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Nintendo 3DS To Be Released In February/March

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the now-with-more-dimensions dept.

Nintendo 131

angry tapir writes "Nintendo's 3DS, the first portable game device with 3D graphic technology, will go on sale in Japan on Feb. 26 next year. The 3DS will cost ¥25,000 (US$298), Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's president, told a packed news conference in Chiba, Japan. It will launch in Europe, Australia and the US in March." Nintendo also detailed a number of games that will launch at or near the same time, and they said the online shop would get some improvements

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131 comments

Why Japan first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33743868)

Nintendo is a Japanese company so they release 3DS first in Japan.

Re:Why Japan first (1)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744484)

FYI: The Wii, the DS, and the DS Lite were all released in the US first.

Re:Why Japan first (1)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744498)

Err, whoops, not the DS Lite.

Re:Why Japan first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33744538)

That doesn't change the fact that Nintendo is a Japanese company.

Re:Why Japan first (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744998)

No it doesn't.

Nor does it change the fact that the Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476. Or that peanuts are technically legumes and not nuts.

But I don't get why you're bringing that up.

Re:Why Japan first (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 3 years ago | (#33747022)

The Wii was released in the US first just so it could hit shelves before the Christmas shopping season (pretty much right after Thanksgiving in the US). As this is a Spring release, there's really no reason to push it out stateside first.

Re:Why Japan first (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33747226)

No, they can release anywhere first. However the DS is stagnating more in Japan than other territories so Japan needs a new system now, the West could live with just the DS for another year and will likely keep buying the DS long after the 3DS has come out (as happened with the GBA).

gonna be pricey to (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 3 years ago | (#33743928)

How many people will drop the estimated 300$ that is being possible?

Re:gonna be pricey to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33744102)

ENGLISH, MOTHERFUCKER... DO YOU SPEAK IT?

"300$ that is being possible?" What does that even mean?

Re:gonna be pricey to (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 3 years ago | (#33745160)

ENGLISH, MOTHERFUCKER... DO YOU SPEAK IT?

"300$ that is being possible?" What does that level average?

ftfy

Re:gonna be pricey to (3, Funny)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 3 years ago | (#33745556)

BRITISH, FEMALEPARENTCOPULATOR... DO YOU SAY INFORMATIONTECHNOLOGY?

"300$ that is being possible?" What does that level average?

ftfy

ftfy^2

Re:gonna be pricey to (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33747270)

250$ is more likely since the US usually gets everything the cheapest out of all the territories. In Europe it'll probably cost 250€ and I can tell you I'm not paying that. To me it's not even worth 200€.

Not first. (3, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 3 years ago | (#33743964)

The Virtual Boy was portable.

Also a friend of mine had a game that looked like a pair of binoculars far older than the Virtual Boy. It had a passive back light, meaning it was best played outside or under a lamp. It was from the late 70's or early 80's, it was akin to an LCD game though it was 3D.

Re:Not first. (1)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744012)

Hmm... portable in the broadest sense of the term, perhaps. Can't imagine getting in a quick game of toleroboxer [virtual-boy.org] while on the bus.

Re:Not first. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744068)

You could if you had the park and ride type commutes we have in Houston, local buses, not so much. Sure it was a bit big and bulky, but at least with the thing on you wouldn't see the people staring at you like you were a weirdo.

Re:Not first. (1)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744170)

...at least with the thing on you wouldn't see the people staring at you like you were a weirdo.

...or homeland security storming the vehicle, for similar reasons ;-)

Re:Not first. (1)

Kristopeit, Mike Da. (1905342) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744076)

3D without immersion is pointless.

Re:Not first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33745776)

ur mum's face is pointless.

Re:Not first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33747288)

2D without immersion is pointless.
Color without immersion is pointless.
Sound without immersion is pointless.

Or perhaps you are just narrow-minded.

Re:Not first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33745488)

Hmm... portable in the broadest sense of the term, perhaps. Can't imagine getting in a quick game of toleroboxer [virtual-boy.org] while on the bus.

Portable != handheld

Re:Not first. (1)

Kristopeit, Mike Da. (1905342) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744044)

i came to post about virtual boy, and the lie in the headline too... i had a virtual boy... it actually came out mid-90s and was made by nintendo.

