A New Way of Looking At Things: Speculations on the Nintendo 3DS


Will the Nintendo 3DS be this advanced? Probably not, but it's fun to wonder.

You’re all probably very much aware of Nintendo’s new handheld set to be revealed at this year’s E3 conference. Regardless of how much info is out there, a good deal is also unknown. I figured it was my duty as a regular writer of a small-time blog site to give those same known details yet again, as well as give my expert opinion on what I think the 3DS will have and what I’d like it to have. Like I said, it’s my duty, so let’s start with what we know for sure.

What We Know For Sure

Nintendo is definitely releasing a new handheld system very soon, and it will not be the Nintendo DSi XL but a completely new system. In fact, Nintendo has said that this new system, tentatively called the 3DS, will be the next generation of DS systems rather than just a new version of an existing product. The main draw of the system will come from the use of 3D images. Somehow Nintendo is promising a handheld system that is capable of creating 3D images without the use of 3D glasses.

How it’ll do this we still don’t know. There have been hints that it could be as a result from new technology Sharp is currently developing. Apparently, Sharp is listed as part of the 3DS core specs, so that may be where the new tech is coming from. Then again, it could just be like the DSi game Hidden Picture, a Japan-only title that allows you to move the DSi around, effectively moving the screen as well. This is enabled due to the DSi’s dual cameras, allowing for the system to recognize when it’s being moved. I personally have no problem with that if that turns out to be the extent of the 3D games.

This is apparently what Sharp's new screens can do. Replace those deer with Mario and I'm sold.

Also, the 3DS will be compatible with all previous DS games, meaning it will have to have a touch screen as well as the option for two screens, whether that will be its selling point again or not. I’m always happy to have the option of backwards compatibility, something the PS3 lost me on when it lost the ability to play PS2 games. But that’s neither here nor there, isn’t it?

My Own Thoughts

That pretty much covers everything we actually know about the system. I can make a few safe claims, such as the obvious knowledge that new Zelda, Mario, and Pokemon titles are in the works for the system. That’s just a gimmie. However, we don’t even know what level to expect the graphics. A lot of places are going with GameCube level of graphics, which is pretty darned impressive all things considered. Kotaku even has a nice little mock-up for what Wind Waker would look like on a handheld. If that turns out to be true, I’d be rather happy.

Seriously, that just looks amazing. If only these mock-ups were the real thing.

But what do I really want? Honestly, I don’t want there to be an overabundance of gimmick titles for the system built purely for the sake of using the 3D engine. I know there will be shovelware from all the usual places, that I don’t have a problem with, but I don’t want to see more games like Spirit Tracks or Star Fox Command where suddenly everything has to be controlled with the stylus whether you’d like it or not. If there could be games that use the 3D without overcomplicating things I’d be quite happy.

Another big point for me will come down to price. I need to know that the system will run me under $200 and come with a game, a good game. I didn’t buy the DS when it first came out, instead waiting to get it as a Christmas gift, then I spent a year without a game until Mario Kart DS came out, prompting me to start getting real DS games. I don’t want a repeat of that, and further, I don’t want to be punished for buying the system early. If a new SKU of the 3DS is released within two years of its launch and it becomes apparent that the launch system sucks compared to the new system (similar to the DS Lite being way better than the DS Phat), then I’m going to be ticked. Sadly, I can make the safe claim that that’ll definitely happen.

By the way, here's Hidden Picture, currently a Japan-only title. Looks really cool.

Otherwise I don’t really have a long wish list of features. I’d be good with less touch screen interfaces and more button usage but that’s just wishful thinking. Also, an elimination of the Friend Codes would be wonderful, but now I’m really asking for unicorns and rainbows.

What do you want to see from the new system? And for that matter, what don’t you want to see? I’m on the fence whether I want the system or not, but what about you? Are you already signing up for preorders? Leave a comment and let me know. Just don’t make the font 3D just yet.


About Author

Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.


  1. Shining Umbreon (not real name cause im smart like that) on

    the first pic is just a dsi with 3d gameing if u want to see oficial pics go to google and search up nentendo 3ds

  2. I’ve had a DS Lite for a few years now and I love it. It’s small, it’s handy, it’s fun to play with…it’s a great casual gaming platform. But that’s it. I think I’m done with the DS once the Lite is officially phased out. There is a huge library of DS games so finding games shouldn’t be an issue. I’m not enough of a Nintendo fan boy to buy into their next gen equipment. Getting a Wii was by far the biggest gaming mistake I’ve ever made. I’m just not a Nintendo gamer.

    I’m also not sold on the non-3D 3D of the 3DS. I read one report (forget where) that suggested the faux 3D will be similar to how the iPhone game “Word Fu” works. Word Fu is a Boggle-like game that has letter dice. Neat part is, as you tilt the iPhone you can see the sides of the dice. It uses the iPhones tilt-sensors…cool and neat looking, but I don’t really see much gameplay possibilities there.

    Of course, that’s all guessing at what 3D is possible without glasses. Putting tilt sensors in a DS sounds pretty easy, so this would certainly be low-hanging fruit. But if Nintendo can figure out how to use dual cameras for something, that would be interesting to see.

    And I’ll give Nintendo credit…because if anyone has figured out how to turn a gimmick into a huge seller, it’s Nintendo. Frankly, as long as the Xbox 360 can hang around for a year or two more, I’ll be happy. It’s going to be hard losing that console when the time comes.

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