Okay, despite the fact that this article’s title is a terrible pun (congratulations if you get it), it describes Nintendo’s latest handheld perfectly.
Yesterday, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata addressed an audience at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. In his keynote, he revealed a few new tidbits of info about the 3DS. But first, let’s quickly review what we already know.
- First and foremost, the top screen displays 3D image without special glasses
- The bottom screen, continuing the trend of previous DS systems, responds to touch input
- It is backward-compatible with all prior DS software
- Two cameras are situated on the device, allowing you to take 3D pictures
- A new messaging system is supported via Wi-Fi connection
- There will be a Virtual Shop service (the offerings of which will include classic Game Boy titles) running soon after launch
- It is packed with Augmented Reality games that interact with physical objects seen by the device’s cameras
- Local and wireless multiplayer connections are supported by the all-new StreetPass and SpotPass modes
Now, back to the present. Nintendo announced at GDC that the 3DS will in fact support streaming of movies via Netflix by the summer. Whoa. The possibility of streaming 3D video in the palm of your hand…that is a very cool prospect. Not to mention that with the device’s own cameras, you can record and play back your own movies in 3D.
Nintendo also mentioned at the conference that, in conjunction with an AT&T partnership, the 3DS will have access to thousands of wireless hotspots after a software update in May.
Finally, Iwata teased the audience in typical Nintendo fashion with an official 3D Super Mario game announcement. With so much to offer right off the bat and so much more waiting in the wings, Nintendo 3DS hype is at an all time high. The system sold the entirety of its first shipment (400,000 units) already on Japan’s launch day last week. Will the US and Europe eat it up too? Most likely.