At this year’s E3, Nintendo revealed new details about the Nintendo 3DS, the true “sequel” if you will, to the original lineup of Nintendo DS handhelds. While we already knew that the handheld would allow you to play games in 3D or in 2D, many other details were held back until now.
First and foremost is the change in the overall design of the unit. The top screen is now a 3.5 inch widescreen, while the touch screen remains smaller. The 3D depth slider is located to the right of the top screen, and allows you to change the degree of 3D presentation you see – going from full 3D, to full 2D, with a broad gray area in between, letting players customize their experience.
The touch screen has also been upgraded, and now offers a decreased level of transparency, which would help to minimize the visual interference brought on by fingerprints, etc.
The 3DS contains a slide pad (can be thought of as a very shallow joystick) at the left of the unit, a motion sensor and a gyroscope, allowing for the unit to track your movements. There are two camera lenses on the outside of the unit, which will allow you to take pictures in full 3D as well, and then interact with them later.
The 3DS is capable of displaying 3D films, just like those you’d see in the movie theater, and it deserves restating that you’ll be able to do all of this without the use of 3D glasses.
The unit contains built in Wi-Fi that automatically communicates with other 3DS handhelds near your location without you even knowing it, and also allows for internet browsing. Furthermore, unlike in the past, where two connected DS handhelds needed to be playing the same game in order to stay connected, now there is no loss of the communication link between games – that is, I could be playing one game, while a friend plays another, and we could remain connected via Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi also automatically updates your system with new game stats, quests, ghost data and so on, depending on what’s applicable to the games you’re playing. If you are playing a racing game, the system will automatically download ghosts on particular tracks for you to compete against, as an example. Wi-Fi comes with no monthly fee.
As of this writing, exact details concerning the release date and price of the 3DS are unknown, but we’ll be sure to bring you continued coverage on Nintendo’s leap into the third dimension as further details become available.