Re:Not first. (2, Interesting)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744328)

I dunno. The VB was hard to use even if you were sitting still. The little stand thing on it was a horrible idea. I'd have rather it just strapped to my head even if it needed a counter balance. I have my doubts about the 3DS. For $300 you can get an iTouch which has apps that are overall on par, or better, than most DS games, are far cheaper, and you get a lot more functionality. I'm not sure a lot of people are itching for 3D. I'm barely interested in 3D HDTV and for mobile gaming I'm not sure it even rates a curiosity - but maybe other people are different.

I think Nintendo would be better off focusing on making their consoles and games cheaper and playing to their strength with casual and active games. A Nintendo branded Android device that had access to Nintendo's existing library of games would be interesting if it was affordable enough, gave Android a Nintendoish makeover, and was otherwise non-suck.

Re:Not first. (2, Interesting)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744452)

I hate to say this, because Nintendo is awesome even if I am getting mildly annoyed at all their gimmicky stuff that is popular with the kiddies. (must be a sign of getting old)

I think Sony would be better off adopting Android than Nintendo.

Hear me out of course:

Sony tries to appeal to adults more than Nintendo does, even though Nintendo captures both and Sony is sort of floundering at the moment. I just see the whole Android interface working better for Sony, especially after using both a DSi and a PSP. Sony already makes phones through their formerly Ericson division, with Android phones available. Sony is better equipped to make a PSP/Phone hybrid than Nintendo is.

On that note I have said on more than one occasion Nintendo is stupid for not
1. Making their own phone/console hybrid
or
2. Licensing out their GBA/DS tech to phone manufactures.

Seriously, I could see HTC turning out an awesome DS Slider phone complete with a cartridge port, standard Micro SD slot, android OS merged with DSi functions. (controls and touchscreen always showing, speaker in the middle of the ABXY buttons, mic next to +, top screen slides out)

Of course Nintendo wont do that for piracy/hacking reasons, not like they aren't happening on the native platform as is, but dilution is an issue.

Sony on the other hand has nothing to lose. The PSP-3000 already has most of the requirements to meet the phone challenge, you can already make Skype calls directly on that thing, no extras needed. Make it a little more portable - it is rather large to be a mobile phone, distribute games on Pro-Duo cards (which I hate BTW), so they can work with ALL PSPS models instead of pulling a download only setup. Obviously we don't want a UMD drive on this

Of course for that to work, Sony would have to wear pants [cad-comic.com] .

Re:Not first. (1)

hardboiled.tequila (986536) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744942)

I had one of those. Stereoscopic coloured LCD (fixed red and green), oddly shaped, like a D, but tapering to a point. Very cool immersive space shooter experience, given the year.

Re:Not first. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33745306)

a game that looked like a pair of binoculars

Sounds like Tomy's "Tomytronic" [google.co.uk] games. Those things are pretty great actually ... especially the tank one. The 3D effect is decent and I used to play them for hours without the fatigue that the virtual boy apparently suffered from.

Horrible 3D Implementation (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33743986)

Unless you keep your head DIRECTLY aligned with the center of the screen you lose the 3D effect. Really annoying for what already is at best a mediocre 3D effect.

300 dollars is way too much money to waste on what basically is a gimmick implementation.

Re:Horrible 3D Implementation (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33747386)

Unless you keep your head DIRECTLY aligned with the center of the screen you lose the 3D effect. Really annoying for what already is at best a mediocre 3D effect.

I had the same concern. However, I played one and what I found was that because you are holding it, keeping it in the sweet spot is much easier than expected. It was way better than the large barrier screens I had seen elsewhere for simply that reason. As for the 'mediocre 3d effect', I was surprised to find that it was easier to play whatever the flying game because of the depth cues.

3DS screen on cell phone? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#33743990)

Who here wouldn't love to see this technology implemented on your next cell phone? With binocular sensors, you can now take (and display) 3D photos =) 3D Google Earth and Maps would be kinda cool too.

Re:3DS screen on cell phone? (3, Interesting)

Rolman (120909) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744390)

As someone who played quite some time with the 3DS last june, I can say that I started to despise the now obsolete 2D display on my phone. And that, without taking the 3D camera into account.

The 3D effect is almost flawless. The "3D slider" which helps you adjust the degree of the effect, makes it perfectly usable for just about anyone.

I think it's pretty safe to say we're going to see news of a phone with 3D display soon after the 3DS launch.

