Inside the Nokia Theater at this year’s E3 conference in Los Angeles, Nintendo brought down the house when they pulled back the curtain on their anticipated new handheld, the Nintendo 3DS.
Not merely an iteration on current DS hardware, the 3DS is a true successor to the groundbreaking portable gaming device that has sold over 125million units.
Nintendo hastily announced the 3DS back in March, as a preemptive strike against Japanese press outlets intending to leak the news. In their press release, Nintendo promised a true 3D experience without glasses, temporarily dubbing the portable device ‘3DS.’ Since then, Nintendo has kept things quiet, revealing nothing about the specs, the games, or the price.
Nintendo head Reggie Fils-Aime introduced the Nintendo 3DS by making fun of the glasses required to enjoy 3D entertainment before unveiling the actual system on the stage floor, and handing it over to Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata.
The unit will feature dual displays one a 3.5″ widescreen display and the other a 4:3 ratio 3.5″ screen and a slider to adjust the angle of the 3D graphics (as well as the option to turn them on/off.) The 3DS also features two outer cameras and one inner camera, and incredibly allows you to take 3D photos. A ‘slide nub’ (resembling an analog stick), motion sensor and gyro sensor round out the new features.
In terms of wireless communication the new machines will be able to communicate with each other, even when not playing the same games. The Wifi can be used to connect to the net at any hotspot. Even when you’re not near a hotspot, the 3DS may download new content for you – quests, levels and ghost data. There will be no charge for the expanded online play or wireless communications.
The 3DS is also capable of displaying 3D Hollywood movies, although the company didn’t reveal any details. They did however mention partnerships with Warner Brothers, Disney, and Dreamworks.
How will the system fare graphically? Although no official specs were revealed, a live gameplay trailer of the upcoming Kid Icarus looked stunning, easily on par or better than Nintendo’s Gamecube.
What we do know is that Nintendo has impressive 3rd party support. Already, the list of announced 3DS games is deep: a new Resident Evil, Kingdom Hearts 3D, Dead or Alive 3D, Saints Row, Madden NFL, Ninja Gaiden, Street Fighter IV and Metal Gear Solid. This does not include Nintendo’s undoubtedly quality 1st party lineup.
All told, the feature set far exceeds our expectations, and we’ll keep you posted as 3DS news continues to develop.
*Thanks to reader Greg who helped us straighten out some of the facts.
No price or release date information has been released by Nintendo as of this writing.