The 3D functionality of the Nintendo 3DS is undeniably the handheld’s most predominant selling point, perhaps tailed closely by new first party games. That make it difficult to consider a time when 3D wasn’t part of the plan for the follow-up handheld to the original DS.
While speaking with Famitsu magazine during an interview, 3DS Group Manager Hideki Konno told the publication that the 3DS was originally designed without either 3D or a Gyroscope in mind. As Konno told the magazing:
“I became involved with development starting in 2008, but at that time, it didn’t have 3D visuals. From Nintendo’s perspective, they’ve released 3D Hot Rally and the Virtual Boy; they’ve had a history of experimenting with 3D visuals. With this system, you could say the timing was just right for us. It was the right time to start thinking about using the latest in high-tech and try out glasses-free 3D. The technology we got to demo was really impressive, and starting in early 2009, we began to think that it was time to bring it to games.”
Were it not for timing and tech, the 3DS would be just another new handheld with new games. We’re willing to bet that gamers would have still been excited over the new system, but the pure novelty and wow-factor that Nintendo has pushed so hard would have been completely absent.
Where the Gyroscope is concerned, it turns out that Miyamoto specifically asked for more out of the device just before last year’s E3.
“We officially went with them just before E3 last year. The boat had really left the port by that point – the hardware team had the final specs and just had to work it all out. Then, in the midst of that, Miyamoto said ‘This isn’t enough; we can really change things if there’s a gyro sensor in there.’ We had a prototype for the sensor already, so we got everyone together to try it out, and the conclusion we came up with was ‘Well, if we can do things this fun with it, I guess we’ve got no choice.’”
It’s obvious to say it, but the 3DS has been a series of innovations and game-time decisions. The device ships in the States on March 27th.