WHAT IS 3DS?
The Nintendo 3DS is Nintendo's next generation handheld and the successor to the Nintendo DS.
This isn't a DS upgrade, like the DS Lite, DSi or DSi XL, but an entirely new machine.
WHAT CAN IT DO? Keep an out for the Lens of Truth icon ( )! If you see that icon, then it means more details are expected to be revealed during the European conference!
The main feature of the 3DS is the widescreen stereoscopic (3D) screen. This will allow you to view games in stereoscopic 3D, just like 3D movies such as Avatar, but without the need for 3D glasses. The technology in the screen provides the 3D effect without the need for anything extra. It's also got quite the graphical upgrade, but you can see that (in plain old 2D) below. There will be a 3D slider, allowing you to increase, or decrease, the strength of the 3D until you find a sweet spot that suits you best. You can even turn the 3D slider off, and the games will simply appear in 2D. The lower touch screen also has a higher resolution than the old DS screens.
The 3DS features an analogue control pad, named the "circle pad", for full 3D movement, and it also has a gyroscope, so you can tilt and move the 3DS and have your movements reflected on the screen. The microphone, touch screen and cameras all return too.
The system also has a bunch of nifty tricks up its sleeve, such as StreetPass. StreetPass allows games to save content to the 3DS's internal memory, such as character data, and then it will share and exchange this information (such as Mario Kart Ghost Data!) with people you pass on the street even if you're playing another game, or if you have the 3DS turned off! When you open your 3DS, you'll be able to see the Miis, favourite game and other stats of people you passed, and if you've both played the same games then don't be surprised if some new things are waiting for you. Nintendogs + Cats also trades pet information, so you might see a stranger's pet running around the next time you take your best friend out for a walk!
SpotPass is a lot like StreetPass, except it happens whenever you pass a wi-fi hotspot. The system will automatically connect online and look for new content, including demos and downloadable content for games you own, as well as news and even (at least in Japan) 3D TV content!
3DSWARE + 3DS SHOP
Nintendo are greatly expanding the online for the 3DS, but details are still scarce ahead of the Jan 19th conferences. However, we did get a brief look at the Nintendo 3DS Shop, and Nintendo promise it to be greatly improved over their previous offerings. It'll be much faster and easier to use, and you'll also be able to download demos, watch trailers and view screenshots for games. You'll even be able to rate games and see the opinions of other players. Take a sneak peek below!
The Virtual Console returns, this time serving up classic Game Boy and Game Boy Colour titles (with GBA titles currently "under consideration"), as well as special 3D remakes! These 3Dmakes, not simply limited to Game Boy games, takes classic 2D games and gives them a 3D spin by splitting them up into "layers". Not all Virtual Console games will get this 3D upgrade, with the vast majority expected to be simply settling for offering the
The 3DS has two cameras on the front, for taking 3D pictures and playing AR games, and one camera on the inside, used for other games. Nintendogs will come up and lick the screen if you move your face closer and your girlfriend in Love Plus (don't ask) will refuse to talk to someone she doesn't recognise.
The 3DS will have the ability to play music and record sounds but specifics have yet to be given, however the interface looks identical to DSi Sound and so the features are likely to be similar.
It's REAL LIFE but on your 3DS SCREEN but in 3D which makes it just like REAL LIFE! Using the two cameras on the front, the 3DS is able to create a 3D image of whatever it is looking at and then by using AR cards (they've got item boxes on them!) it is able to place objects into the world, in 3D, for you to interact with. The 3DS is coming with various AR games and AR cards in the box, and we know of some of those so far: Face Shooter (or How The 3DS Gets In The Daily Mail) takes a picture of your face then builds a crazy 3D creature and tasks you with walking around your house shooting yourself in the face in 3D. It's masochism done the Nintendo way! There is also Target Practice, which you can see in the video below, and another mode that lets you put Miis "into the real world" to poke and prod them, and make them pose for pictures. Nintendogs + Cats will also have some AR features, although specifics have yet to be given. Yeah, these AR games are kinda hard to explain in text, so just watch the video or check out the screens below!
