News Article

Rumour: 3DS Could Rival PS3 and 360 in Power Stakes

Posted by James Newton

Unnamed source talks power and internal chips

You could fit everything we currently know about the 3DS into a flea's rucksack, so when tantalising rumours come along it's our duty to report them, even when they seem too good to be true.

IGN has recently posted an article referencing several unnamed developers that claim the console outstrips the Wii's graphical capabilities, stating it's closer to HD consoles than Nintendo's home console hero. Naturally, without any on-record source we'd advise you to maintain a healthy scepticism, but that said we'd certainly expect the machine to make a large graphical jump over the DS. If this rumour does turn out to be true, it could lead Nintendo to unveil a new home console within the near future as it's unlikely to be satisfied with a home console less graphically powerful than a portable machine.

3DS apparently does not use NVIDIA's Tegra chips, contrary to rumours that surfaced last year, though no fresh information on its internal architecture has surfaced.

There's only ten days until Nintendo Life gets to try out 3DS at E3 when we'll have all the information as it happens. Check back on Monday June 7th for our pre-E3 podcast where Editors James Newton and Corbie Dillard will talk 3DS, Zelda and some interesting titbits you won't want to miss.


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User Comments (122)



Cia said:

GBA = Snes, DS = N64 and 3DS will propably be like Gamecube. It's pretty hard to believe that it would be more powerful than Wii.



Aviator said:

I always hoped that the pic became reality. Would have loved to play GC games anywhere.



Oregano said:

I'd say unlikely unless they want it to have Gamecube level graphics and that means with 3D it needs to be more powerful.



V8_Ninja said:


I just might be able to understand the polygon amount, but I will never believe that the console will be HD.



Conker3000 said:

That would be so insane if true. Seriously. All that power packed in a little portable.



Corbs said:

Hmmm. After speaking to a developer who's seen the unit up close, I was hesitant to believe their claim that it was even more powerful than a Wii. Now I'm beginning to think this might actually be true. I'd say this cranks up my excitement to see the 3DS at E3 a tad.



skywake said:

I made a prediction a few months ago, based on the more credible rumours and speculations, that it would be about as powerful as the Wii. I mean if it has that Sharp Screen in it we think it will have (even if its just one!) and its pushing at least 2x 480p (which is as hard as 'HD') its pretty safe to guess that it will be close to that. That's before you start to stretch what they could do within a reasonable budget!

I'm still standing by what I said then INCLUDING the guess that they use the same architecture as the Wii/Gamecube. I also read a comment somewhere with someone hoping they move to disks..... I really, really hope they don't move to disks



Ark said:

In terms of just CPU speed, RAM, etc. it wouldn't be unrealistic to rule out specs comparable to the Wii. Recent iPod Touch/Phone have surpassed the Wii, and the the iPod Touch is relatively affordable. I'd worry about the fact that the 3DS is..well, 3D. I can see a system stronger than Wii coming and a system with 3D, but blending them together and keeping the affordability that Nintendo is known for seems...implausible.



eripmav said:

To render @120hz (which is what the screens would need to do for stereoscopic 3D) it would need some decent processing power. However until I see the thing running or videos of game quality, I don't believe quite as to how powerful it is in terms of poly pushing etc.

The battery life would concern me if it is as powerful as the current gen consoles..



WaveGhoul said:

I think it may be true....Think about it. The PSP is already closer to the PS2 in terms of graphics. I don't think the DS pulling off GCN-like graphics will be 'that' good enough this time around if we're stacking it up against the PSP2 which will most likely have the power of a watered down PS3. Nintendo's already blown out the door with innovation, and of course they'll continue to deliver even more amazing stuff, but they have to up their game regarding Horse power and HD visuals and Digital Sound.

I have a feeling it will surpass what the Wii can do visually, with HD resolution screens and the amazing(oh you know it will be!) 3D tech that's going to be main attraction. 10 more days! I'm sooooooo pumped! And really, don't be too suprised if Nintendo pumping the 3DS with some unexpected awesome graphical horse power, after all they've been making a killing with the Wii and DS sales wise. Now they're going to come out full force and not only deliver amazing innovation, but amazing graphics that will be sure to wow us all



Burny said:

Nintendo have been morons when it came to adapting technical innovations before (N64 cartridges vs. CDs, decent online system for the Wii/DS). But I cannot believe, that their system designers are THAT idiotic. The PSP has shown that a disc based portable device has... "issues", whereas the DS cartridges were quite successful. Also, by now the storage capacity of flashcards exceeds that of any mini disc by far.
The saying might go: "two steps forward and one backward", but I don't fear that Nintendo might take it THAT literally.

