News Article

E3 2010: Nintendo 3DS

Posted by James Newton

All the news, all the facts straight from E3. UPDATED: Corbie's thoughts in!

UPDATE: Corbie, our man at E3, has just been in touch with his first thoughts on the 3DS:

Played the 3DS in person and it's unreal. The level of depth and clarity on the screen is incredible. And the graphics potential has to be at least on par with Wii, maybe even better. Analog stick was smooth and responsive. I can't wait to get more time with it. Heading back to the LA Convention Center for booth visits and interview. I'll post more stuff later this evening.

Today at Nintendo's E3 2010 press conference we got the first look at the company's new handheld, the 3DS. No alternative name was announced for the machine and there was no suggestion this is a temporary name, so we can assume that Nintendo is sticking with the 3DS name until launch.

Looking a lot like the regular DS, the machine boasts a 3.5" widescreen on top and a touchscreen on the bottom that appears to be the same size as that of the DSi. Speaking of the decision to only include a touchscreen on the bottom, Satoru Iwata commented on the smudges and scratches that can affect the efficacy of the 3D effect, leaving us to speculate that perhaps the bottom screen may not be 3D. Our man in the Nokia Theatre, Corbie Dillard, is getting hands-on with the 3DS right now so we'll bring you confirmation of that in our First Impressions as soon as they arrive.

With an analogue stick-like "slide pad" as well as a regular D-Pad, that's not the end of the new control methods: the 3DS also includes a gyroscopic sensor and a motion sensor, paving the way for a far more physical style of gaming than the regular DS. There's full backwards compatibility with DSi software as well, which Reggie Fils-Aime called "ample game content at launch", and the machine boasts two outward-facing cameras that allows you to take and view pictures in full 3D.

There's also a larger emphasis on online functionality, with a WiiConnect24-like ability for the console to search out other users and download new data even whilst in sleep mode, whether the correct game is loaded or not. Promising new quests, items and levels just by taking your 3DS out and about, this is Nintendo's next step in the evolution of online content for the machine and one that opens up countless possibilities. There was no announcement of a DSiWare transfer solution or any confirmation of the machine's downloadable catalogue.

One of the machine's biggest surprises is its ability to play movie files in 3D: although Mr Iwata didn't announce a specific plan to deliver this content to users, 3D trailers of Hollywood movies will be available to watch on the showfloor and there'll undoubtedly be more on this one in the future.

Nintendo have now announced the full specifications of the device:

Size (when closed): Approximately 5.3 inches wide, 2.9 inches long, 0.8 inches tall.

Weight: Approximately 8 ounces.

Look: Final design is TBA.

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.

As for games that you'll be able to play on the machine, only one was visible: Masuhiro Sakurai's "Project Sora", now known as Kid Icarus: Uprising, which we'll be bringing you more information on later alongside Nintendo and third-party games that have been announced from THQ, Konami, Ubisoft and more.

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User Comments (88)

Klapaucius

#2

Klapaucius said:

Very excited. So glad I havn't upgraded to DSi.
Graphics look better than most Wii games, and that is at this early stage. Imagine what developers will do with it in a year or two.
And that's just graphics. Looking forward to how the motion control, giro, touch screen, 3D, cameras and mics all come together and what novel uses there'll be.

Ickaser

#6

Ickaser said:

I. Can. Not. Wait. I just feel kind of let down by the fact it doesn't support DS carts.

Nero

#10

Nero said:

I'm very hyped for the 3DS. Can't wait to read impression of it. Also, image how crazy a WarioWare game will be on it..

20thPaul

#11

20thPaul said:

@Ickaser

where did you hear that it doesn't support ds carts? It's supposed to be backwards compatible to the ds and dsi, so to play ds games it would need to be able to use the carts! :P

warioswoods

#13

warioswoods said:

It's not clear how the gyro will work with the 3D -- you can't have racing games where you tilt left and right, or you'll break the 3D effect, which relies on your eyes remaining perfectly parallel to the screen. That is, unless they use the cameras and motion to also change the angle of the 3D effect, but that would be very tricky to pull off without problems.

THATG0MEZ

#15

THATG0MEZ said:

Looks awesome, but something's gotta be done about moving downloaded content from a DSi over to a 3DS, 'cause I really want one.

FonistofCruxis

#17

FonistofCruxis said:

At first I wanted it to take it's time because I thought dsiware needed more time but now I can't wait, kid icarus uprising looks amazing.

MrWout

#19

MrWout said:

@warioswoods
The screen they are supposed to be using has a "3D viewing angle" of 45 degrees I heard (or somewhere around that number) so that must be possible I guess :)

Kimiko

#21

Kimiko said:

The D-pad looks a little awkwardly placed. Maybe it would be more comfy if the D-pad and analog button were reversed, like on the PSP?

