News Article

3D Won't Be a "Key Feature" of Future Nintendo Consoles

Posted by Mike Mason

Taking a backseat

Nintendo global president Satoru Iwata has revealed that stereoscopic 3D will play a role in future systems — but it won't be one of the "key features".

Speaking to The Independent, Iwata insisted that Nintendo remains enthusiastic about 3D, but also acknowledged that some people tire of the effect's novelty quickly. As such, stereoscopic displays won't be the core focus for future Nintendo consoles; 3D might still be included, but as a "minor element" rather than a headline feature.

[...] We’ve created the 3DS and 3DS XL and also have some games out there that are really using that 3D effect that we can see, from my point of view, that it’s an important element. But, as human beings are, this kind of surprise effect wears off quickly, and just [having] this 3D stereoscopic effect isn’t going to keep people excited.

But I think it’s an important element, it makes graphics more impactful, it proves a sense of immersion that 2D doesn’t have, so I would say generally that 3D is better than 2D. It’s nice to have good graphics but not necessarily on their own, so I don’t think we’ll present [3D graphics] as one of the key features of our consoles but will probably stick with 3D as one of the minor elements of our consoles in the future.

Iwata also enjoyed one of his patented laughs at the expense of Nintendo's previous stab at 3D, the ill-fated Virtual Boy.

In terms of videogames, 3D has been a topic for a long time. I don’t know if you remember the Virtual Boy? (laughs)

Do you still use the 3D effect on your 3DS?


From the web

User Comments (78)



Undead_terror said:

but even though,I would like for some future games like a new zelda on the 3ds to have puzzels where you do need the 3d effect like in the ds zeldas where you needed the mic and touch screen for certain things.
And I use the 3d for vids and some gameplay.



MetroidMasher17 said:

I love my Virtual Boy.

But, off topic. I use the effect only when cutscenes appear in games like KI:U and OoT. Any more usage generally kills my battery far too quickly.



JustAnotherUser said:

I always have the 3D on my 3DS turned on.
If I don't have it on everything just looks squashed and cluttered.



JettiBlue said:

I ALWAYS have the 3D turned on to MAX... I never wanna go back to 2D. I'm really glad that I dont get headaches or dizziness from it, as I think games look so much better in 3D



Samholy said:

i use 3d with minor usage too. i find it already more of a minor bonus rather than a main goal.
its great, but generally i put it off. cause the angle of view and stability are essential and where i commonly play, in the bus, view angle and stability are issues.

BUT i must say its superb, it really adds a huge immersion and makes some title look better than some ps3 games, like kid icarus or mario. im sure they will improve the technology to resolve these things, and the next generation of nintendo handheld is an instant buy for me, even at my age hahaha (im...30 y.o. )



Millenia said:

I always play with 3D as well, but I have to admit it's not as amazing to me as it once was. I get where they're coming from.



SonyFACE said:

I always keep the 3D on max. If Nintendo's next handheld wasn't 3D, I'd be ticked.



FonistofCruxis said:

I almost always have 3D on max. I only don't if I'm playing a DS or DSiware game or if the game I'm playing has bad 3D.



AcesHigh said:

Seriously, I can't think of a company who is more in touch with its consumers than Nintendo. They are consistently trying new things that Sony or Microsoft would never try and they're getting it RIGHT. And they are not pushing the new ideas down every developers' throat - similar to Sony and the PS1 in '95 - anyone remember the montra Sony had? NO 2D GAMES - must be all ugly @$$ 3D polygons! Yeah, they were ugly compared to 16-bit era colorful hand-drawn sprites. Sorry - never ever bought into the polygonal hype back then. Nintendo with it's 3DS and even WII U are not mandating that all developers take 100% advantage of the Wii U's touch screen, for example. Some games will make more use of it. And some games won't. Som games will instead use then new gamepad controller. And nintendo are OK with it! This is why nintendo will trounce the Sonys and Microsofts this next gen - they just don't care what's "cool". They care about what makes a good game. And then know how to do it. Period. There has never been a better time to be a Nintendo fan than now!



