In 1995, Nintendo released the Virtual Boy, a 3D gaming peripheral that made people vomit. It was yanked from the market, and Time called it one of the worst inventions ever. Yet, Nintendo has returned again with 3D. Why?

And why now?

The Nintendo 3DS, however, isn't the first time Nintendo has thought about giving the third dimension another go.

The GameCube, which launched in 2001, actually had 3D capable internal circuitry. "We did experiment with 3D games being shown on a [separate] 3D LCD display and it was working. But the display was very expensive, so we did not think it practical or reasonable to offer this as a product," Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told the Nikkei.

Nintendo also considered making its Game Boy Advance handhelds with 3D screens. However, 3D screens during the GBA era were expensive, and Nintendo isn't not one to lose money on selling hardware. "The cost would have been very expensive, the screen resolution was not high enough and the processing power at the time was not strong enough, so once again we had to give in."


According to Nikkei, work began on the Nintendo 3DS two years ago and the rise of 3D televisions and movies was a kwinky dink. "In terms of processing power, resolution and a reasonable price point," Iwata added, "it just happened to be now that Nintendo was able to make the 3DS."

Nintendo Writes New Chapter Of Its Adventures In 3D [Nikkei]