What's the Nintendo 3DS Like?
The DSi came in the Spring of 2009 (Nov. 2008 in Japan) and seemed to bring gamers everything they needed for a fun, portable gaming experience, minus the improved graphics. So, what else could Nintendo do for us that the DS, DS Lite, or DSi didn’t offer? Of course, they needed to perk up the visuals. And that’s exactly what they had in mind when they created the Nintendo 3DS.
This new handheld will be much like the previous systems, sporting two game screens, one of which is touch-sensitive. It will include cameras, just like the DSi. Internet access and downloadable content is imperative these days, and it will be there as well. Without a doubt, the best and most innovative thing about the 3DS is the 3D-rendering technology (autostereoscopic) that will allow players to enjoy their games in a three-dimensional perspective that promises to be second to none – and without silly 3D glasses!
Of course, to offer a unique experience like that, you need an improved display. The Nintendo 3DS has a 3.53 inch screen with 800x400 pixel resolution, which greatly improves the look of the games from the start. Then, if you add the amazing depth-perception to the formula, you have what will be an unmatched winner.
The 3DS’s touch screen is a 3.02 inch LCD, with a 320x240 pixel resolution, which is better than the 256x192 of the DS and DSi. This screen, however, only displays graphics in 2D.
Since this handheld is all about 3D, Nintendo wants you to take 3D pictures with the camera. How did they achieve this feature? By adding two cameras (640x480 – 0.3 megapixels) to the back of the unit, which will capture two images with a slightly different perspective. Ultimately, these will turn into the desired 3D snapshot. Of course, the 3DS also has an inner camera to use during games or to take regular pictures.
With these changes, one has to wonder how much bigger the 3DS is. According to Nintendo, when closed, it measures approximately 5.3 inches wide, 2.9 inches long, and 0.8 inches tall (130×74×20 mm). This means the 3DS is slightly smaller than the DS Lite and the DSi, but it is a little taller than the DSi. It’s also 12 grams (0.42 oz) heavier than the DSi. All things considered, the 3DS is not that big!
Battery is also comparable to the DSi, and same with the wireless communication features, except that the 3DS’s technology will allow it to exchange data with other Nintendo 3DS systems or receive it via the Internet while in sleep mode.
As far as storage and games, the 3DS has an SD card slot, as well as a port that accepts both 3DS and DS game cartridges. Backwards compatibility is an important feature for those of us with an extensive DS video game library, and the ability to store data on the SD card is necessary in this day and age, even if the system itself includes 2GB of internal storage. Nintendo hasn’t talked much about multimedia capabilities yet, but chances are there will be some interesting ones. So far, we know players will be able to watch some mainstream movies and cartoons in 3D, which sounds like fun.
For those who are not too keen on the 3D viewing experience, the handheld has a 3D Depth Slider that lets you adjust the intensity of the 3D effect. You can also turn it off entirely and just play the game the classic way.
Other interesting additions are the retractable stylus that measures up to 4 inches (100 mm) when fully extended, a motion sensor and a gyro sensor to detect movement, and the analog thumbstick or “Slide Pad” that will give players better control than those offered in the previous systems. Luckily, the D-Pad will still be there, and so will the other buttons.
Of course, what better way to learn about the new 3DS than to check out a high-res picture? Click on the image below for the real deal!
If you’re still not sure of what to expect, check out Nintendo’s summary that follows. The Nintendo 3DS looks more than promising, and if everything goes well, the new handheld will deliver. But, when? Just wait and see what Nintendo has to say in the coming months, hopefully during the Tokyo Game Show at the latest. What we do know is they plan to launch it before March 31, 2011, which is not that long of a wait.
Size (when closed): Approximately 5.3 inches wide, 2.9 inches long, 0.8 inches tall. (130×74×20 mm)
Weight: Approximately 8 ounces (230 grams).
Top Screen: 3.53-inch widescreen LCD display, enabling 3D view without the need for special glasses; with 800x240 pixel resolution (400 pixels are allocated for each eye to enable 3D viewing).
Touch Screen: 3.02-inch LCD with 320x240 pixel resolution with a touch screen.
Cameras: One inner camera and two outer cameras with 640x480 (0.3 Mega) pixel resolution.
Pre-Installed Software: TBA
Nintendo 3DS Game Card: 2 GB Max. at launch.
Wireless Communication: Can communicate in the 2.4 GHz band. Multiple Nintendo 3DS systems can connect via a local wireless connection to let users communicate or enjoy competitive game play. Systems also can connect to LAN access points to access the Internet and allow people to enjoy games with others. Will support IEEE 802.11 with enhanced security (WPA/WPA2). Nintendo 3DS hardware is designed so that even when not in use, it can automatically exchange data with other Nintendo 3DS systems or receive data via the Internet while in sleep mode.
Game Controls: Touch screen, embedded microphone, A/B/X/Y face buttons, + Control Pad, L/R buttons, Start and Select buttons, "Slide Pad" that allows 360-degree analog input, one inner camera, two outer cameras, motion sensor and a gyro sensor.
Other Input Controls: 3D Depth Slider to adjust level of 3D effect (can be scaled back or turned off completely depending on the preference of the user), Home button to call system function, Wireless switch to turn off wireless communications (even during game play), Power button. The telescoping stylus is approximately 4 inches when fully extended.
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.
Sound: Stereo speakers positioned to the left and right of the top screen.
Battery: Lithium ion battery (details TBA).
Parental Controls: Parental controls similar to the Nintendo DSi system will be included.
[Other Features +]
More from GameDynamo