Re:3DS screen on cell phone? (2, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744688)

Other than being cool what does it add? What advantage does it provide over the 2D screen? Is it really just more pleasurable to use and that's it? I guess that's as good of a reason as any to want it but I have a hard time believing it's going to be all that impressive.

Re:3DS screen on cell phone? (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744974)

Phones are all about being cool! You can phone with most of them, so why did you get a new one in the last 10 years? All those other gimmicks are just cool and not at all useful right? Besides, if the tech is available, I'm sure applications will follow soon.

Re:3DS screen on cell phone? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33747420)

Other than being cool what does it add?

The flying games were easier to navigate through. Having that bit of depth really helped there. I also think it's a little easier to draw your eye to what it is you're supposed to be looking at.

It's also worth noting that it's a very big graphical upgrade and they're also implementing a Virtual Console for the system. I'm sold on those two bits alone.

Re:3DS screen on cell phone? (1, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33745684)

And then Apple will implement it and everyone will be like "WTF OMG APPLE LIKE TOTALLY INVENTED 3D!"

Re:3DS screen on cell phone? (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#33746226)

Call me a pessimist, but I am not sure if it really is that great especally since the display used does not have any head tracking whatsoever, which means if you want 3d you have your head in a certain focus point relative to the display, while it looks neat as a gimmic, I can imagine it being a major pain in the long run.

Re:3DS screen on cell phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33747690)

It's a ****ing handheld. You need to adjust the viewpoint, move your damn hands!

Re:3DS screen on cell phone? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#33747822)

Call me a pessimist, but I am not sure if it really is that great especally since the display used does not have any head tracking whatsoever, which means if you want 3d you have your head in a certain focus point relative to the display, while it looks neat as a gimmic, I can imagine it being a major pain in the long run.

This isn't too bad for a portable system because you would tend to move the device so your eyes are in the sweet spot anyways (the screens are so small that you wouldn't want to move it too far away and off-center. Even if it was a relatively narrow sweet spot it would still be OK since most people play with it in their faces. Also, if you're playing on your side, you would tend to still orient the device so it's level with your eyes.

If it was non-portable, it would be a fail because there's no way to make the sweet spot that wide. This limits the potential of glasses-less 3D TVs, as well as limits the effect of current glasses 3D TVs. There's a reason all the 3DTV displays have you standing - if you cock your head off horizontal the effect diminishes. No more slouching sideways in front of the 3DTV!

Re:3DS screen on cell phone? (2)

marsu_k (701360) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744760)

Actually, some weeks ago I participated in a study about "mobile 3D TV". The study was conducted by researchers at the local technical university, but sponsored by Nokia. The display technology they used was actually quite impressing - they said that it is "similiar, but better than 3DS", but as they didn't provide any technical details and as I've never seen a 3DS in person, I'm unable to judge the validity of that comment. But the results were in my opinion better than with 3D movies, it wasn't as "layered", on some clips that is. Naturally they wanted me to judge whether a clip was layered, blocky, if the movement was smooth and so on; seeing the same clip with different setting for the umpteenth time was a bit tiresome, but it was an interesting experience nevertheless. And I much more prefer such a display to 3D movies, as I already wear glasses I find the 3D ones uncomfortable.

But I suppose it'll take a while for such displays to find their ways to handsets, and I'm not certain what the application would be. Games, sure, but I'm not convinced 3D video is worth it, and 3D GUI might actually be a bit confusing if it is to be operated via touch - elements might appear to be in front of the screen, but you'd still have to physically touch "behind" the elements to register your action.

Re:3DS screen on cell phone? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33746788)

Movies?

It could turn your mobile phone into a more interesting device for viewing them.

Under normal circumstances it's just "the same but at a much smaller screen."

Not too exciting :)

That is as far as the same technology couldn't be used at a reasonable cost at a normal sized TV screen. Then it would just be the same but smaller again :D

If I've understood it right the Nokia Siemens Network stuff is about being able to bridge your TV-shows from the TV to your phone and such. Haven't read up about it, don't really care much, can't see how such a project could succeed unless standardized and available on more or less all devices.

Re:3DS screen on cell phone? (2, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#33745448)

I expect it will not be long before smart phones get 3D displays. Sharp has been touting them recently at smaller sizes which suggests they're after that market. I have no issue with the concept of a 3D display as long as it toggles back to a decent 2D display and doesn't affect the screen in high sunlight and so on. A phone which expects users to exactly hold it in the horizontal at a fixed distance to see the effect is going to suck unless it has a decent display for the 99% of other times when 3D is not required.