If these are autostereoscopic displays, which they have to be (no glasses, remember?), there's no need for 120 Hz.



jangonov said:

@eripmav it does not need to be at 120hz to do it. That is for shutter glasses with an HD tv, and the necessary 120hz for that is only so the shutter glasses don't cut the quality in half by only seeing half of it (making it look choppy at 30, where as 60 is fine) Paralax technology, the most likely way they are to pull it off, does not work like that, since it has no glasses. They can't make it into big screens because your peripheral vision would distort large screens using it, but on a small screen (4" or so) it works fine.



Spoony_Tech said:

Maybe this is the rumored wii hd we keep hearing about. Would be nice if it hooks up to your tv to and plays wii games.



Monkeh said:

This is just utter BS, eventhough I wish it was true, it could only actually be true if the 3DS costs like €1000,-



warioswoods said:

With this much hype over the still-mysterious device, I'd hate to be Nintendo going into E3. It will be almost impossible not to disappoint.



aaronsullivan said:

Look, I love the Wii and all, but putting something as powerful as a Wii in a small device is pretty doable, now. It's graphics capability is about a decade old, now, if you count it as mostly similar to the Gamecube.

I suspect they are going with industry standard shaders maybe? And that makes it easier for games to take advantage of for third parties vs. the Wii which has an usual shader solution. This way the games could look better than Wii even if polygon count can't quite match and vram is lower.

The speculation about a new console is pretty funny, because, you know, it's going to happen in a year or two no matter what. You almost can't be wrong. Of course, if Nintendo goes by previous handheld plans, it will want the core graphics and processor hardware in the 3DS to last 5+ years, so there will the disparity in power can go on for a year or year and a half. (3DS isn't releasing next week after all.)



Egg_miester said:

oh god what a lie how can you guys post this even as a rumour it a waist of time to read and post



Nintenzo said:

I will most certainly buy one once my DSi "bites the dust."

Not that it will happen in the next 2-3 years or so. Sorry, 3DS. You'll just have to wait.

I really hope Nintendo puts a GameBoy slot in it ( with Z-80 processor, of course ). Who cares if it would be a little thicker? At least a 3DS Virtual Console, Nintendo.



skywake said:

@Burny yup, very damn stupid. I highly doubt they will go the disk route but for some unknown reason there are people still "hoping" for it. So to counter them I really hope, even though its unlikely they will disappoint me, that they don't.

People seem to think bigger disks = faster machines and no disk = slow which is stupid because, well, its stupid. So I have the same hope for home consoles, I really hope that they eventually reverse the N64/PS thing and dump optical disks again. I have the same hope for cars and combustion engines but... that's another story (oh combustion, how little your torque is at low RPMs)



ReZon said:

Definitely looking forward to seeing what the 3DS can do. Hopefully Nintendo can make this happen and still maintain a decent price and good battery life.

I'm not sure why people are surprised that it could be more powerful than the Wii. The Wii has some pretty games, but graphically... it's not that spectacular.



ZarroTsu said:

The only problem is it's shaped like Dick Cheney's head, and has a built-in leather cover.



ReifuTD said:

wow, if graphic are so good it would be cool to have the abilty to plug it into your TV and take it on the go.



WaveGhoul said:

Anyways, if the graphics are GCN-like which they should at least be,than I'm still just as excited regardless. After all, I'm all about the 3D!
But really, chances are it will be more powerful than the'll see!



pixelman said:

I'm skeptical of it being so powerful, and even if it is then the price will be through the roof. On top of that the battery life would be terrible.

Still, I can't wait to see it at E3!



Megumi said:

Yeah...saw this and highly doubt that's true, lol. Well, if it is then, awesome. Then again I don't care either way, like everyone else has said it will most likely have GameCube-like graphics.
@Pixel: Not to mention, that's not Nintendo, lol. They like to have their, or whatever. (couldn't think of the word, lol)
@Aviator: ...Erm, what other 3D are you expecting? o_0



Xkhaoz said:

Wow, me is more excited. But how much will it cost with that extra power?



