News Article

DS Successor To Offer 3D Gaming

Posted by James Newton

No specs required

Our own Sean Aaron has already demonstrated 3D gaming without the need for goofy glasses in the DSiWare title Rittai Kakushie Attakoreda, but now Nintendo is apparently ready to take it a step further with the revelation the next DS, currently titled 3DS, may offer full 3D effects with no accessories required.

Coming out of a PDF hosted on Nintendo of Japan's website, there's precious few details on this one other than the announcement of backwards compatibility and three-dimensional play, but that should be enough for most gamers. Here's the text itself:

Nintendo Co. Ltd (Minami-ward of Kyoto-city, President Satoru Iwata) will launch "Nintendo 3DS" (temp) during the fiscal year ending March 2011, on which games can be enjoyed with 3D effects without the need for any special glasses.

"Nintendo 3DS" (temp) is going to be the new portable game machine to succeed "Nintendo DS series", whose cumulative consolidated sales from Nintendo amounted to 125million units at the end of December 2009, and will include backward compatibility so that the software for Nintendo DS series, including the ones for DSi, can also be enjoyed.

Editor's note: It's always good to preach a degree of caution surrounding these stories: no spokesperson from Nintendo has made a comment and it seems odd that it would be announced in a PDF rather than a high-profile press conference, as it naturally brings up more questions than answers. As always, when we know more, you'll know more, but until then treat this as a rumour rather than fact.

[via nintendo.co.jp]

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User Comments (112)

PopeReal

#1

PopeReal said:

1) Two screens, with virtually no seam between them when open
2) Screens are higher resolution, but exact resolution is unknown
3) Powered by nVidia Tegra
4) Roughly as powerful as a Gamecube, and apparently similar to program for
5) Uses carts - believed to be same size as DS/DSi carts, only with different guts
6) Due out in 2010 in at least one territory

None of this is confirmed, and I really doubt it will be out this year in any region.

RaylaxStaff

#2

Raylax said:

They've completely nailed it with this one. It being a device for a single person means they don't have to worry about being at the precise angle to display properly to everyone viewing, as is the case on a TV.
Of course, it could just use camera positioning like those DSiWare games, to simulate 3D, but this sounds more like they're using actual screen tech.

DazzaAdmin

#3

Dazza said:

Wow that came out of the blue! Good old Nintendo, they sure like to keep us on our toes don't they? :-p

drdark

#4

drdark said:

Dammit! I predicted this just over a week ago! Way to steel my thunder Nintendo before I managed to blog about it!
Grrrr...

StarDust4Ever

#6

StarDust4Ever said:

If the DS screens were closer together (more specifically less than the distance between your eye sockets), you could make stereograms by blending the images on both screens together into a single image with your eyes. Kind of like a Virtual Boy without the optics

JimLad

#9

JimLad said:

Not sure what to think yet, how does it translate to gameplay would be my first thought. Unless they're planning other enhancements like tilt control.

PopeReal

#10

PopeReal said:

For some reason the image of Mario jumping out of the screen to hit a ? block for coins has got me a bit amped.

Slapshot

#11

Slapshot said:

I'm with you phat ant, I'm hoping that this is a joke. Sony is pushing this 3d crap as well. Why? Beats the heck out of me. Avatar in 3d on ps3 had many depth perception issues as well as most the other demos shown at game shows, constant issue is imprecise control because of depth perception. Why would nintendo base a system on it... and I was really looking forward to the new ds. :(

3230ru

#12

3230ru said:

3d what??? omg I already have 4 ds consoles and now this! not again! ))

PopeReal

#13

PopeReal said:

This is the successor to the DS just like the DS was to the GBA.

But then again I'm sure we can expect 3DS lite soon enough :P

Burn

#14

Burn said:

Wait, whoa, that doesn't sound right. If it is potentially backwards-compatible with the DSi, then it would have to have some cameras on it. Also, wasn't there some news sometime back on Nintendo patenting a touchscreen/rumble configuration for the new handheld?

Oregano

#16

Oregano said:

It can't be a joke, it was posted on Nintendo's website and it has affected their share prices, if it was a joke they'd be in a lot of trouble!

Token_Girl

#17

Token_Girl said:

I wonder if "backwards compatibility with DSi software" means you'll be able to transfer DSiWare (seeing as there's really nothing in the way of actual carts).

I know I'm really reading into this, but I hope so.

So who else is pumped for E3 now?

