One of the significant issues of modern portable game consoles is that they are not truly small and are much larger compared to even the high-end smartphones. With the latest generation of consoles both Nintendo and Sony Corp. introduced lighter and smaller versions of DS and PSP over the lifetime of the gadgets, but with the 3DS, Nintendo claims it has no clear plans to release a "3DS lite".
"The first thing [the general manager of manufacturing], who is in charge at the Uji plant, said to me when he looked over the designs for Nintendo 3DS before mass production began was 'This time it's fully packed right from the start'. When making Nintendo 3DS, we used all our tricks for Nintendo DS Lite - and more - for cutting down on size right from the start," said Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo.
Although Nintendo 3DS is much smaller than the original Nintendo DS and is certainly smaller than the DS XL, it is still not too small and therefore will not be chosen by those, who considered the DSi/DS lite too big. Nonetheless, the 3DS will not become smaller; perhaps, because Nintendo does not have a lot of choice with autostereoscopic 3D display and supporting electronics.
"We do not have any short-term plans for creating a more compact version of Nintendo 3DS like we did with Nintendo DS Lite," said Mr. Sugino, the manager of the design group.
Nintendo 3DS features a 3.53” autostereoscopic 3D top screen with 800x240 resolution (400 pixels for each eye) and a 3.02” bottom touch screen with 320x240 resolution. It has three 0.3MP cameras – one inner and two outer – to deliver the stereo-3D effect and take stereo-3D pictures. It includes a motion sensor, a gyro sensor, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n controller, a Slide Pad that allows 360-degree analog input and so on. The device also has a special slider that can increase, decrease or disable stereoscopic 3D (S3D) effect. The 3DS comes in form-factor that is similar to the predecessors and is fully compatible with Nintendo DS titles. The console uses DMP Pica 200 graphics processor. As announced previously, it will have a slot for SD cards as well as support cartridges for previous-gen DS systems. When playing stereoscopic 3D games specifically developed for 3DS, the console will last 3.5 to 5 hours depending on conditions. When playing DS or DSi games, which are naturally 2D only, the system will have a battery life of 5 to 8 hours. Full charge of the batter takes around 3.5 hours.