According to a press release on Nintendo’s Japanese site, the company has just announced a successor to their Nintendo DS handheld, which has sold over 125 million units in the nearly six years of its lifespan. The new system, tentatively called the “Nintendo 3DS,” will be a … wait for it … a 3-D DS!
The release specifically points out that with the new 3DS, “games can be enjoyed with 3D [sic] effects without the need for any special glasses,” quite an exciting prospect considering the present ubiquity of polarized glasses in the 3-D media landscape. Additionally, even though the 3DS is set to “succeed ‘Nintendo DS series’ [sic]” (it’s not a simple hardware revision like the DS Lite or DSi), the handheld will be able to play games from the Nintendo DS and DSi, though Gameboy Advance backwards compatibility (not mentioned in the press release) is almost certainly out of the question.
There has been some talk lately of evolving 3-D technology to not require those silly glasses, and the spurious spectacles are still a roadblock for many consumers (myself included) who remain hesitant to embrace 3-D technology. Whatever Nintendo uses in the 3DS has the potential to cause a paradigm shift in the way that 3-D is used in and outside games, much like the Wii has done to motion control in the gaming sphere. (Then again, it also has the potential to be really gimmicky. Again, like the Wii.) Nintendo is set to provide details about the handheld at E3 in Los Angeles this June.