My First Thoughts: Nintendo 3DS

Earlier today, Nintendo announced their new portable system, the 3DS. This will be a 3D graphics system, without the need for 3D glasses. Here’s how I feel about this:

It’s a giant leap forward for portable gaming, for Nintendo. They better do this well, or it will backfire. I do not personally care for 3D in movies or television, let alone gaming. The primary reason is because of the glasses, so it’s a point in Nintendo’s favor that the 3DS doesn’t require those.

However, even without that, I don’t see 3D as more than a gimmick or a distraction from video games. I don’t need or want to have to tilt the screen around to look around the game’s world (as is shown in the video I included in the blog post about the 3DS). Gaming is working well enough now without that, there’s no need for it now. I don’t know what inspired this new surge of interest in 3D, but it’s senseless.

Previously, I had heard that Nintendo was thinking about motion sensors in the new iteration of the DS. That would have been interesting, and a good advantage to Nintendo in this presumed DS-versus-iPod/iPhone/iPad competition.

3D has more problems than it’s worth. I hear many instances of 3D graphics giving people considerable headaches (I’ve experienced those from 3D entertainment, too). Add to that people with astigmatisms or such that keeps them from seeing 3D, and the whole idea falls flat. Developing 3D graphics adds considerable expense to already huge budgets for video game development.

Nintendo will be revealing more details about the 3DS at their E3 press conference (likely on or around June 16), so I’ll hold off final reaction on this new system until then, but I’m already cautious about this new direction Nintendo is taking with portable gaming. I do not agree with what Nintendo is planning.

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