Nintendo Announces Details of 3DS Game Console

Jun 16, 2010
Tadashi Nezu, Nikkei Electronics
The Nintendo 3DS
The Nintendo 3DS
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[Click to enlarge image]
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata
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The sliding switch for switching between 2D and 3D images
The sliding switch for switching between 2D and 3D images
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The slide pad allows 360-degree analog input
The slide pad allows 360-degree analog input
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With two cameras on the external surface of the upper chassis, the 3DS can shoot 3D pictures.
With two cameras on the external surface of the upper chassis, the 3DS can shoot 3D pictures.
[Click to enlarge image]
The 3D camera module developed by Sharp
The 3D camera module developed by Sharp
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The software vendors that are developing games for the 3DS
The software vendors that are developing games for the 3DS
[Click to enlarge image]

Nintendo Co Ltd announced the details of the Nintendo 3DS, a portable game console that can show 3D images viewable with the naked eye.

The announcement was made on the first day of the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which runs from June 15 to 17, 2010.

"We have been making efforts to realize a 3D mass product for a long time," said Satoru Iwata, president and CEO of Nintendo. "And the 3DS is the answer to that."

The 3DS has two LCD screens, which are embedded in the upper and lower chassis as in the case of its predecessors. The upper screen can show 3D images that can be viewed with the naked eye. Its size and pixel count are 3.53 inches and 800 x 240, respectively. When a 3D image is displayed, 400 vertical lines of pixels are used for each of the the right and left eyes.

The lower screen is touch-sensitive. Its size and pixel count are 3.02 inches and 320 x 240, respectively. The upper screen is not touch-sensitive so that the quality of 3D images is not affected by fingerprints.

On the side of the upper chassis, there is a sliding switch for switching between 2D and 3D images.

3D camera, gyro sensor

As new input devices, the 3DS comes with a "slide pad," which allows 360° analog input. For example, it is possible to change the viewpoint of a 3D image by using the slide pad.

Equipped with two cameras on the external surface of the upper chassis, the 3DS can shoot 3D pictures. And there is another camera embedded on the inner surface of the upper chassis. The resolution of the cameras is 640 x 480 pixels. Also, the 3DS has a gyro sensor and a motion sensor.

It is highly possible that the 3D LCD panel is a product of Sharp Corp, considering that the company has been providing LCD panels for the Nintendo DS/DSi (See related article). In addition, Sharp has already developed 3D camera modules for digital cameras, mobile phones, portable game consoles, etc. Therefore, Sharp might be supplying the 3D camera of the 3DS, too.

Nintendo enhanced the wireless communication function so that the 3DS, in sleep mode, can automatically exchange data with other units of the 3DS via a wireless LAN and receive data from the Internet.

When closed, the 3DS approximately measures 134 (W) x 74 (L) and 21mm (D). Its weight is about 230g. The release date and the price were not announced.

As software titles being developed for the 3DS, Nintendo announced "Kid Icarus" and "Nintendogs + Cats." And many other software vendors are developing games for the console. Also, it is possible to watch 3D movies with the 3DS, the company said.