When you think of 3D gaming, you’re probably going to start thinking of those silly glasses and expensive, enormous LED TV sets. The 3D TV revolution might not be quite there just yet, given that the idea of wearing plastic dark glasses in your front room isn’t particularly appealing, but the concept of 3D gaming could be about to get a huge kick-start.
Pre-orders are already being taken for the new Nintendo 3DS, which hits the shelves in the UK in March, and the excitement is already building amongst gamers who see the 3DS as something or a revolution in portable gaming.
The 3DS utilises the two-screen technology that made the previous incarnations of the Nintendo handheld stand out to eliminate the need for the sort of glasses that you need to watch 3D movies or sport. This is largely due to the way that 3D images are created.
To create a 3D image, a subject needs to be “captured” (ie, filmed or animated) from two different viewpoints, one slightly different to the other. It is the same principle behind the way that the human eye works – your left eye has a slightly different view of something to your right eye. The different with the human eye is that the brain can then put those two separate images together to make one image. A television screen can’t too that, which is why you need the glasses.
Where the 3DS differs is that, because it has a smaller, autostereoscopic screen, which can put those two images together. This gives the 3D image – without the specs.
At the moment, there is just a handful of games released for the 3DS but these do include classic titles like The Legend of Zelda and Mario. The 3DS will also play your standard DS games in 2D, so you’ll get plenty of use out of it.
The 3DS also has nifty little features like stereo cameras, which enable users to take 3D photos that can be viewed on the 3D screen and new input interfaces such as a circle pad, motion sensor and gyro sensor.
The 3DS is also a device that is always on the lookout for new information. ‘SpotPass’ is a function that lets Nintendo 3DS detect wireless hotspots or wireless LAN access points and obtain information, game data, free software, videos, whilst ‘StreetPass’, lets your Nintendo 3DS exchange data automatically with other Nintendo 3DS systems within range.