3D is still a gimmick. I expect sooner or later someone will produce a decent 3D display that works from a wide viewing angle from any orientation. Until that time, devices that hype 3D should really be treated with a grain of salt.

$300. Ugh (1)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744064)

I can see this going to $250 in the USA, but the price still seems high. Is this the first time that Nintendo has priced a portable higher than a console equivalent?

Of course, I suppose the term "equivalent" is a bit shakey. It's easy to draw a comparison between the DS and the N64, but not so much with the 3DS.

Re:$300. Ugh (3, Informative)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744620)

Notice that the original price is set at 25000 Yen. It will likely sell at $250, £250, and 250 euros.

Re:$300. Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33746266)

Yay for regional pricing! As you say, you can't go entirely on the foreign currency exchange to get an idea of price, because it's ~$300 on the Japanese market. They usually spend a bit more on consumer electronics than we do.

Meantime, take a look at the prices for their current handhelds: $129 for the DS Lite, $149 for the DSi, and $189 for the DSi XL. Assuming that the DS Lite gets discontinued when the 3DS comes out, and there will be no price drops, the 3DS will most likely retail for $229. The "no price drop" assumption will more than likely be wrong, which potentially lowers the starting price.

Re:$300. Ugh (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33746708)

Is this the first time that Nintendo has priced a portable higher than a console equivalent?

Before the Wii came out, the DS Lite was selling for $130 and the GameCube for $100.

Are they serious? (1)

PercentSevenC (981780) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744120)

Three hundred dollars? I mean, yeah, I'm sure a good number of hardcore gamers will spring for it, but I can't imagine the masses are going to be too thrilled at that price point. Even if it ends up releasing at $249.99 in the States, that's still a big chunk of change for a handheld. That's the same price as the PSP was at launch, and... well, it wasn't exactly the resounding success that Nintendo is used to from its handheld systems. I'm sure they've done their market research and everything and decided that that was the correct price point, but it seems like a pretty ballsy move, especially for Nintendo.

Re:Are they serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33744182)

All kids now have ipod touches, they can play thousands of very cheap games and use facebook. Its also half the price of the 3DS. Of course geeks are going to buy it but sorry to say we don't decide what a successful product is.

Re:Are they serious? (1)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744198)

Well, it's around the same price point as a iPod touch, and I'm guessing that Nintendo views that as it's real competitor. Still, I agree that the price seems high.

Re:Are they serious? (1)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744320)

It's $300 only because your economy sucks. Improve your economy (and thus your exchange rate) by that time, and you'll get a better deal.

Re:Are they serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33746420)

It's that simple, huh?

Are these hackable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33744126)

Sorry for the off-topic question, but I haven't owned/used a DS and I am too lazy to search.

Does anyone know if these (current DS) are hackable? Can one make/install own games and stuff? If yes, is it hard?

Thanks,
anonymous lazy bum

Re:Are these hackable? (3, Informative)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744222)

Very hackable, very cheaply too (flash cards are a dime a dozen these days), there's an open source sdk called devkitpro that will handle all your dev needs also.

Limitations to consider though, the ds only has 4mb of ram, and it's 3d hardware is not too crash hot, it has no floating point units at all and does everything in 16-bit fixed point.

Re:Are these hackable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33744226)

Thanks!

Re:Are these hackable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33746528)

16-bit fixed point should be enough for everybody...

Re:Are these hackable? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33746960)

Very hackable, very cheaply too (flash cards are a dime a dozen these days)

Unless you live in a country whose customs department routinely confiscates game-console-specific flash cards at the border.

Re:Are these hackable? (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 3 years ago | (#33747562)

Second this. I am a DS homebrew developper... actually I have developped 2 apps which I use for myself but nevet got to "release" them. The first one is a simple translation dictionary (as I was coming to Germany, I needed a fast German - English translator) based on "grepping" a word from a dictionary text-file.

The second is a "port" of the dual n-back game (similar to BrainWorkshop)... this one I am just refining the first version and I hope to release it (GPLv2) soon-ish (work does not let me spend all the time I wish on that).

But I can confirm that devkitARM + ndslib are really nice to work in to program for the DS. Of course you need to know C or C++.