Marioman64 said:

always have the 3D full blast. makes platformers and racers a tad easier to judge distance, and it's beautiful to look in (that's right, IN, not AT, I keep seeing my 3DS screen as a window into the game rather than a screen)
also I've proven the 3D helps in platformers, because after a few days of playing Mario 3D land non-stop I tried to play Mario Galaxy again and foudn myself mis-judging distances for a few minutes while my brain adjusted to 2D. it was funny



AcesHigh said:

BTW, I always play with 3D all the way up. Only until the harry boss parts that require too much precision where 3D viewing angles start to break down (due to the intensity of moving the screen around too much). Hopefully 3DS XL will help remedy this at least a bit?



iphys said:

I have the 3D cranked up on my 3DS 99.9% of the time, and I'm not really excited about returning to 2D gaming on the Wii U. I'll probably be doing most of my gaming on the 3DS XL rather than the Wii U, because going back to 2D just seems so inferior.



SteveW said:

I usually just leave it off these days, most games don't make proper use of the 3D effect anyway.



NintyMan said:

I always play my 3DS with the 3D on max. It's become a habit now. I see it as a window into the game rather than a screen where stuff pops out at me.

But Iwata has a point; the surprise of 3D wears off as you get used to it, just as the surprise of anything wears off over time. That doesn't mean that there won't be 3D in future Nintendo handhelds and consoles. The next handheld should still have 3D, but Nintendo's not going to brag about it. By then, 3D will become the norm.



SanderEvers said:

I actually have the 3D effect always of, as of a fact that I can't see it at all, this doesn't concern me in any way. I'm fine with consoles having 3D screens, as long as I can chose to turn it on or off. Not like when I go to the movies where I have to pay extra to see something I just can't see. As the amount of 2D movies in cinema's is on a way down.

I love my 3DS and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.



Haywired said:

"They are consistently trying new things that Sony or Microsoft would never try"
What, 3D?
Motion controls? (pre-Wii Sony motion controls)
Just trying to think what these things are. You can't possibly think that Sony, a company that makes among other things TVs, games consoles and movies "would never try" 3D. Well, they would, in fact, they have! And before the 3DS! (I know for some fans things aren't allowed to exist until Nintendo "innovates" them and then history is re-written accordingly)

"This is why nintendo will trounce the Sonys and Microsofts this next gen - they just don't care what's "cool"." Then how come they jumped on the 3D bandwagon with the 3DS and the tablet bandwagon with Wii U if they don't care what's cool?



CommanderAudio said:

Although it blew peoples minds at the 3DS launch, the spellbinding magic of the 3D effect soon wore off. So, in my opinion, it'll be a wise decision for Nintendo in the long run



Phle said:

I always keep my 3D function at max on my 3DS, I really love 3D effects and I don't have any problems related to it at all. Only turn it off when anyone other than me is watching the screen as well.



PuzzleMaster7 said:

The majority of the time I'm playing, I leave the 3D on max. However, it's still not the greatest effect unless you're playing games such as Kid Icarus Uprising. To me, the 3D was a great feature, but it can only last so long until it becomes worn out and is a last gen element. It just makes you wonder, "What will they come up with next?"



MasterGraveheart said:

I've usually got the 3D set to all different sizes, primarily at the max setting... but I DO find instances where 2D works best... RARE instances.



idork99 said:

I, too, always keep the 3D on. But I can't help but think that the majority of 3DS owners only use the 3D during cut scenes as mentioned above. This leads me to conclude that if one does not have 20/20 vision then one does not use it all the time. The reason that people leave it off is because it strains the hell out of their eyes if left on for long periods of time from what I hear. Thank goodness I have 20/20 vision so my vision never gets tired of looking into the gorgeous 3D window



Lalivero said:

I've gotten really used to the 3D and how much it adds to gameplay. I try to have it on as much as possible; If only the battery could work out a better deal with it, haha.



cfgk24 said:

I love the 3d!!!!! please dont't take it away!!!!
Resident Evil Revelations is gorgoeus in 3d
Heroes of Ruin is Gorgeous in 3d
Cave story gorgeous in 3d
Rayman Origins - Gorgeous in 3d
THeatrythm Final Fantasy - well - gorgeous and has to be played in 3d so you can follow the triggers whilst the characters bash away in the background!
It's All Good!!



sillygostly said:

I'm actually really disappointed that the Wii U won't be displaying 3D graphics on 3D TVs (I wouldn't expect or want all games to have this feature, but developers should at least be given the option). I don't care if the Wii U has graphical capabilities that are only marginally superior to the PS3 and Xbox 360. The Wii U should at least have enough horsepower to display ALL games at 1080p and in 3D whilst streaming content to up to two tablet controllers. That alone would put it ahead of the current gen systems as far as raw processing power is concerned.