PopeReal

#18

PopeReal said:

E3 should be pretty good this year :)

3DS and Zelda Wii, just those 2 things alone should be cool.

Stuffgamer1

#20

Stuffgamer1 said:

I've never thought of Nintendo as a company that would stoop to official-looking April Fool's jokes. This sounds strange, but somewhat plausible. If they pull it off, I want to see ports of few good Virtual Boy games for it!

Anyway, it's unquestionably a story to follow closely.

ReZon

#21

ReZon said:

If 3D sounds ridiculous, let's go back to the 2003-2004 days:

A hand held system with two screens?? Ludicrous!

I look forward to seeing more about this at E3!

Stuffgamer1

#22

Stuffgamer1 said:

@ReZon: I never thought that sounded ridiculous, either. I think a lot of people are just afraid of change, and for some odd reason don't trust Nintendo to innovate well. Sure, Nintendo has made mistakes (Virtual Boy), but they're overall much better at making crazy ideas work than anyone else I can think of. People just need more open minds.

Machu

#23

Machu said:

I am genuinely and pleasantly surprised. 3DS... what a great name, what a great concept.

Nintendo seem to building up to what could be their best E3 yet.

Oregano

#25

Oregano said:

@Tony: You can transfer Wi-fi data from one DS to other can't you so theoreitcally it would just require a firmware update to allow your download license to be transferred. This would delete the games off the original system.

Does anyone know if that's possible?

Cipher

#27

Cipher said:

"April fools."

Yeah, of course. Considering it's March 23 and this is an official PDF from the official Nintendo website in Japan where people don't do April Fools' Day. :P

ReZon

#28

ReZon said:

I doubt DSiWare will be transferable - I'm betting the DSi games they are talking about are the one or two cartridge releases. I guess we can assume that the 3DS will have cameras too?

James

#29

James said:

There's still a chance this could be an elaborate hoax involving someone hacking into the Nintendo of Japan website and uploading the PDF (incidentally, remove the "e" from the URL and you get a Japanese version.)

TheBaconator

#31

TheBaconator said:

Good lord at this rate the ds sucesser to this will be announced in a few months followed by another ds to be announced around Christmas.

RowdyRodimus

#33

RowdyRodimus said:

No, it's probably real. Think about it, they released the DSi last year, releasing the DSiXL in a few days and then one year later making it obsolete with the 3DS.

But if there are people like me that were going to get an XL now deciding against the $200+ purchase since the "Hot! New!" system is coming in a year, then Nintendo might be shooting themselves in the foot. I know people will always get the hot new tech, but in this worldwide economic downturn there's a limit to asking people for $200 every year.
(end rant)

Hardy83

#34

Hardy83 said:

I knew it. I mean their are adopting Apples way of doing handheld devices and doing an update every year with one big one every now and then.

I'll probably get it, but the lite version, I JUST got a DSi last winter, I'm not made of money.

Also I expect the 3D will be just like that DSiWare game, but I'm sure the embedded cameras will be better (Hopefully at least ONE megapixel lol) to follow your head better in various lighting conditions.
3D is neat, but adding a field of depth to a game is a much better way to do 3D gaming. Imagine if GTA or any open world game had depth? mmmm

Phobos

#35

Phobos said:

...WHUT? :-O

Crikey, Nintendo sure have got us up on our toes! But knowing Nintendo, I doubt this'll be out in any any region this year. I'm tunnel-visioning mid to late 2011 instead. Don't doubt early 2012 either.

citizenerased

#36

citizenerased said:

Nintendo actually officially announced it now, so I guess I was wrong about the april fool's thing. How very odd, announcing a new handheld through a PDF

longtimegamer

#37

longtimegamer said:

This is like I said they should/could do the tvs, so you could have 3d without glasses.

I'll be happier than heck about this if it's true. I don't know why some people seem to have an adversion to the sudden turn to 3d.

Good thing I hadn't bought the dsi.

Edit: @Teaovertoma: WOW....that was quick! Thought we might find out in the next couple days, maybe.

motang

#38

motang said:

E3 can't come here soon enough, I am so curious to see what this is now!

Ren

#43

Ren said:

sweet. I'm sold. It's amazing what people can manage to complain about on here. How could this possibly be bad news?

Oregano

#45

Oregano said:

Jesus christ when is Nintendo supposed to actually announce stuff? Maybe they should just leave it incase they offend anyone who happened to buy another product recently.