Nevertheless I wonder how easy will it be to brew for the 3DS, given that some homebrew made for the DS does not work on the DSi /XL. Given the new architecture of the DS, we may need to wait a couple of years until teh-leet-hackers release an amazing library similar to ndslib for the 3DS...

Re:Are these hackable? (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 3 years ago | (#33748136)

Nevertheless I wonder how easy will it be to brew for the 3DS, given that some homebrew made for the DS does not work on the DSi /XL. Given the new architecture of the DS, we may need to wait a couple of years until teh-leet-hackers release an amazing library similar to ndslib for the 3DS...

Depends, a lot of ndslib (at least in 2005-6'ish when I last used it) is just memory mapped registers in #defines and light wrappers for them. Hard part is reverse engineering the hardware design and bypassing the security mechanisms, after that the sdk is just a matter of sitting down and writing it.

Re:Are these hackable? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33746894)

... and I think AKAIO for the Acekard 2 is supposed to be open-source. Regardless it's one of the cheaper but high quality cards. The supercard developer has been awesome as far as upgrading his products goes aswell. I don't remember if it was the xtreme card or whatever it was named which was the most advanced one (back then atleast) but it ws much more expensive and they didn't let sites like deal-extremes sell it for the low price they had.

Re:Are these hackable? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33746976)

Can one make/install own games and stuff? If yes, is it hard?

Nintendo has an officially supported tool for end users to make their own DS games, but they're limited to 8 seconds long.

Come on out ye naysayers (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744154)

Where are you?

All those who said that sterescopic 3d is inherently a bad thing, that it's not "real", that it's offensive to you somehow, are you going to say the same about this? Or is it great because it's nintendo?

Re:Come on out ye naysayers (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744286)

While I'm not looking forward to the 3DS, I will say that the one 3D video game I played (Motorstorm, at a store) looked way better than any 3D movie I have ever seen. Still wouldn't want it as my only option, though.

Re:Come on out ye naysayers (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744468)

Well, I'm not much of a mobile gaming fan, except when on the plane, so I won't be queuing up for a 3ds at launch either.

The only 3D games I've played so far are Super Stardust HD, which looks pretty, and Wipeout Fusion Advance Super Mega Ultra 3D Remix Awesome Edition. Or whatever it's called. That looks really pretty. It's a shame I'm just so damned bad at it!

Re:Come on out ye naysayers (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#33746118)

its not great cause its 3D and Nintendo, but they will sell a ton to (privileged) children (like my niece who treats her 200 some odd $ dsi like it was a used paper towel and will probably never know the value of a buck) and fanboi's who still wear their "legend of zelda" pajamas at age 32

others will look at Nintendo 3d doo hicky and say "see! 3D is a seller" further pushing the market into something that a good amount of people just don't care about, even though this thing amounts to those cheesy cards they used to give away with kids meals back in the 80's with the clear ribbed plastic over top, and the horsepower of a mid 1990's toy

so nay

Re:Come on out ye naysayers (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#33746184)

Can you say:

Virtual Boy?

Bet the Virtual Boy 2 will be as much of a failure as the original. It was difficult to use and gave people headaches.

Re:Come on out ye naysayers (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33746946)

Or is it great because it's nintendo?

You mean the opposite?

The DS was crap and no-one would want to move around and play silly child games in low-def on the Wii.

Still they owned all (not only of their generation but of ALL generations ;D)

So surely the 3D display will be crap and a gimmick.

And the leaders of Nintendo and their stock holders will still be very happy with their new crappy game gimmick.

Price point in US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33744424)

The price point in the US hasn't officially been announced. While it could end up being 300 dollars here in the states Nintendo hardware price points in Japan have been traditionally higher at launch time. Most recently the DSi XL launched in Japan for ~$220 while it launched in the US at $190. I'm thinking the price point should drop a similar 30-50 dollars when it finally does make it here a month later. Even if it doesn't I can still see myself buying one regardless.

mod Up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33744566)

moronic, dileetante many users 8of BSD

Potentially interesting, but... (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744724)

Despite my innate skepticism towards Nintendo, I'm fairly interested in the 3DS. It feels like we saw a big jump forward in handheld technology a few years ago, with the original DS and the PSP, but that we've not seen anything since then except for a succession of "lites" and other assorted rehashes (including the dismal PSP Go). The 3DS looks as though it should be capable of pushing the technical limits of handheld gaming beyond the PSP, so yes, I'm interested. The likely price-tag doesn't put me off too much. I can afford it, but it does likely mean that it won't get the kind of instant 8-15 playground mass-adoption that the GBA and DS had. If anything, that could be a good thing for me personally, if it means that early games may be more likely to appeal to grown-ups.