Objection said:

As the new handheld, I'm excited. But I could care less about all this 3D. Seems like a fad, hopefully one that will die off soon.



Token_Girl said:

I don't see why it couldn't be more powerful than the Wii at least (not so sure about actually rivaling the umph of the HD twins though). The iTouch has more processing power than the Wii, from my understanding, and an 8GB model is only $200.



WaveGhoul said:

Well it should be more powerful than the Wii....Since it's going to be the handheld that's sits next to the even more powerful Wii2.



pikku said:

id be happy if it were stilll GCN lvl graphics, tbh, but this is awesome!



Iggy said:

The 3ds will have gamecube like graphics and the systeam after that will have wii like graphics. I think ign has a time machine and went a little to far.



Terra said:

I'm finding this rather hard to believe, frankly. It would be absolutely fantastic if this is true but I'm doubting it,, I'm thinking that it's power will be somewhere between that of the GC and Wii.



AVahne said:

@ Faron
The DS is actually more powerful than the N64, it's about the same power as a PS1.
That said, I'm thinking the 3DS will surprise people in many ways!



nothankyou said:

I could write a 200 page essay on how awesome that is, but in short, E3 can't come soon enough.



Burny said:

Don't hold your breath for cartridges in home consoles anytime soon. In those systems there is no problem with disc drives as they're stationary and disc mediums should be much cheaper to produce than cartridges. On handhelds its just that a disc drive requires a lot of space and drains the battery's power much faster than a reader for flash memory.

I wouldn't be surprised however, if physical mediums disappeared entirely within a few generations of console systems or became optional (think Steam). No medium at all seems to be coming into fashion and I'll admit it's quite convinient. I like my game boxes, though and for once I wouldn't complain if Nintendo was a generation or two behind the times.



GammaGames said:

i hope they remake Wind Waker for 3DS! And, a solar panel would be cool, it would make it easier to charge (and a plug in for a wall charger too)



Adam said:

More powerful than the Wii is perfectly understandable. I don't see why it shouldn't be. But to rival the PS3, yea, right.



Dodger said:

Forget the 3DS (until I see it, at least) I want that gamecube thing in the picture!



WolfRamHeart said:

If the 3DS ends up being less powerful than the Wii then I will be disappointed. I really hope that Nintendo can pull this thing off.



ToastyYogurt said:

Sounds impossible. There's a reason the Wii is a tiny little box while the 360 and PS3 could fit about 6 Wiis each inside (Probably 3-4 for the PS3Slim), that is, the consoles have so much power packed in that they have to be pretty large. As technology advances, though, once-big machines can become very small (In fact, Sony proves that by making a "slim" model later in all of their consoles' lifespans), so if this rumor is true, I would very much like it.



Radixxs said:

If the PS3 is already $300 bucks, and it's a home console, the 3DS would have to cost considerably more to have the graphical power of the PS3. To be honest, I don't really care about the graphics. I just want to see this thing and the new ideas the 3D aspect will bring.



MasterGraveheart said:

If the 3DS has power on par with the HD clunkers and can put it in a respectable-sized handheld, then the rest of the video game market is in trouble. Apple, you SURE you wanna get involved in this? =P



That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

Ha hah would actually be kind of embarrasing if the Wii was out-speced by Nintendo´s handheld! But ok, Wii is kind of old now.



TheBaconator said:

You have to remember that the 360's graphics are 5 year old technology so I wouldn't be surprised.



lakersfanmartin said:

if this is what the 3ds will look like (which i doubt it) than this would be the best hand held system of all time. & once again games like POKE'MON would remain the best.



Slapshot said:

The most far fetcthed title Ive seen on this site yet. This is stuff that can make a site look uncredible! The dang thing would cost like $400 USD prob if it could rival the HD systems and the PSP has proved people arent going to pay it!



Radixxs said:

You could fit everything we currently know about the 3DS into a flea's rucksack, so when tantalising rumours come along it's our duty to report them, even when they seem too good to be true.