3D TVs are all over the marketplace right now and are quite affordable, however, we are starved of any compelling 3D content. The only people who would presently benefit from having a 3D TV are PS3 owners, and to a lesser extent, 3D Blu-ray viewers (and most commercially released 3D films right now are Hollywood crap, IMAX docos and/or post-converted as opposed to natively shot 3D films).



photofool83 said:

I love the 3D when it's done right. Some of the third party games have been very subpar and actually are the only times I've experienced eye fatigue or headaches. I think once companies become accustomed to it or don't just try to rake in some undeserved cash it can be absolutely beautiful and offer a deeper level of gameplay. Super Mario 3D Land, Mighty Switch Force, Mutant Mudds, Kid Icarus Uprising, Mario Kart 7, Pushmo, and Starfox 64 are excellent examples of this. Keep the great 3D games coming and if you're not willing to put in the effort to make it good then leave it out.



Haywired said:

I think the 3D is pretty neat. Generally I can take or leave it though and I do find it slightly annoying when it goes out of whack from the slightest movement. But it certainly is an impressive effect. Though the people who say: "I can never go back to 2D!" Yeah, sure...

I agree with him that it shouldn't be a key feature of future consoles and I still think it was silly to name the console "3DS". I think they got so carried away with the coolness and convenience of the name that they didn't stop to think whether it was wise to define a console so explicity by one feature like an albatross around its neck, especially when it quickly became clear that the public weren't particularly interested in the feature.



Aqueous said:

I only use 3D sometimes, mostly just when I get something new to see the 3D effect on it



Neram said:

I don't use 3D anymore because it makes me nauseous, but I do think it makes games look better and gives that extra sense of immersion there's no doubt about that. I just wish it was more comfortable on the eyes and didn't go all wonky when you moved it around, perhaps the option for glasses 3D might have solved that? I don't know.



mamp said:

So he FINALLY realized that 3D was a gimmick and it really does not do anything to improve your gameplay experience. Now the Wii U has a more revolutionary experience.



TeeJay said:

I have the Nyko Battery Pak+ and a car charger to get some charge in between locations, so I have the 3D effect on all the time.



Henmii said:

Lol! Of course Nintendo won't drop the 3D, but face it: Nintendo hopped on the 3D bandwagon because they hoped it would be a gigantic succes! But the truth is only a few people buy a 3DS mainly because of the 3D!

3D didn't hit as hard as industrial people would have liked! The only reason why people still go to 3D movies is because they have no other choice! Well, at least in Holland anyway. Here all normal movies have gone!

As for me: I do like my 3D effect, but it's not a must for me!



kyuubikid213 said:

I use my 3D perhaps...50% of the time. I love it and it really makes games feel more immersive, but it drains the battery and with a short battery life, I usually keep it down. If it had the 16 hour battery life of DS Lite, then 3D would be on FOREVER!! I just hope that 3D will be on all future Nintendo Handheld Consoles, but instead of being the ENTIRE middle layer of the cake, it's just the icing on top.



motang said:

Good, while I like on my 3DS, I only use it one certain games. It does not need to be key feature, but an option.



JohnPhilipSousa said:

I expect the next one to have roughly the power of PS Vita and keep the 3D. I hope the 3D remains an option for all future Nintendo handhelds.



ouroborous said:

Good lord yes I use the 3D as much as possible!! The effect hasn't worn off for me at all, I CRAVE IT. That being said, if you don't like it, you can always turn it off, but please oh please don't take it away!
Granted the games technically look pretty great without the 3D effect, but it always makes everything better. And there are a few times in certain games where it makes more sense to turn it off momentarily (like aiming your slingshot in Zelda OOT using the gyro controls). If anything, it would just be great if they could increase the viewing area of the 3D effect so that moments like that wouldnt matter as much and gyroscopic controls AND stereoscopic visuals could be used at the same time. Also, it would be great if someome checking out what you are playing could see the game more easily, I usually just turn the 3D off for that but it would be nice if it werent so blurry from anywhere but dead-center view.