The top and bottom screen not having the same size looks weird, but maybe I'm just too used to the DS/i.

A slider to control 2D↔3D? But they just moved from a slider to a +/- switch for audio volume with the DSi. Seems like a step backward to do make something like that analog.

Is that inner camera on the bottom edge of the system? The hinge seemed like the ideal place for it (if you must have one at all), the bottom not so much unless you want to make photos of your chest.

Online 24/7.. What about battery life? It annoys me that the wifi light of my DSi remains on even when I close it. Actual wifi communication all the time must be even more draining.

Nice colors though; much better than the sucky cyan and lime shades of the DS/i. I wish Nintendo would realize people outside Japan want a choice of colors too.

Now hurry up and announce a release date :)

Caliko

#22

Caliko said:

Just wanna remind everyone:

The graphics will look FAAAR better on the small screen with its native resolution.

I'm thinking between GameCube and Wii graphics.

ToastyYogurt

#23

ToastyYogurt said:

YES!! Everything I thought it would do came through: 3D Movies, 3D Picture Taking, Motion Sensing.... now I can't wait for the 3DS! Hopefully there is a way to transfer DSiWare as if that's real I will definitely get this!

midorichan

#24

midorichan said:

Amazing. I want one!
Too bad they didn't announce the release date. At least that gives me time to save :)

Pj1

#26

Pj1 said:

I'd like to know more about Paper Mario, Pilot wings and Mario kart!!

Pj1

#27

Pj1 said:

Yeah they should announce a release date and price, all though I was going to buy a DSi XL I don't think I will now.

ToastyYogurt

#29

ToastyYogurt said:

@Kimiko: That circle on the bottom is the headphone port. I think the front-facing camera is that little circle on the top of the screen. If it stays there, they better switch where the picture shows from the bottom screen to the top, or it will be hard to see yourself on camera with your eyes facing the viewer of the picture.

Chris720

#32

Chris720 said:

That looks weird... I'll wait for a review of sorts first. Not too hyped right now...

RaylaxStaff

#37

Raylax said:

3DS 1ST-PARTY GAMES:
Kid Icarus™: Uprising
nintendogs™ + cats
Star Fox 64™ 3D
PilotWings Resort™
Paper Mario™

Paper Mario 3DS. Oh god YES. (this list from press.nintendo.com, so they're not fake)

RaylaxStaff

#40

Raylax said:

Oh yeah, Mario Kart and Animal Crossing 3DS too. Forgot those. And something called Steel Diver.

mizumaru

#41

mizumaru said:

IVE ONLY ONE COMPLAINT:I was hoping for dual analog, but I guess nintendo decided to give thath to PSP2

nix

#42

nix said:

pass on a question for corbie, how do you use the 3ds, if your left handed?

HipsterDashie

#44

HipsterDashie said:

@Mars11

But the fact that 3DS is 3D anyway kinda renders games like that useless... XD

@mizumaru

I guess the touch screen could be used as a second analog stick, kinda like current DS games.

Atlantis1982

#47

Atlantis1982 said:

Okay the titles are nice, the features are nice (really curious about the 3D camera :) ), and the hardware is nice, but...

I want to know more about downloadable content, and the online store.

Anotheralex_x

#49

Anotheralex_x said:

I bet the haters out there who doubted that the 3DS would have incredible graphics are wanting the new product right now. I can't wait to see how Nintendo will use the new features for games like Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid!

RallyFTW

#51

RallyFTW said:

Man.......... if you could trade in your DSi for the 3DS................

Life would be happy for me.

jangonov

#53

jangonov said:

I am stunned. This is amazing, and I am waiting for any info on it. I need to know a release date and price. Once I know those I can plan to save my money, or an elaborate bank robbery edit @nintenzo I clicked it, but nothing is happening. What is there? @rally I am sure most major game stores will have a trade-in program, and yes, I plan to trade my DSi for it. I love my DSi, and had many good times with it in the short >2 years so far, but...yeah. 3DS

Knux

#54

Knux said:

Corbie is SO fortunate. This is a day-one purchase for me, and I am more excited over this than when the Wii or the DS was announced!

RyuZebian

#55

RyuZebian said:

All I need now is some detailed Hands-on feedback... I saw the live stream, and I'm pretty sold already though! xD

Token_Girl

#56

Token_Girl said:

Excited about the kid icarus and 3D movie capabilities. If they create a reasonably convenient download system. Also interested in the online capabilities.

Still waiting for info on DSiWare transfer ability and price. Those are the two biggest things I want to know now (a release date would be nice too).

almostnacho

#57

almostnacho said:

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! I'm so excited! I wish I could have seen it live, but unfortunately, I was at school. Sucks to be in the eastern U.S.