Corbs said:

This is merely a rumor and has been reported as such, therefore credibility is not an issue with this. IGN reported this and we merely caught this morsel and put up a news item to get people talking. We'll know what the damn thing can do in about 9 days, so until then, we're gonna have some fun with it.



dangermouseuk78 said:

Be good if the pulled out something special for the new console altho id wouldnt get it till later in life as wait for all the revisions make it smaller etc. Nice pic looks cool however i thought it was gonna be a new dual screen affair.



Slapshot said:

Im sure it will rival Wii, hope so too. Heck I love my Wii, and a portable to trump it will be awesome. Looking forward to E3, just think the title was way far fetched but you know it was just my opinion.



Corbs said:

Everything at this point is pure speculation. And it's alright to post your opinion. That's what these comments are for. I'm as excited as anyone to find out exactly what this thing can do at E3, and we don't have to wait much longer.



RallyFTW said:

If you could trade in your DSi + 50 dollars to get the 3DS, I am going to tell you.....................

I would die.

(Not literally..........)

How do you do that small letters thing?



Link-Hero said:

Not surprising. Technology is getting smaller, cheaper, and more powerful at a tremendous rate. Most video game consoles use 5 years old or so technology so it doesn't raise the cost of the system. The ONLY reason why Nintendo went with the specs of the Wii was because it was a risk. So even though it failed, it won't be too much of a burden for them, but that never happened. Nintendo is not as cautious about putting in more money into their handhelds/consoles anymore.

If this rumor is true, Nintendo is not going to risk in releasing a +$300 handheld to the public. Nintendo is about making affordable systems that just about anyone can buy without much of a problem, and if they don't follow that, then they will lose buyers. Since Nintendo is a business, of course they will find a way to get more buyers. I think the 3DS will be no more than ~$250.



BulbasaurusRex said:

I'm from Missouri, the Show-Me State, so I'm taking this with a healthy grain of salt until you guys go to E3 and "show me" some real info on this thing.



KrazyKain said:

hey... I wonder if the 3ds will be using that unlimited detail technology.... that would explain the claims



Vinsanity said:

Impossible. Nintendo's a very...."careful with their money" kinda company (cough* CHEAP *cough). Not to mention it would be embarassing if their handheld outperformed their home console.

Of course, judging by how badly they advertised the wii and its library of games this generation, maybe they'd just exit the home console space if this turned out to be true? Even though, of course, it won't be. This thing will be about as powerful as a PS2 or Gamecube.

This rumor is garbage.



zionich said:

Just remember the more power they put into it, the more its going to cost. I wouldnt say there cheap, they just choose to stay affordable so it appeals to there target crowd.



Corbs said:

At the very least it will be fun on the 15th when we find out what it can do and then look back at these comments.



miketh2005 said:





mjc0961 said:


Aaaaand that's as far as I needed to read to know that this rumor is BS. IGN, people. They make stuff up and/or knowingly report false things all the time. Why would anyone ever listen to them?



M00se said:

lol, more powerful than the wii???? maybe like gamecube but definately not more than wii. LOLOL



JimLad said:

However powerful it is, I hope it doesn't change the amount of variety we currently see from DS developers. It's a platform where 2D and 3D games coexist very easily, and that's how all systems should be in a perfect world.



theblackdragon said:

@ALK: Nintendo has traditionally operated on a principle of using cheap, common technology and putting it to new use in their handhelds, so who knows how much all that power (provided the rumor is true) will actually cost the consumer. :3



Hardy83 said:

I'll remain skeptical. I find it hard to believe the 3DS is as powerful as the 360 or PS3. If it is, I think the battery would take a huge hit, unless Nintendo plans for this thing to be like the DSiXL and be a household device.

I would believe Gamecube graphics more than this rumour.



Wamtu said:

Rumor starting guy:The 3DS will rival the PS3 and the 360 in power. Can you believe it? The PS3 and the 360!

Other guy: I find that very hard to believe.

Rumor guy: How 'bout the Gamecube?

Other guy: Hmm...well...

Rumor guy: How 'bout a Pong machine?



Corbs said:

I'm shocked as hell we haven't seen any "Well if it's as powerful as the Xbox 360, no one will be able to hold it when it overheats!" stuff yet.



mecoy said:

Well if it's as powerful as the Xbox 360, no one will be able to hold it when it overheats!



