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Nintendo DS2 - scratch that - Nintendo 3DS confirmed
by Sean Engemann
Well, it figures that as soon as I post an article about speculative information on a possible successor to the Nintendo DS, the “Big N” boys decide to drop an official press bomb on me. I like to think that Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata read my previous article on the portable platform and agreed with me that a new handheld system production needed to be expedited.


Alright, so that’s probably not what happened, but nevertheless, in a recent press release Nintendo did confirm that the successor to the DS - codenamed 3DS - is in production. Better yet, they have given us a planned launch date: within the next fiscal year, which would put it anytime up till the end of March 2011. So let’s get my event and launch predictions out now.

I wager that we will not have any playable demos available at E3, but instead must suffer with a few video clips showcasing “some” of the features. This year’s Tokyo Game Show will have working models for the lucky attendees to test out, and more of the system’s features revealed. Depending on the growing success of game apps on the iPhone and other smartphones, we could possibly see a worldwide launch for the holidays (despite my arguments on these points in the previous article). If not available by the end of the year, we will definitely see a launch early spring, 2011.

So I mentioned that 'some' of the features will probably be showcased at E3. The press release stated that the 3DS will allow users to play 3D games without the need for special glasses. Japanese reports have confirmed that the technology is Sharp’s parallax barrier technique (a material placed in front of the LCD which contains a series of slits, allowing different sets of pixels to be seen, creating depth. This technology, while interesting, does require the user to view the screen from a specific angle. Considering that another (not confirmed) feature will include a “tilt” function, I am curious to see how Nintendo will overcome the obstacle of moving the 3DS while still projecting a 3D image. Since the “tilt” feature is already out there in Rumourville, we can probably expect an official announcement about that at E3, if not before.

Thankfully the 3DS will be backwards compatible, allowing you to play the countless DS games you have accumulated and grown to love over the years. Hopefully Nintendo will have figured out a way to transfer any downloaded DSiWare games over to the new platform. And I’m still pushing for a Virtual Console, giving us access to all the portable classics from the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance.

So, 'yay' that the system has been confirmed, and 'yay' that we have a release window. Hopefully new bits of rumours or official information make its way to us, which I will hastily bring forth to you, loyal GGTL readers.


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- Sean Engemann

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