Handheld Gaming Part 3: The Future of Nintendo and the 3DS

Wow, alright. So. Apparently I had a lot to say about the NGP. I did kinda see that coming, but I was helpless to stop it. As you can see, I’ve opted to split my final article into two. I’ve yet to talk at length about Nintendo’s impending 3DS – and that’s about to change.

Without question, 3DS carrys on Nintendo’s trend of gimmick-based systems. Dual screens, motion controls, and now 3D graphics are the hot new tech this time around. But here’s the interesting thing about Nintendo and 3D: they’ve met before. Oh yes.

This was admittedly before my time, but I’ve done ample research on the subject: Nintendo’s Virtual Boy system, released in 1995, was, in fact, the first system to feature 3D graphics. Sure, it bombed, and was phased out within a year – but it broke the ice. It’s a funny thing to consider, but in a way, the 3DS is a sort of redemption for them and their failed 3D venture.

They’ve Wanted 3D for a Long Time

Since the failure of the Virtual Boy, though, Nintendo’s experiments with 3D didn’t cease, they merely became covert. Much of this was revealed some months ago in an edition of Iwata Asks. For example, The Game Boy Advance SP was capable of displaying 3D graphics. In an excerpt from the blog: “Making three-dimensional images that can be seen by the naked eye requires a special liquid crystal, so we tested it out by putting it in the Game Boy Advance SP. But the resolution of LCD was low then, so it didn’t look that great and it never made it to being a product.”

Perhaps even more bizarrely, it seems the GameCube was capable of displaying stereoscopic 3D. According to Iwata, “The liquid crystal for it was still expensive. Simply put, Nintendo GameCube could display 3D images if you attached a special LCD, but that special liquid crystal was really expensive back then.”

Luigi’s Mansion even ran in 3D. Crazy, right? So, I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that Nintendo has waited a long time for the opportunity to pull off this 3D nonsense. The technology is finally here. Let’s hope they’re chock-full of ideas to deliver on, eh?

What does Nintendo Plan to Do with the 3DS

Honestly? I think Nintendo is fine with merely maintaining the status quo. They have a huge install base with the current DS Lite and DSi, and many of those people will buy a 3DS – if not immediately, than in time. Unlike Sony and the NGP, Nintendo doesn’t have any need to alter its gameplan. It’s not a terribly dynamic prospect, truth be told.

One thing to keep in mind is that 3D gimmicks aside, it’s high time Nintendo released a new, more advanced handheld anyway. Typically, they don’t wait this long for an upgrade – there were only three-year gaps between the GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance, and the DS. But since the release of the DS in 2004, it’s been seven years since we’ve seen a successor. And no, the DSi does not count.

So, what about it, then

Truthfully, I’d like to try out the 3DS, and see what it’s like. See if I enjoy the 3D, see if I enjoy the feel of the system. As of right now, it’s hard for me to be awfully excited for it, since I haven’t been particularly attached to Nintendo or its handheld devices or some years. It looks like more Nintendo, and that’s not a bad thing – it just doesn’t particularly excite me.

But, that being said, I haven’t written the thing off. Because there is one thing that does excite me: the prospect of an Ocarina of Time remake. Call me ridiculous, but it’s reason enough for me to consider a 3DS  purchase. Oh, and Game Boy Color and Advance games available for download? That’s pretty awesome as well. What if they remade some of those in 3D? Ooohh…

How About that Battery Life?

Oh, yeah, the battery life sucks. I mean, come on. 3-5 hours? That doesn’t sound very portable, Nintendo.

And that’s that. We’re officially running over-schedule, but Portable Gaming Week has been officially concluded. We do hope you enjoyed it.

~Riddles

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5 Responses to “Handheld Gaming Part 3: The Future of Nintendo and the 3DS”

  1. SiliconNooB says:

    “One thing to keep in mind is that 3D gimmicks aside, it’s high time Nintendo released a new, more advanced handheld anyway. Typically, they don’t wait this long for an upgrade – there were only three-year gaps between the GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance, and the DS. But since the release of the DS in 2004, it’s been seven years since we’ve seen a successor. And no, the DSi does not count.”

    The Gameboy Colour was just an update to the original Gameboy which was released in the ’80s, if you want to count that as a major hardware release, then you have to count all the various iterations of the DS, which would mean that it’s only been a couple of years since their last handheld was released.

  2. Ethos says:

    Well, you’d only have to count the DSi. Because the GBC and DSi both technically made the systems more powerful. The Lite and XL did no such thing.

  3. SiliconNooB says:

    OK, but that still messes up what Oliver was saying about hardware releases.

  4. Ethos says:

    Oh I agree! I was just clarifying.

  5. SiliconNooB says:

    Kk, it was an important distinction.

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