WHAT COMES IN THE BOX, DUDE?
We'll have to wait until the conference to hear details on what is shipping with the EU version, but to give you an idea the Japanese 3DS will come with:
- Nintendo 3DS Unit
- Nintendo 3DS charging cradle
- AC adapter
- 3DS Telescopic (Extendy!) Stylus
- 2 GB SD Memory Card
- Six AR Cards
- Quick Start Guide
The charger stand is a "hub" to store your 3DS when not in use, and will automatically charge it when not in use, but if you prefer you can still charge the 3DS the old fashioned way by plugging the AC adapter (The DSi adapter will also work) in the back. Also, despite previous reports, it appears you can play the 3DS when it is sitting in the stand, with the stand even being slanted for a more pleasant "sitting" experience. Why does the 3DS need a charging cradle? Well, Nintendo estimate that when in use the 3DS will only have 3-5 hours battery life (no context or brightness setting was given). For comparison, Nintendo suggest the DSi has a battery life of 4-6 hours at default settings, a mere hour more than the 3DS, so it's probably best to wait for clarification before hitting the panic button.
We really only know bits and pieces about this, and it is expected to be one of the "big" reveals during the conference. We know it will feature GAME COINS, a system wide, err, system which will allow you to unlock content in supporting games. You will get Game Coins from walking (the 3DS is a part-time pedometer), but no more specifics were given. You will be able to load up the OS while running a game and multi-task, such as loading up the web browser to search for information online, before returning to the game, but again we don't know much else! The 3DS does, at the very least, feature a very limited account system, with all your saves, games played, steps walked etc... being attached to your Mii. The depth of this account system has not yet been fully revealed (another conference reveal!) but I think we're all hoping it'll also apply online, but we'll just have to cross our fingers and wait on that one.
The 3DS will have online multiplayer.
That's basically all we know.
Well, okay, we know a slight bit more than that, but be warned! A large SPECULATION approaches. The 3DS will have multiple online games at launch, with even more already announced, such as Resident Evil Mercenaries 3D, Street Fighter 4 and Dead or Alive. In Dead or Alive and Street Fighter, they refer to their online modes as "Internet Play" not "Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection" so it looks like that has finally been binned. Street Fighter even offers the ability to trade and share replays, so the rumblings are good that this might not be a complete disaster. Check back after the conference to find out if we've got our online wish!
Nintendo have confirmed that you will be able to transfer any of your purchased DSiWare content to the 3DS, but they've yet to give specifics.
E3 PROMO TRAILER
- The 3DS is backwards compatible with all DS games, as well as DSiWare, although they'll only run in 2D.
- Game carts can range in size from 1GB to 8GB, although at launch there will be a 2GB limit. GC discs were 1.5GB, while Xbox 360 games are 6.5GB, so space shouldn't be a problem.
- Downloaded content will RUN FROM A SD CARD! No more copying back and forth like with the Wii and DS.
- Despite looking rather large, the 3DS actually sits between the DS Lite and DSi in the "size scale", making it pretty small.
- Download Play (the demo sharing feature) returns, and this time it is better than ever! The demo for Street Fighter 4 is described as a viral demo. If you have a copy of Street Fighter 4 you can send a demo to your friend so you can play multiplayer, but that friend can then take the demo away with him and share it with HIS friends. It's unknown if this is a system wide feature or not, but it seems quite likely that it is.
Launch Date :: February 26th 2011
Launch Price :: 25,000¥ (~£190)
Japanese Launch Games
- Battle of the Giants: Dinosaurs 3D
- Nintendogs and Cats
- Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle
- Puzzle Bobble 3D
- Samurai Warriors: Chronicle
- Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
- Ridge Racer 3D
- Winning Eleven Soccer 3D