News Article

3DS Could Turn Pages as Well as Heads

Posted by Trevor Chan

Iwata hints at the system as an eBook reader

With the 3DS being the fifth generation of Nintendo handhelds, it seems to have so much more potential thanks in part to the era of technology it is present in. With all the hi-tech talk of stereoscopic visuals, taking 3D pictures, motion and gyro sensors, it can be easy to forget about the more simple applications that a modern games system can handle. Something like an eBook reader.

Satoru Iwata, President at Nintendo of Japan, has made a passing comment on the company's direction in regards to the machine's eBook capabilities, if it were to have any:

We’re thinking about functionality where it will automatically acquire newspaper and magazine articles.

This would certainly be in-line with Nintendo's plan to allow the 3DS to be consistently connected to the Internet, much like the WiiConnect24 system on the Wii.

The quote is short and vague, and can certainly be interpreted as an open-armed gesture at the digital print format. It can also be in reference to the refresh updates to general Web browsing. With the apparent beefing-up of the system specs, files as small as eBooks shouldn't be a problem to download and store on the 3DS. Whether or not the size of the screens is big enough to read without headaches is another question, although that hasn't stopped developers bringing out various text-based releases for the DSi.

As with many things with Nintendo, it's usually not a question of if they can do something, it's whether they think it's worth doing or not.

[via t3.com]

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User Comments (21)

Victoria

#4

Victoria said:

I'd certainly use it as an e-books. 100 Classic Books works fine on my DSi, and even with my poor vision, I have no trouble reading on it.

Burny

#5

Burny said:

They certainly won't be able to compete with Apple in any way, no matter what ebook capabilities they give the system. The iPhone 4's screen has a much higher resolution and the device seems to me to be overall better suited for such kind of tasks, not to mention the iPad which was basically made with such tasks in mind.

Still, it'll be nice to have reader functions of some sort on the 3DS. I could very well imagine myself checking emails or RSS feeds in between games, too. ;-)

Maybe, if the 3DS is successful enough, we might even see Amazon's kindle software for the system? It would certainly be an interesting addition to a gaming device, even if the system's design is not optimized for reading. ^^

Anotheralex_x

#9

Anotheralex_x said:

@6 - I believe he's hinting more towards a news channel too.
If the 3DS does have and e-reader would Nintendo have to have something like the app store because purchasing books at fixed cost is totally unnecessary. I wouldn't want to purchase books if it cost me nintendo points ranging from 200 to 800.

Token_Girl

#12

Token_Girl said:

DSiWare transfer Iwata, then we can worry about distracting bonus extras to a GAMING device...I can check the news online on my iPhone. kthnxbai

Junior117

#13

Junior117 said:

If they are going to put in eBook capibilities (meaning holding the 3DS sideways--book mode), than they very well make the touch screen the same 3.5 widescreen. I mean really... reading an eBook on a 3.5 widescreen on the left and a 3.01 non-widescreen on the right?

Well, as of me, I don't care. I'm buying 3DS on day 1! _

zeeroid

#19

zeeroid said:

@PALgamer: I think the way it'd work is that there will only be one page shown at a time (on the top screen), while on the touch screen there will be a way to "turn" the page by some flicking action, and it will probably show some standard information about the book, such as page number, chapter title, etc.

Feld0

#20

Feld0 said:

When they say that Apple's their competitor, they really mean it. So far, I've got a feeling that everything the 3DS has is meant to counter the iPhone 4, including this.

If Nintendo can somehow get a bunch of third-party support for this...

she_gamer

#21

she_gamer said:

Whoah, definitely putting off buying my Kobo. 3DS is already a must-have, and now it could be an ebook reader? Gotta keep my eye on this...

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