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Three Ways Nintendo Can Put the ‘3D’ in the 3DS

Nintendo issued a press release in Japan announcing an upcoming hardware revision slated to hit the popular Nintendo portable in the near future.  The announcement that 3D gaming would be coming in next iteration of the DS brought with it a few more questions than answers as the company detailed a glasses-free 3D gaming experience.  So how are they going to pull it off?  Publicly nobody knows but the speculation has already begun.

Through the Camera

There’s a DSiWare puzzle game called 3D Hidden Picture floating around that takes advantage of the Nintendo DSi’s camera to track movement of the device and adjusting the onscreen image accordingly.  As the user tilts the device, the image shifts giving user the perception that the game is completely 3D.  Because it relies on a simple camera to recreate, there wouldn’t seem to be much reason for a complete hardware revision to execute such a strategy.  The least likely of the three, onscreen image manipulation through camera tracking could be the answer to the 3DS’s third dimension.

Chasing the Accelerometer

More likely than the camera trick, one Kotaku editor brings forth the possibility that the next Nintendo DS could take a cue from the iPhone with the inclusion of an accelerometer to track motion.  Available on the iPhone, a word game called WordFu by Ngmoco that uses the iPhone’s accelerometer to adjust the display image based on how the user is holding the device.  Image adjusting through the accelerometer seems to yield much the same result as the camera tracking but theoretically becomes much more accurate and responsive.  Nintendo’s already done some major work on motion tracking with a little console called the Wii that’s currently #1 in the world.  Even if the 3D capabilities aren’t executed through an accelerometer, it seems the iPhone’s success might force Nintendo to adopt such hardware to help compete with the up and coming gaming platform.

It’s all in the LCD

Engadget uncovered a news source in Japan that suggests the 3D capabilities in the new Nintendo handheld will be powered by a special LCD created by Sharp.  These triple veil-view LCD displays project different images depending on the angle at which it is viewed.  Essentially as the user changes angles slightly, an alternative view will be shown, looking as though the tripleveilviewlcdcontent is displayed in 3D.  These triple veil-view displays might be trickier than working in an accelerometer and might limit the 3D capabilities to only 3 angles.

While none of these has been confirmed, expect Nintendo to shed some light on the 3DS at this year’s E3 event.  Is this going to be a major differentiating factor against the iPhone platform? Do you see 3D gaming as a gimmick?  Leave your opinions in the comments.