I mean this isn't even a surprise really, the DS is Five/six years old and by this point new systems are being rolled out, which is what exactly is happening.

LittleIrves

#46

LittleIrves said:

@Ren: No kidding... Iwata could solve world hunger and people would be like, "now everyone will be obese! why, Nintendo, WHY!?"

bro2dragons

#47

bro2dragons said:

i'm gonna have to wait till after it launches because this sounds like the kind of thing that you won't be able to find on shelves for months after its release. still, the possibilities are... intriguing.

pixelman

#50

pixelman said:

Mmm interesting. Not sure if I'm sold on it. If it's real then I'm looking forward to E3.

CheifThunder

#51

CheifThunder said:

if you go to kotaku there is a japanese video showing a DSi demostrating 3D visual.
And by tilting the DS you get a 3D effect.

Gum

#52

Gum said:

"I think the official name will be Nintendo ED (Extra-Dimensional)."

The Nintendo ED will sound great next to the Nintendo Wii >___>

(you know ED stands for erectile dysfunction,right?)

Pegasus

#53

Pegasus said:

A portable 3D gaming device? Hmmmm. I'm taking this news with a truckload of salt, please.

primeris

#54

primeris said:

Reuters had this story hours ago. I'd be great if it's a hoax, but it would be cool if it's true.

Starkiller

#55

Starkiller said:

I think this would be more fit for a console, still good news though. But how would you implement the touch screen in full 3D?
It'd take an enourmous amount of self-restraint for me to not get this. Maybe I'll wait for the 3DSi and grab a 3DS. :P
btw, isn't there a computer program called 3DS max?

miketh2005

#57

miketh2005 said:

@RowdyRodimus: It's called the Osbourne effect, and I think Nintendo really made a boo-boo announcing this so soon. Before the XL is release in NA? Bad, bad, bad. I bet the XL won't do as well cause of this. I'll still get it, though, cause the bigger screens really intrigue me and my Lite broke.

Cipher

#58

Cipher said:

I don't think the XL will be affected too badly. It's mainly geared toward more mature gamers and most of them probably won't care for the 3DS at this point.

RaylaxStaff

#59

Raylax said:

The Nintendo2 (pronounced Nintendo Squared).

Because I'm terrible at thinking up names.

Donatello

#60

Donatello said:

I love how many people are always skeptic and so negative towards something Innovative Nintendo plans on releasing, yet when it arrives and people get to try it for themselves they're blown away. Your little pre-thoughts and opinions don't matter whatsoever, it's coming and it will most likely be amazing, after all this is Nintendo now.

But I'm sure everybody whill shut their big mouths when hands-on impressions, screenshots and video footage is released, better yet when they actually experience it for themselves.

theblackdragonAdmin

#62

theblackdragon said:

@Donatello: There's no need to be so defensive. Skepticism is not only bound to be a given at this point in time, it's also healthy. Remember the lesson of the Virtual Boy; not everything innovative Nintendo has given us has been solid gold.

FonistofCruxis

#65

FonistofCruxis said:

I'm a little skeptical at the moment but I'll wait and see and hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised.

Zak_Canard

#68

Zak_Canard said:

If they provide a method to allow a one time DSiWare transfer of my current shop purchases I'll consider buying it. The argument that the accounts can't be linked in such a way feels untrue considering my DSi and Wii are tied to my Club Nintendo account and I can claim stars for those shop channel purchases. I'd rather not have to resort to buying those 20 games I got a second time.

BulbasaurusRex

#69

BulbasaurusRex said:

Even without GBA compatability, I might just get this one after skipping the entire DS generation.

I love Nintendo's pro-stance on backwards compatability. I'll be able to play any game released in North America for a Nintendo handheld console on this or my GBA.

siavm

#70

siavm said:

I might just get this if it has other features too. And since this is on nintendo's official site this is not a rumor.

aaronsullivan

#73

aaronsullivan said:

Supposed to release before the end of fiscal 2010, which is before the end of March in Japan apparently. That gives one full Holiday season to unload some XLs and DSi's on people and unleash the new system 3 months or more after. Seems like a sound plan to me.

3D might seem gimmicky, but I don't see a problem, here. No glasses, no hassle. The hardware will be a big leap. It will have all the DSi features that many DS owners have been holding out on. There will be plenty to bring on people who just bought the others.

