tend to be casual (just look at the DS titles that are available). Casual gamers just want a game they can shoot-the-**** with while they are waiting for something and probably don't care if there is a real d-pad or an onscreen d-pad so long as they are amused.

majortom1981 said,

Look at all the complaints about the psp go. You dont want to be dependant o nthere being a wifi access point around.

You carry SD cards around for your camera so why not sd card like 3ds games.

The PSP GO had issues beyond the way games are loaded. For starters, the design just plain sucked. Also, the price point of the games was ridiculously high. iPod Touch/iPhone games are nominally $4.99 but are between $0.99 and $9.99. They come with enough storage to hold a pretty large collection of games ontop of a pretty large collection of music to listen to while you play your game.

I think the new NDS will sell well to the younger crowd, while college kids and adults will be leaning towards playing games on their cell phones, Zune HDs, and iPod Touches.

Not very many people carry around multiple SD cards... well, I don't. I agree with Mike, that is a poor comparison. Maybe if you carried around 1 NDS cartridge that carried 5-10 games. That was the biggest reason I went with the NDS Lite hacker cartridge from asia. I didn't want to carry around all kinds of game cartridges when I traveled. Now, all the games I buy I can load onto a MicroSD card, and insert it into my SuperCard Lite and away I go!...if I were still playing NDS games.

It's a DS the fact they are putting 3D technology on it is (in my view) insulting. it may be nice but its very gimmicky

Auzeras said,
It's a DS the fact they are putting 3D technology on it is (in my view) insulting. it may be nice but its very gimmicky

Well then bash sony also they dedicated a decent chunk to 3d.

Auzeras said,
It's a DS the fact they are putting 3D technology on it is (in my view) insulting. it may be nice but its very gimmicky

I'm not sure what you mean by insulting. Nintendo has always had a rather "gimmicky" approach to their products. The dual-screen coupled with one touch screen was always considered to be "gimmicky". The Wii's motion sensors were/are considered gimmicky. It is rare for Nintendo to NOT try something different.

It says charging cradle besides an ac adapter port. Whaat does a 3ds need a craddle port for? Will this beable to connect to a tv and out put things to a tv ?

"Input/Output:
A port that accepts both Nintendo 3DS game cards and game cards for the Nintendo DS™ family of systems, an SD memory card slot, an AC adapter connector, a charging cradle terminal and a stereo headphone output jack. "

http://e3.nintendo.com/3ds/

Looks great, they should have had the slidepad one one side and the dpad on the other though....

Let's see how long it takes to get a game with a controlscheme like some of the psp games that use the slidepad and the buttons on the right side as a substitute for a second slidepad which the leaves you to using the dpad for any actions and facebuttons

3D screen without glasses on a handeld? wow haven't bought a system for a while, but this might be the first one in years for me

neufuse said,
3D screen without glasses on a handeld? wow haven't bought a system for a while, but this might be the first one in years for me

Me too!

Jan said,
Meh, sounds great but looks ugly Will wait for the 3DSi XL.

Looks like an early prototype, I'm sure the finished product will look much cleaner when it comes out next year.

It's pretty common, the company I work for cuts all of our prototypes into foam for super early models, then into really cheap plastics, then once they get all the bugs worked out they cut the for-sale models in good solid plastics... it's just a cost saving thing.

I guess you gotta see it in the flesh to form an opinion. Definitely like the way things are heading. I hope TVs won't require glasses soon too

Even without any demonstrations yet, the description definitely still sounds impressive., but I'm a little concerned about the placement of the power button though...

Kyang said,
Even without any demonstrations yet, the description definitely still sounds impressive., but I'm a little concerned about the placement of the power button though...

It also looks rather bold, maybe they might tweak it just for us. haha

Breakeven said,

It also looks rather bold, maybe they might tweak it just for us. haha

I kind of like the two tone, perhaps something other than the 'teal' but, it's a good look to see a separation, or depth if you will.

Sweet! I haven't had a handheld gaming system since the Gameboy and Gamegear days, but this actually looks promising...

One question, can it work like an MP3 player where I can store music on it and just plugin headphones and let it play while it's in my pocket? For that matter, can any of the current handheld gaming systems do that?

vaximily said,
Sweet! I haven't had a handheld gaming system since the Gameboy and Gamegear days, but this actually looks promising...

One question, can it work like an MP3 player where I can store music on it and just plugin headphones and let it play while it's in my pocket? For that matter, can any of the current handheld gaming systems do that?

PSP can. I've never used a DS.

Drunken Beard said,

The DS can too

DS can but doesn't do it very well and isn't really set up to act as a media player. It also only supports AAC. The feature is mainly intended to allow you to mix music and sound effects, ala like the crap photo editing features.

Sounds to me though like the 3DS is probably going to have a full media player built-in (movies), music should be supported.