However, I do have a few misgivings that make me nervous about the whole thing.

First of all... region locking. Does the 3DS have it? Traditionally, handhelds have been region free, but Nintendo (who have always been the most draconian and least ethical in this respect) have already introduced elements of region locking into the DSi. One of the major uses I have for handhelds is passing the time on trips to the US. If there is widespread region locking on the 3DS, then I'm not interested.

Second... how usable will it be when used in a genuinely portable capacity. When I'm in the comfort of my own home, I'm more likely to want to play games on my PC or a full-sized console than a handheld. So a handheld needs to be properly usable on the move. This has always, for me, been the PSP's biggest advantage over the DS. Using the PSP on a train (or a bumpy flight) is not a problem. Using the DS stylus under those circumstances tends to be a mess. Throw 3D technology into the mix and I can imagine things getting "interesting". I'll be looking carefully at the early reviews to try to get a sense of this.

And third... what will the games lineup be like? Things look fairly promising here; the range of titles unveiled so far does not look bad for a launch line-up. And the precedent from the DS gives reasonable cause for optimism, with decent coverage of most genres. However, there's always that nagging doubt that stems from the fact that the last 3 "full sized" Nintendo consoles have all, within a year or two of launch, become the near-exclusive preserve of Nintendo first party titles (which vary wildly in quality and don't tend to be frequent releases) and low-quality "family" party games, with the occasional decent game that slips through vanishing into a pit of obscurity (yes, Eternal Darkness and Dead Space: Extraction, I'm looking at you). I'd imagine that a degree of support from the big Japanese developers like Square-Enix would be guaranteed, particularly with so many of them apparently struggling to keep up with the development costs of the full sized consoles, but I'd like to know which Western developers are interested.

Re:Potentially interesting, but... (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#33746170)

I assume it will be the same as with the DS and the Wii, the first years lineup will be strong with first party support and to some degree second party support, the second year will shine with second party support, after that 3-4 decent games per year which will be drowned in hundreds of shovelware games per year.

One advantage of a closed platform (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33746740)

after that 3-4 decent games per year which will be drowned in hundreds of shovelware games per year.

Just be glad it's a closed platform, unlike the semi-open iOS and Android platforms that have thousands of shovelware games per year.

Re:One advantage of a closed platform (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#33746992)

Well you have made a point, on iOS and on Android especially in the games section you have about a dozend decent games (depending on your taste) the rest is absolute distasteful shovelware.
I guess this is because the revenue on shovelware on those platforms is still enough to cash in, thats what you get when you try to cover the casual games market.
But at least you can find the gems, on the DS and Wii it is to some degree that bad that stores do not host anything anymore except for the shovelware kiddie stuff and you have to order online.

Re:One advantage of a closed platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33747232)

iOS isn't a "semi-open" platform. If it's full of shovelware crap, blame the quality assurance process of the famous walled garden.

iOS on iPhone vs. IOS on Wii (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33747342)

iOS isn't a "semi-open" platform.

Like Microsoft's XNA Creators Club, Apple's iPhone developer program is semi-open in that anyone can purchase a devkit for $1,027 plus tax (Mac mini + iPod touch + first year of developer certificate) and submit applications. Nintendo, on the other hand, officially requires [warioworld.com] a dedicated office and a previous published title on another platform.

If it's full of shovelware crap, blame the quality assurance process of the famous walled garden.

Yes, I blame Apple for not providing its App Store customers with an effective way to sort the wheat from the chaff. But with Nintendo, everything developed by a team working from home offices is presumed to be chaff.

Re:Potentially interesting, but... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33747032)

Isn't the DSi locked for usability only? As in not getting the wrong language applications on your DSi?

Kinda stupid if you _WANT_ them but whatever. Care to inform us? I don't own a DSi.