Slapshot said:

@Corbie.... you know there has been studies/surveys that came out last year that showed that Nintendo fans have a tendency to gravitate to Sony for HD gaming. (To Nintendo Fanboys: That means not abandoning Nintendo but also owning Sonys PSP/PS3 )

I think there is some truth in that little statement there Corb, even though I dont think you meant it that way. I think its just that Microsoft is more of a American style of gaming and Nintendo/Sony have much more Japanese stlye/culture infused into the gameplay maybe.



SullKid said:

@slapshot82 Well, that's why I've got X360 with Wii and DS. To compensate the Japanese stuff with American/European
And yes, this rumour is blueberries.



YoshiSage said:

As much as I'd love to believe this, it's a rumor. (Oops, I'm sorry, I suppose that's "rumour" because this is a European-originated website.) Therefore, it is most likely bull ****. EDIT: Oh, come on... "bull crap" is not a curse word. Seriously.



Anotheralex_x said:

I for one have a PS3, Wii, and Dsi.

Both my home systems provide equal entertainment value in different ways.

I don't think the 3DS will be as powerful as the 360 or PS3, but I believe it could have graphics similiar to the Wii. Remember people this is a whole new device, we need to stop looking at the old technology that we've grown so fond of and try something new.



WaveGhoul said:

That's exactly why I own a PS3, I'm all about the japanese culture baby.
None of this Xbox american rubbish



Token_Girl said:

@Corbie and Slappy

Well, Nintendo console owners are accustomed to a standard of reliability from their machines, which is probably why the Xbox isn't so popular with them.



miketh2005 said:

@Hardy83 wth are you talking about? household device? If retards don't keep the screen brightness at 5, it will last long. I went on a trip and it lasted on me until I fell asleep. And ninty sells car chargers for cheap, what was it $5? Unless you are gonna be sitting doing nothing in someplace with no outlet, the battery life is good enough.

@Klapaucius Who even says tamato now-a-days? LOL, my spell checker tried to spell check tamato xD



mushroomer said:

I can not believe that the 3DS has not leaked yet. So many dev's supposedly have it and to not spill ? how can this be?



RyuZebian said:

Aww... Tegra2 would have been awesome! This better be better Nintendo! And I've been expecting something on the wii level from the start anyway!



Luigison said:

Doesn't the Wii have a ~729 MHz processor? Don't most cell phones today have 800 MHz to 1GHz processors? And doesn't Nintendo have a history of using existing technologies? If the answer to all of the above is yes, I don't see why the 3DS beating Wii would be much of a surprise. Also consider that computer power and technology in general are progressing at an exponential rate.



Legerdemain said:

I Have Said That Thing About The Chipset NOT Being Tegra (2) For a Year Now But Nobody Wanted To Believe Me...
Also..... "If the 3DS really is meant to be on-par with HD home consoles in terms of graphical capabilities"... They NEVER said that in the first place. What was said is that "it has >>>processing<<<<< capabilities that far exceed the Nintendo Wii and bring the device with abilities that are close to HD consoles such as PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360." PROCESSING CAPABILITIES not Graphical.... no offense but you shouldnt get peoples hopes up for nothing like that



Legerdemain said:

@Luigison: That's an inane statement to make
1. We (people who actually know stuff) know already that the 455MHz CPU of the Gamecube was an Efficiency Beast
2. Taking that into Consideration, and also the fact that the Wii CPU is of the same Framework but at more 700MHz we can rightly conclude that it overtakes any "normal" Processor at 800 -960MHz
3. Am I to Believe that you are actually trying to compare Mobile phone Processors to a dedicated gaming Chipset?? Nonsense. The only efficient enough processors for mobile phones out there are the Cortex and the A5 (coming in 2011) and the Snapdragon (MS 800 and over) and most of them are severely underclocked on their systems (see all Iphone models)



ldelvalle said:

i didnt read the other comments so.... is this basically a NGC portable?

is it capable of playing original nintendo gamecube discs? persay RE4?
if so... that kicks



StarDust4Ever said:

A 3D widescreen remake of Mario Sunshine would be great, seeing as how in the past, handhelds have rivaled former consoles.

Game Boy color = (NES) Super Mario Deluxe
Game Boy Advance = (SNES) Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World
DS = (N64) Super Mario 64x4
DSi = (N64 with expansion pak)
3DS = (GameCube + 3D) Sunshine remake???

R.I.P. Virtual Boy

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