Overnight, Nintendo made the surprising decision to reveal a new piece of hardware months outside of E3. Well, "reveal" might be too strong a word. "Barely mention" might be more appropriate, leaving us to fill in the gaps ourselves.
With curiosity being a driving human instinct, and Nintendo doing little to satisfy our need for answers with the briefest of press releases, we have to read between the lines to try and find out more about Nintendo's latest piece of portable hardware. So...let the line-reading commence!
What We Definitely Know
Here's the stuff that's explicitly stated in the press release.
- That a new handheld, called the Nintendo 3DS, will be released sometime during Nintendo's next financial year (Apr 2010 - March 2011).
- It will be capable of producing 3D graphics, without the need for 3D glasses.
- The 3DS will be backwards compatible with the entire line of Nintendo DS products.
- It will be properly revealed during the E3 trade show in Los Angeles, which will take place in June.
What We Think We Know
There are a few more details we can glean from the information above. This isn't confirmed, just stuff we suspect based on supporting evidence.
- The 3DS will feature 2 cameras (If it includes support for DSi software, it'll have to)
- It's an all-new line of hardware, not simply a new model of the DS. Despite having the letters "DS" in the name, it's a working title, and the use of terms like "backwards compatible" and the fact it's succeeding the "Nintendo DS series" sounds a lot like this is the first of Nintendo's next generation of handheld gaming devices.
- It'll use those cameras to track the movement of the handheld and/or the player. That movement will then be used to display the 3D effects, similar to the way recent DSi title 3D Hidden Picture handles things. In support of this, in an interview with a Japanese newspaper earlier this year, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said in relation to the company's next handheld "it will be necessary to have a sensor with the ability to read the movements of people playing".
And that's it! No further info, no pictures. We'll probably have to wait until E3 to learn more, but we'll update this post if we hear anything else.