Nintendo’s 3DS: What You Need to Know

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Nintendo rolled out some spiffy Wii games at their 12:00pm EDT E3 presentation, but let’s face it: The big event was the 3DS. Nintendo did not disappoint: While we’ll give Sony their chance to wow us at 3:00, I don’t think it would be rash to say that there’s a good chance this will be the thing that everyone talks about post-E3.

Though Nintendo hasn’t given us a price or a release date for the 3DS, it did give us lots of information on what the new 3D handheld system that will change your life will be all about. Geekosystem breaks it down:

The 3D

As the name suggests, 3D is a central part of the 3DS experience. As has been previously reported, the 3DS is a glasses-free experience: Glasses-free 3D tech has actually been around for a while, but whereas it would be prohibitively expensive on a TV-sized screen, it could probably be produced relatively inexpensively for a handheld device like the 3DS. (I write “probably” because, again, pricing info hasn’t been announced, but Nintendo is usually not a company for costly hardware compared to its competitors.)

As the above picture shows, there are 2 screens on the 3DS, similar to the DS: The top screen is a 3.5″ 3D display, and the bottom screen is a touchscreen. You can control 3D depth with a slider on the side of the handheld. Nintendo also said there have been graphics improvements in the 3DS: It didn’t spec them, but they looked pretty spiffy in the demos, even Wii-like.

3DS as a 3D camera, 3D media player

But that’s not all: While 3D gaming applications are a given, the 3DS also allows you to take 3D digital pictures using two cameras on its side. Moreover, this could be the first true entry-level 3D media player, albeit with a pretty small screen. You’ll be able to watch 3D movies on the 3DS: No word of a 3DS Avatar, but Nintendo mentioned How to Train Your Dragon and Legends of the Guardians as titles on display at E3.

Launch titles

Nintendo promised a solid launch slate at E3, and they delivered. Kid Icarus Uprising was the big draw (check out its newly unveiled trailer below) but there’s lots more coming. You can breathe easy: Nintendogs is finally coming in 3D.

Other titles mentioned (h/t Kotaku):

  • DJ Hero 3D
  • Kingdom Hearts 3D
  • Saints Row
  • Madden NFL
  • Dead or Alive 3D
  • Ninja Gaiden
  • Street Fighter IV
  • Riiiiidge Racer
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Professor Layton
  • Samurai Warriors.

We also know that Resident Evil is coming to the 3DS. At the risk of editorializing: This is a pretty amazing lineup.

Other things

  • There’s a motion sensor.
  • There’s a gyroscope.
  • There’s a slide pad (control stick) for “analogizing”
  • It’s WiFi accessible with no monthly fee, downloads new content on its own, and automatically detects WiFi connections and other 3DSes.

In sum

At the end of the presentation, Nintendo’s spokesman said that “something you thought you knew perfectly well will be perfectly transformed.” We’ll try to stifle our fanboyish urges towards hype here, but Nintendo had a very, very impressive presentation, and the 3DS could well transform both Nintendo and handheld gaming itself.

(title image via Kotaku)

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