Nintendo has announced that it would release its new Nintendo 3DS portable video game console within the next year. The portable game machine will support stereoscopic 3D effects without need for any special glasses.
“Nintendo 3DS is going to be the new portable game machine to succeed Nintendo DS-series, whose cumulative consolidated sales from Nintendo amounted to 125 million units as of the end of December 2009 and will include backward compatibility so that the software for Nintendo DS-series, including the ones for Nintendo DSi, can also be enjoyed,” a statement by Nintendo reads.
It is highly likely that Nintendo will use so-called lenticular lenses to create 3D effects on the screens of the 3DS console. A lenticular lens is an array of magnifying lenses, or prisms, designed so that when viewed from slightly different angles, different images are displayed, which creates stereoscopic 3D effects. The technology itself is not too expensive, but has to be tailored for particular screens. Nintendo will also have to ensure that games designed for DS/DSi consoles look properly on such stereo 3D screen. Moreover, considering the fact that stereo 3D can hardly be enjoyed on simplistic arcades, Nintendo will have to install more powerful graphics core into the 3DS and also encourage game developers to create more visually attractive titles.
Nintendo will reveal more details about Nintendo 3DS at the E3 show that takes place in Los Angeles, California starting from the 15th of June, 2010.
It is rather surprising that Nintendo unveiled plans to launch its 3DS now, not on the event itself or at the Game Developers Conference earlier this month. Another rather surprising move is to announce the world’s first portable game console with stereo 3D support in a very laconic manner on a web-site for investors of Nintendo.