Sam_Loser2 said:

I love the 3D effect! OoT 3D had the best 3D I've ever seen. Not over the top, but perfect in an effort to enhance the graphics. More obvious uses are cool to a point as well, they just come off as unprofessional. I am disappointed in many 3D effects being practicably non-existent. But I have hope it will improve with practice.



sinalefa said:

Actually I feel like Iwata. I like it that it is there, but I won't lose sleep if it is missing. I do love that you don't need special glasses to enjoy it too.



sc100 said:

I love the 3D effect, especially in Ocarina of Time 3D and Pilotwings Resort. To me, it really offers a brand-new gameplay experience if it's done right, something that makes it seem more like you're really there. Some parts of Super Mario 3D Land also had great 3D moments.



UnseatingKDawg said:

Mine's always cranked to the max, unless I'm on a moving vehicle. It did take about a day to adjust, yes, but now it just looks weird without it.



kyuubikid213 said:

They should keep the 3D slider for a while because of backwards compatibility. I know that 3DS games don't NEED 3D, but having it as an option would be nice.



Supereor said:

I remember back when 3D was new thang, eyeverybuddy eyenjoyed the depth in OoT. Shame I never played it.



y2josh said:

I'm a 3D off kinda guy. I thought I was in the majority, but you people have surprised me.



CoreyCannabis said:

I totes dig the 3D. Loves it even?
They'll need it for backwards compatibility next handheld gen.
Assuming they have BC.



Sockymon said:

I love the 3D and always have it turned up full. I guess it's a but like Marmite...



Emaan said:

Interesting, since I've been wondering about this for quite some time now. Specifically, what comes after the 3DS. I'm guessing Nintendo will still support the 3D for backwards compatibility but have some other feature take the spotlight. That's what Iwata seems to be saying anyway.



grumblegrumble said:

Since upgrading to my 3DS as an early adopter (and selling my DSi) I can't imagine a gaming world without it. My 3DS is my primary gaming system. The only other gaming system I play with is my old Atari 7200



Dipso said:

I think alot of people that see 3d as an effect to realize enough how 3d helps the mind understand shape, distance and spatial relations of objects, it can really add to the feel and gameplay of games, letting the mind make more accurate judgement calls.



Araknie said:

Always 3D turned on, but just becuase i've bought the console D1 and i want to make that money worth.



SilentHunter382 said:


Same here. I don't get headaces or dizziness but it hurts my eyes after a while. That is one of the things I love about the 3ds is that the 3d is an option that you can turn off with ease.



MeloMan said:

Just do me a favor, "hide" 3D capability in the Wii U like you did with the Gamecube, nice and "minorly", and we're golden



MysticX said:

I only occasionally use 3D, i have a lazy eye, so getting both eyes to coordinate enough for long is a pretty big strain (Can't get my eyes to play nicely at all when i'm tired), the games are still fun even in "mere" 2D, anyway



Joygame51 said:

If I get a 3DSXL I might try the 3d thing out on the largers screen but on the original screen it gives me bad side effects ... eye strain and fuzzy vision to say the least and nausia some times as well....



StarDust4Ever said:

I sure hope they bring Virtual Boy to 3DS VC. That said, I usually set the 3D slider to about the halfway position. Turning it up to full gives me headaches with prolonged play, the halfway position does not. It also depends on what game I'm playing or simply mood as to whether I activate it or not. I probably use it 50% of the time, but I find it unnecessary if I'm just looking at menus and such.

Even if the successor DS doesn't include a stereoscopic screen, it should still be possible to play DS and 3DS games on it, but it would be as though the 3D slider is turned off. That said, if Nintendo decides to retire the "DS" platform and remove the second screen, it would kill compatibility. My guess it will probably be around 2015 before a new platform rolls out. Remember, the game boy platform lasted over 15 years and spanned 3 systems!!! DS series is still going strong...



FJOJR said:

Some games use the 3D well, others don't. At this point they can't take it out, it will be a standard feature is all. I believe the Wii U should take a stab at it too but as an option for developers.



AlphaUmbreon said:

Ouch, I like the effect of 3D, almost like it's some sort of drug, but after about ten minutes I get headaches.

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...