Kimiko

#58

Kimiko said:

There's not much of an increase in resolution on the bottom screen actually. 256×192 (DS/i) → 320×240 (3DS). That's only 25% more pixels per dimension.

I hope they move the indicator lights back to the hinge in the final design. I like it that I can see them without looking away from the action on the DS/i, unlike the PSP where you have to wonder how long the power light has been blinking before you notice it.

Not sure I like the more angular design yet as shown on Nintendo's site. Maybe it has to grow on me yet, maybe it'll change before launch.

A telescoping stylus? That sounds like asking for trouble. The DS/i one is large enough, isn't it?

Yep, definitely going to be aqua for me. Fire engine red is too hot on the eyes, and graphite too boring.

More info on the sensor array please.

Dodger

#60

Dodger said:

I am not 100% sure but with how awesome it looks AND an Animal Crossing, as long as it is not an insane price, I might get it! It looks awesome.

EdEN

#63

EdEN said:

One detail missing is how much HDD space the 3DS will have. I'm thinking 10 GB so you can save your games, have music and 3D movies or 3DSware games.

cyrus_zuo

#64

cyrus_zuo said:

Pilotwings screenshots show Mii characters.
Got to see it at the presentation, I was somewhat skeptical, but it totally delivered. It's crisp and clear, something I was worried about as 3D movies often make me sick with blur. This looks great!

Klapaucius

#65

Klapaucius said:

@ NFreak007
logged into Nintendo's press website.
The list there somebody took a screenshot of their page.

BobberyFan98

#66

BobberyFan98 said:

OMG ME WANT NOW! :D Nintendo is going to make millions, scratch that, billions of this thing.

-BF98 ;)

colmtheperson

#68

colmtheperson said:

One thing... If it communicates in the 2.4 GHz band that means there will be no more connectivity with the Wii, as the Wii uses bluetooth! It'd be able to connect with an xbox360 though lol

Nacho-Abylight

#71

Nacho-Abylight said:

Very very impressive. We are excited with the new platform and looking forward to develop games using the 3D features and motion sensors! -- Abylight

Dony13

#72

Dony13 said:

Is it just me but the grephics looked lpretty close to the wii graphics?

Link-Hero

#74

Link-Hero said:

When is this going to be released? I have been looking everywhere, but I can't find it. I was thinking about replacing my DS Lite with a DSi XL, but not anymore!

JamieOStaff

#75

JamieO said:

I find it stunning that Nintendo's 2010 E3 conference was so strong, especially the fact that they were confident enough to not even release the 3DS screens to showcase an absolutely stunning range of games during their show. Check out this list:

The Kid Icarus: Uprising video was absolutely brilliant, they could have easily included footage of all their other top tier 3DS games as an avalanche of huge announcements in their conference. I have read about and watched lots of E3 conferences in my time, yet to my knowledge I have never known a company to hold back such massive news from their presentation, and save it for the gamers to experience during some hands on viewing time.

I actually love PlayStation games, but Sony's conference was the weakest of the lot, Microsoft's was not much better and Nintendo's show was simply superb. Its games kept on rolling in throughout the show and they presented such a volume of titles that were aimed at core gamers. The 3DS games were barely featured in the main show and I find it jaw dropping that Nintendo were brave enough to save them until after their presentation.

I love this quote from Satoru Iwata during the conference's unveiling of 3DS:
"We've also made improvements to the graphics capabilities of this hardware itself. Something tells me this alone might cause lots of enthusiasm in the development community."

3DS was easily the highlight of my E3 2010. Superb! :)

Feld0

#80

Feld0 said:

@68 Actually, the previous DS's connected to the Wii using ad-hoc Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth. I'm quite sure the 3DS will do the same.

Seriously, I'm totally stoked for the 3DS!! I'm so gonna be there at launch!
I'd best start looking into those summer jobs now...

RedSteel

#81

RedSteel said:

When the 3ds comes out,whos gonna party with me all night??XD...(im not gay for all you messed up minded people out there)...

StarDust4Ever

#82

StarDust4Ever said:

8 ounces, 5.3x2.9... Sounds like a sturdy system in my hands. I have large hands, so I kept my launchday DS phatty when the light came out. I hated the miniaturization that Nintendo plagued us with the GBA and DS reincarnations, but they fit my fiance's hands fine though. Had to get g=her a microcon because the Madcatz GameCube controllers were too big for her, but I loved 'em! ;)

Nintenzo

#84

Nintenzo said:

The red 3DS looks like something you would keep in it's own garage under a dust cover for eternity, except for when you take it out to wax it and give it a detailing every day!
3DS DEMANDS GOOD SERVICE!

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