On the name: 3DS is a fantastic name considering what it is. It's got that number saying this is the new step and it promotes one of its best features. I never liked the name DS, however. Never felt natural to call it that. GameBoy was good for a short time, but it sounded to much like a kid toy. 3DS at least has "3D" in it, which means something to most people. :)

Mizore

#74

Mizore said:

I didn't see it on Nintendo's site...grrr, wish we could see some pics/screens of this thing!!! XD

You think that the new Pokemon game will be for this system? 3D Pokemon...YEAH! lol

aaronsullivan

#75

aaronsullivan said:

@70
And once DS virtual console stuff comes (maybe exclusive to the 3DS) all your GB and GBA stuff will be downloadable as well. So, it will likely ALL be on one system.

aaronsullivan

#76

aaronsullivan said:

@75 and others
I never committed to Pokemon -- my favorite Pokemon game is Pokemon Snap. Seriously, though. How much stronger will the need to "catch 'em all" be when you get a little moving virtual figurine essentially with each one. That type of effect, a 3D rotating object floating out in front of you, should be very strong with this new device. Fun.

JustYourAverageBleh

#77

JustYourAverageBleh said:

I think that the gap between the screens will be shorter because that's how they will achieve 3D effects without no other hardware. like cross-eyed 3D!

M00se

#78

M00se said:

well thanks for making me buy a DSi, they need one system that doesnt have 1 million different forms! 3 is WAY TOO MUCH!

almostnacho

#80

almostnacho said:

@postmanX3 I know, right?
Hopefully we'll see much more than just the new 3D tech. Then again, I couldn't have imagined any way the next DS would revolutionize any games, like the DS did with the touch-screen.
It pains me to be just as excited as I am furious.

jangonov

#81

jangonov said:

If it is actually a true successor to the DS, then I will get it. So long as I can transfer my DSiware

mastersworddude

#82

mastersworddude said:

@bellgoriiing I think its already confirmed the 5th gen of Pokemon will be on the DS.
Anyway, Anyone else think its a bit too fast? I meant they are just releasing the DSiXL, I wonder how many people won't buy it now, and just wait for this.

Snipes

#83

Snipes said:

This can't really be the 3D most people are thinking of... It will more than likely be like the current DSiWare games that move with the camera to create a 3D effect. The technology to do an actual 3D already exists (IMAX theaters for example) but for Nintendo to put this in a handheld would skyrocket the price so much we would all have to be living on the moon by the time we have enough money to buy this thing. But we'll all find out more about it at E3...

Ovi

#84

Ovi said:

Not sure how it would work, but It sounds like a cool idea.

Simon_Deku

#86

Simon_Deku said:

Sounds good, although I couldn't stand to loose my precious DSiware games like Art Style.

Mizore

#88

Mizore said:

@Snipes: I doubt it'll be like that DSiWare game, I just read IGN's article on this thing. "Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan's largest paper, reported on some possible 3D technology for the system. The paper says "it is believed" that the system will make use of a Sharp 3D LCD panel. The system will have a film attached to the screen, separated form the screen by a tiny space. This setup makes the image look slightly different for the two eyes, giving the game visuals a 3D look." I dunno if these are facts or not, but I hope its true.

http://ds.ign.com/articles/107/1079262p1.html

CorbsAdmin

#90

Corbs said:

Then why don't you skip the 3DS and wait for the 4DS. Better yet, skip them all and just keep waiting. :D

Joetherocker

#91

Joetherocker said:

Awesome! Can't wait for this one! Even if the price is high, I'll be getting a summer job, so hopefully I can save up a few hundred dollars for this then.

Slapshot

#92

Slapshot said:

@Corbie.... Wait I will my friend. Until I see some real substance to go with the Migraines I get from 3D Anything, its a definate no purchase for me. Im really hoping the 3D is an optional thing but hence the name 3DS Im not so sure if it will be. Lots of people have problems related to 3D, heck I work over a 100ft off the ground everyday, ride motorcycles, surf, etc. I dont get motion sickness, but 3D bothers me horribly. Im really hoping Nintendo knows this, as the newer 3D movies have had tons of people reporting problems from the visuals.

..... Im thinking that if its got the ability to fun DSiWare, then we might actually get a DSiWare VC for 3DS, then Ill really be straight as that will hold me over to 4DS ;)

Willy105

#93

Willy105 said:

Good thing Nintendo Life properly named the 3DS as a next-gen DS instead of "a DS".