Re:Potentially interesting, but... (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#33748176)

The DSi locking is for download titles only. In itself, it's not tremendously painful (and not as bad as the inability to transfer downloaded content from one DS to another, though allegedly the 3DS will fix this), but given that Nintendo are now the only one of the big three console developers to absolutely insist on region locking for games on their platform, it had a kind of "thin end of the wedge" feel.

And why does it matter? As I say in my original post, for me, the whole point of portable consoles is that they are portable. It's very rare for me to sit at home playing on the DS or PSP. I take them with me when I travel, and I travel to the US a fair bit. If I can't pick up a game at the airport when I'm over there because it won't run on my handheld, then the value of that handheld is much reduced for me.

The PSP, of course, has region locking for UMD movies. But I understand that's a requirement of the movie studios, rather than a Sony thing. Sony in general seems a bit fed up of region locking. While both the PSP and PS3 have the technical capability to implement region locking for games, Sony have never switched it on. The 360 is in theory region locked and in the early years of its life-cycle, most games were locked. In general, however, it's left to the discretion of the publisher and these days they just don't seem to bother locking most releases. It's pretty easy to find out online whether or not a title is locked.

But anyway, on a proper console, region locking is a significant nuisance, but ultimately something I'll live with if I have to. On a handheld, it's a deal-breaker for me.

I only want Metal Gear on that list (0)

aeoo (568706) | more than 3 years ago | (#33744792)

This is a disappointment. The only game I want is Metal Gear, and it won't be out at launch. So I won't be buying 3DS at launch. I'll probably get it when Metal Gear comes out. It would be nice if it had a couple of first rate RPGs instead of Zelda, which I would describe as action/adventure/puzzle.

christmas window.. (1)

lampsie (830980) | more than 3 years ago | (#33745086)

Hope missing the lucrative Christmas window doesn't hurt them too much - mom and dad might be tempted to buy a Kinect or Move instead of waiting for 3DS...

Re:christmas window.. (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33747276)

Maybe they're not expecting people to see the instant benefit and instead are hoping for a gathering of momentum behind the device leading up to the next Christmas. Given the coverage Kinect and Move have had, it's not a bad idea if they think it will be a hard sell at launch to soft launch early for the following year.

Hibernation (1)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 3 years ago | (#33745116)

I'd like to know if it has proper hibernation support. When you closed the screen, the current DS went into what could be best described as "sleep". Whilst it was quick to come out of, the battery life was shorter than when the device was off and if the power went, you lost everything before your last save.

Implementing a version of hibernate would increase the wake up time of the device - but in return mean that the battery life remains unaffected when it's off and even if the battery died, you could still charge it back up and be able to resume where you left off.

Of course, some people will suggest just charging it as soon as you get back home - but it penalises the casual gamer or someone (like me) that gets home and completely forgets.

Re:Hibernation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33745234)

The hibernation mode will be the same as the DS. The 3DS has a function that will connect with other nearby 3DS even in hibernation. Your 3DS will battle other 3DS and if your's wins, you get a collectible. Here is a link that describes the function:

http://www.joystiq.com/2010/09/29/super-street-fighter-iv-3d-edition-trailer-shows-new-game-modes/

Re:Hibernation (1)

VickiM (920888) | more than 3 years ago | (#33746134)

I'm pretty casual myself, and only have to plug in my DS Lite once a week, if that. And, if it gets to the point where it takes as long to get the DS loaded from hibernation as it would have taken to save my game and then load it properly, I'm not sure I see the point.

Re:Hibernation (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33746776)

if it gets to the point where it takes as long to get the DS loaded from hibernation as it would have taken to save my game and then load it properly, I'm not sure I see the point.

Are you including the time to find the appropriate in-game token to allow saving (a typewriter ribbon, a Star Coin, etc.)?

fool me again nintendo, i dare you... (1)

jappleng (1805148) | more than 3 years ago | (#33745164)

Sure, I own every Nintendo system ever made in history with the exception of the two new DS systems but I do have the DS Phat and DS Lite. I don't ever play with them and it was a waste of money because the gimmick is what got me. Same thing happened with the wii. I got lucky and got mine really early and enjoyed playing all 10 or 11 games that I own... well, at least until a year and a half ago. Nintendo is amazing at releasing gimmicks and milking their franchises. I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up getting a 3DS but that will wait until there's a decent lineup of games. I put too much trust in the Wii to host a wide library of good games. I remember when I got my 360, I bought 6 games within the first week and many more afterwards because there are some great games and don't rely on gimmicks. Same with my PS3, I got 3 games initially and now I own 14 and have interest in buying 9 more games in the coming months. Besides that I'm anxious to see where 3D is heading...

