Nintendo 3DS looks to be a strong bid in handheld gaming devices

“As the annual E3 video game conference got under way on June 15, it was Nintendo that generated the most buzz. Game developers crowded Nintendo’s booth to get hands-on time with the 3DS, the newly introduced handheld that lets users view three-dimensional images without wearing special glasses,” Cliff Edwards and Adam Satariano report for BusinessWeek. “Nintendo didn’t say how much the 3DS will cost.”

“Enthusiasts—many sporting name tags that betrayed an affiliation with Microsoft and Sony—also lined up for a glimpse of a suite of new Wii games,” Edwards and Satariano report. “‘The most impactful reveal at the show is the 3DS, which appears to us to be the must-have consumer electronics product over the next few years,’ Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter wrote in a report. ‘The 3DS was truly impressive, and although we expect it to cost upwards of $250, we are confident that Nintendo will sell many millions of them in the first full year of production.'”

“As the Wii changed the way people played games at home four years ago, the 3DS will transform mobile gaming, says Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. ‘We take approaches that are different than others,’ he says in an interview. ‘We are creating the entertainment that cannot be available elsewhere,'” Edwards and Satariano report. “The new handheld took two years to develop and has won widespread support from Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard and other major game publishers. At launch it will appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers, Iwata said. ‘If we had started development of the 3DS just after knowing that the trend is for 3D, we wouldn’t have been able to make the 3DS,’ he said.”

“The top screen of the 3DS offers a 3.5-inch screen that is packed with extra pixels and microscopic slits layered over a traditional LCD screen to deliver images in three dimensions without using the multicolored glasses usually needed to view images in three dimensions,” Edwards and Satariano report. “It also features twin cameras on the lid for taking 3D photos viewable on the console and a tool on the right side of the lid to adjust the 3D on the display down to 2-D. The 3D3 boasts a gyroscope, an accelerometer, and a round nub analog input called the Slide Pad.”

Edwards and Satariano report, “Nintendo has been adjusting its playbook to keep rivals off balance. Earlier this year, the Kyoto (Japan)-based company introduced the DSi XL, which aims to capture a more adult audience with its larger screen and ability to view digital books. The 3DS may include technology that lets users digitally download 3D movies to onboard memory.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Could be a winner and competition for consumers’ dollars. However, iTunes Store content and App Store game and other app prices are a major advantage for Apple’s iOS devices over Nintendo and other handheld device makers products.

27 Comments

  1. Props to the MDN take. The iOS advantage will be the App Store… as long as app prices stay in check. When you can purchase a high quality EA and other vendors games… with superior graphics… for around $10… try doing that at Walmart or elsewhere for the Nintendo platform. Plus that instant gratification of just clicking “buy” and being able to play it in moments.

    I also see the Nintendo has a gyroscope now too. I’ve generally found the Apple products to have better responsiveness to these sensors than competitors. It will be interesting to see if the competition is improving. Having the sensors is one thing… responsiveness is another.

  2. I’m sure it will be a hit for Nintendo. Even though a lot of people try to say Apple and Nintendo compete in this space, I partially disagree. People who spend $250 on this device are obviously more than just “casual” gamers. They want the latest and greatest technology and probably play a good amount. The iOS devices are multipurpose and games mostly serve as a way for people to kill time.

  3. True, the iOS will capture many casual gamers. However, the only thing missing from App Store games at the moment is depth. In a sense, you get what you pay for. I’d love to see more $15-$20 games that are as feature rich as console games. One thing Apple can’t do is license Nintendo’s characters.

  4. I’ve said it before many times: Nintendo is one company that, in my opinion, can go toe-to-toe with Apple. I’ve advocated Apple buying Nintendo because I feel the two companies would make such a great team and further innovation even more.

  5. This will be a big seller. Parents have a way more controlled system for their kids. I will admit iPhone games aren’t just there, yet. They will be one day. But for now nintendo did a great job here.

    What’s going separates nintendo is that they aren’t touting themselves as the all media killer to apple. They are simply staying in their realm and making the best product for themselves.

  6. Wow, they still haven’t figured out having digital content. 3D screen? How useful/fun is that actually going to be?

    They’ll be able to market it as a 3D-movie consuming device but that’ll be about as far as it goes and I doubt it’d be that good for that… otherwise you’re still stuck buying (and losing) physical cartidges that you have to lug around and plug in whenever you want to use them. No casual games unless you make about 50 of them to stick in a plastic cartridge so I guess that’s all the interesting little companies out of the game.

    No multitasking? No Copy/Paste? Does this sound familiar?

    iOS is miles and miles ahead of this stuff. I was expecting much better but it appears Nintendo are still sticking their heads in the sand.

    Bloodbath.

  7. Is there enough “room” in 3.5 inch display to enjoy the 3d effect. And whats about display resolution and readability with all those little slits between the pixels? 3D will offer a small advantage on a few games but the overall experience can´t match with Apple´s retina display.
    The biggest chunk of the market are casual gamers who also want to enjoy the internet and the ebook reader. In the future there will only be a niche left for “one trick pony” devices.

  8. If I were a parent, I’d to get my a thing that can do more than one thing. Economically, one-trick-ponies make little sense. I’d get the kid a thing that at least can be used as a tool for schoolwork and other things and not contribute to the kid turning into yet another illiterate obese bleary-eyed gamer zombie.

  9. Being a gamer I’ve got to give it to Nintendo they are very forward thinking. That being said I’m very impressed with what they’ve done to keep their handheld market viable in the face of what Apple is doing with their devices. Seeing a 73 year old using the Wii to bowl is just as inspiring as seeing a 73yr old using an iPad to surf the web and read e-mails. The Nintendo 3DS willl hopefully allow them to raise above the fray of their rather pedestrian offerings as of late. Ultimately for the consumer competition is a good thing. Kudos Nintendo! I agree with MrMcLargeHuge Apple would do well in buying Nintendo and having their very large and varied library of games in their stable.

  10. at least Nintendo has the good sense to separate their hardware from the iphone. I mean it is a fairly safe bet that the 3d retina display is not coming anytime soon

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