A lot of sites confused it and reported that it was a new version of the DS, and a lot of peoples till think it's a new DS! lol

CorbsAdmin

#94

Corbs said:

@ slapshot82 - Playing my Virtual Boy for longer than about 15 or 30 minutes tends to give me a headache. So I'm hoping this will be a bit easier on the eyes. And truth be told, I've never been to a 3D movie yet. That should change come April 2nd when Clash of the Titans opens, however. :)

Stuffgamer1

#95

Stuffgamer1 said:

@Slappy: NO! Optional 3D is pointless, because it's just proof that it didn't need to be there. What they need to do is create game experiences that wouldn't even work WITHOUT it!

Slapshot

#96

Slapshot said:

@Corbie.... Well, I went and saw Avatar in 3D, and it doesnt POP out of the screen like the old stuff does, but it just has this amazing dept to it. Its actually quite beautiful to see. After about an hour into it I had to walk out of the theatre because of the migraine is gave me regardless, and by the time the movie was over I had to cancel the rest of the days plans and went home straight to bed at about 5pm in the afternoon on a Saturday. Not cool at all. I did a bit of research online and found that there are lots of people that have the same problems, and if you have motion sickness its extremely awful.

@Stuff.... I was thinking the same thing too. If its optional then it really should exist. BUT why would they put a Retro VC on the system if this is the case? So many questions, I did run the 3D handheld by my wife as she like the DS, and she was like "ummmm prob not". If anyone can pull it off it will be Nintendo, but man it seems like a full on gimmick. Touch Controls are awsome as they precise and mimmick a computer mouse and motion controls done right can be a blast, but 3D has to have more than just the graphics, got to have some sort of gameplay to back it up.

Im really curious to see how the 3rd Party Developers react to this, because this could cause another major Crap Cash-In just like they have done to devalue the Wii catalogue with shovelware titles. 3D Rabbids, 3D Barbies, 3D Babies, 3D Horses, 3D Golf, 3D Everything.

Donatello

#99

Donatello said:

I am sooo psyched for the 3DS :D
So far here's what has been confirmed...

~High Resolution Graphics
~3D
~Motion Sensor Controls
~Accelermeter Tilt Function
~Rumble Force-feedback
~Analog Stick
~Compatible with all DS/DSi Software
~Increase in Wireless and Battery Support

Thee' Expected...Hopefully

~2 Widescreens
~GameCube-like Graphics
~Handheld Virtual Console

This has been Nintendo's Biggest Upgrade as far as jumping to the next hand held goes!

Rm88

#100

Rm88 said:

I personally don't think it's going to be much more powerful than the current DS, especially if 3D is the selling point. I don't care as long as it has awesome games, I want Mario Kart 3DS for launch >_>

maka

#103

maka said:

"NO! Optional 3D is pointless, because it's just proof that it didn't need to be there. What they need to do is create game experiences that wouldn't even work WITHOUT it!"

Well, I guess that would be left to the developers on a title by title basis. If the screen can display two images (one to each eye) it can also display just one, so 3D is optional, just like the second screen or the touch screen was in the DS. Not every game has to use 3D just as not every game uses the touch screen or takes advantage of the 2 screens in an innovative way...

HappyHappy

#104

HappyHappy said:

I'm not so sure about this. I think it will be cool playing video games in 3-D, but the fact that it's portable has me scratching my head.

Capt_N

#105

Capt_N said:

This sounds intriguing, however it could still be a joke, or a hacker(s) prank. So many questions this raises. I'll be concerned if this is real, over the DSiware transferability. But I'll wait for E3 for taking anything of this to be solid, & official.

TLink9

#107

TLink9 said:

If it has Game Cube like graphics count me in and make...
Luigi's Mansion 2
Kirby Air Riders 2

Gogata

#108

Gogata said:

This will be a fail, I think... DSi can project this, I saw videos and it looks boring, too... 3D??? DS already has 3D! Lol I have a feeling this will fail like Virtual Boy...

Gogata

#109

Gogata said:

I would be sooo pissed if they start making exclusive cartridge games... They should continue with the DS cartridges...

Gogata

#110

Gogata said:

Man everyone just got a DSi and now this lol... And after it there will be another new one in like an year or so.... _.... Pisses me off....

Belgicario

#112

Belgicario said:

If it has GameCube-like graphics count ME in and make...
WarioWare 3D
Super Smash Bros. 3DS
3DSMovie
... any other game that features the words "3D" and "Super".

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