Oh and if anyone asks, which nobody will... I buy all my games new unless they are retro and don't sell them at the store anymore. I also keep my games instead of selling them to places like gamestop. Support the devs, buy new and rarely used :)

Re:fool me again nintendo, i dare you... (1)

Bozzio (183974) | more than 3 years ago | (#33745400)

Support game devs, buy independent.

Which platform for buying independent? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33747214)

Support game devs, buy independent.

That'd be fine if Nintendo didn't do things like rejecting every game developed in a home office [warioworld.com] , such as Bob's Game [wikipedia.org] . Which independent handheld gaming device do you recommend that U.S. residents buy instead of Nintendo products? I'd prefer one with a working directional pad because not all genres have been shown to work well with only touch input.

re: Gimmick (2, Insightful)

Rydia (556444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33745956)

In response to the multitude of comments referring to 3D as a gimmick, maybe you should take a step back and realize that pretty much everything about a video game is a "gimmick." Nothing about a video game serves a useful purpose. 3D presentation? gimmick, 2D worked fine. HD graphics? Gimmick, plenty of game showed that SD could give us pretty games.

Everything about video games is a gimmick. I think what you're aiming for is "I'm not interested in this." That's fine, but not a basis for a value judgment.

Re: Gimmick (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 3 years ago | (#33747476)

In general all new technology is a gimmick until someone finds a way to use if effectively.

3D will be a gimmick unless someone comes with a good design that exploit its potential. Similary to how the Wii controllers can feel "gimmicky" for a lot of games, except the (very few) ones in which their capabilities are used properly

Re: Gimmick (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33747592)

Every time Nintendo attempts to drive forward with a new implementation a whole big group of people dog-pile into the room trying to be the first to shout 'gimmick!' They shouldn't be taken seriously as they don't even engage their brains yet before posting their criticism. Here are a few non-verbatim quotes of I've seen before:

- "The DS's use of a stylus is a gimmick. They should do something non-gimmicky like building in an eye-tracker."

- "Nobody can use two screens at once."

- "Well, it looks like Nintendo invented the 'remote control!'. Sony had one years ago!" .....(This was written before the dippy found out about the motion controls.)

- "Can you say: Virtual Boy? Bet the Virtual Boy 2 will be as much of a failure as the original. It was difficult to use and gave people headaches." ......(This is actually in this thread.)

- "Nintendo is doomed. Their business prospects look dismal because Sony created the Move controller."

Sometimes I think Nintendo harvests energy from people shouting 'gimmick' and uses it to power their R&D division.

You know a gimmic is working when... (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 3 years ago | (#33747982)

people don't remember it's a gimmick. Take the extreme amounts of blood in Mortal Kombat. That was *extremely* gimmicky when it came out. It's just people were too busy thinking 'Whoaaaa bloood' or 'Omg video games should be banned!'

Layton! (1)

CaptainJeff (731782) | more than 3 years ago | (#33746258)

I will be purchasing this entirely to play the new Professor Layton game...now that looks awesome! I love those games on the DS and the trailer released for the 3DS one makes the purchase of the system worth it just for that.

You're late by far, Nintendo... (1)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 3 years ago | (#33747840)

Re-releasing old gameboy games is pretty useless now. Not only has the entire gameboy catalog (at the very least, 99.9% of it) been released online, but you can download/rip and play them all with little fuss on an emulator with almost 100% accuracy to the original experience. Heck, even there were Gameboy emulators for the DS! Not only that, but they're only offering old GB games, no Gameboy Advance games? What a rip-off; not only will the games be tainted with DRM, but the product and effort to make it is so immensely small that GBA games could have been easily supported.

I'll stick to backing up my own games here. All of the emulators on the Wii/DS that are homebrew compared to Nintendo's official solutions have so many more features than Nintendo does: save states, no DRM, WAY better controller support, customizable controls, speed-up/slow-down modes, etc. If you really think you can compete with free here, you're hugely mistaken, Nintendo, unless you make a better effort. ...That all isn't to say that I'd never get a 3DS; it looks awesome! With that said, however, it's only worth that price if I can use a flashcart on it to run my own backups/homebrew ;)

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