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The Nintendo 3DS will go on sale in Japan near the end of February, for approximately $300 USD.  (Source: Nintendo)

Built in "Mii Studio" software will autogenerate your Mii using snapshots of you taken by the handheld's cameras.  (Source: Nintendo)
Apps will be served up via virtual console, live streaming video also will be trialed

Nintendo's upcoming Nintendo 3DS handheld promises all the glory of 3D-TV without the goofy glasses.  Fresh off the success of the Wii, Nintendo is looking to the major redesign of its best-selling Nintendo DS line to hold off hungry competitors like Apple's iPhone.

One of the device's key features (besides the 3D display) is a trio of cameras.  All three cameras are a relatively low resolution (0.3 MP, 640x480 pixel VGA), but the two rear ones will be capable of recording crude 3D video, an impressive feat for a handheld.  Photos can also be exported as QR Tags (barcodes) to allow for easy sharing.

Now Nintendo has spilled some more details about how the single front-facing camera will be use.  In a video Nintendo shows a person snapping a shot of their face.  The 3DS's software then automatically converts the picture to a Mii icon for use with Nintendo's multiplayer games.

And Nintendo has at last confirmed an official ship date for Japan -- February 26.  The new handheld will be priced at ¥25,000 (around $298 USD) and will come in aqua blue or cosmo black.  The handheld will make landfall in the States and Europe in March, though Nintendo still hasn't announced an initial date for that launch yet.

Video game site 
IGN claimed last week that the new Nintendo 3DS will pack two 266MHz ARM11 CPUs, a 133MHz GPU, 4MB dedicated VRAM, 64MB RAM, and 1.5GB flash storage.

Nintendo also announced that through a partnership with Fuji TV it will offer streamed 3D video to the device.  And it also announced that it will have an app store -- similar to Apple's for the iPhone -- which will vend out old Game Boy and Game Boy Advance titles.

Does that mean that the Nintendo 3DS will have a 3G modem?  Nintendo is keeping tight lipped on the topic.  It has already announced that it will support Wi-Fi, but has remained silent on the topic of a broadband modem, which many developers are demanding.

Some other interesting things worth noting is that the video showed the 3DS appearing to be using background multitasking -- or at least saved states.  The video also showed a new home button, that can be used to access web browsing and more while in game.  The video also showed an e-book app, a note taking app, and augmented reality games.

It will be some time before Nintendo spills all its secrets of the upcoming device, and longer still before it launches.  In the meantime Nintendo is offering a special edition Super Mario DSi XL (identical to current hardware), launching for ¥18,000 in Japan on October 28th.  Nintendo is also working on a new Wii Remote Plus.



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Somehow..
By solarrocker on 9/29/2010 11:50:16 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
two 266MHz ARM11 CPUs, a 133MHz GPU, 4MB dedicated VRAM, 64MB RAM, and 1.5GB flash storage.


Somehow thought it would have better hardware, mean for $300?




RE: Somehow..
By mmntech on 9/29/2010 11:59:05 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, it's not very impressive at that price point. Specs are the same as the PSP and far behind the iPod Touch. Both of which are quite a bit cheaper. The 3D gimmick doesn't seem worth paying $71 to $131 more for equal or better hardware.


RE: Somehow..
By solarrocker on 9/29/2010 12:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And it also announced that it will have an app store -- similar to Apple's for the iPhone -- which will vend out old Game Boy and Game Boy Advance titles.


The good part is then with a 1.5 gig card you can have hundreds of games to play. Those oldies are not that big if a .rom is about 500KB for a old gameboy game.


RE: Somehow..
By Phynaz on 9/29/2010 12:32:45 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah, because hardware specs make good games.


RE: Somehow..
By corduroygt on 9/29/2010 12:44:25 PM , Rating: 2
They help, otherwise we wouldn't need anything more than a NES.


RE: Somehow..
By kraeper on 9/29/2010 1:33:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They help, otherwise we wouldn't need anything more than a NES.


Who says we need more?

Oh right.. the companies making them. And the publishers re-bundling the same crappy games and hoping people will buy them because they have more pixels.

Somewhat on topic, I'm very interested to see the 3D in person. Would be pretty sweet if it works well, pretty lame if it doesn't. However, given Nintendo's track record, I'm excited.


RE: Somehow..
By solarrocker on 9/29/2010 1:38:06 PM , Rating: 2
Just saying that for $300 I expected the hardware to be a bit... better.. What I see so far hardware wise it should barely cost $200 in the stores.


RE: Somehow..
By Aikouka on 9/29/2010 1:57:25 PM , Rating: 2
Well, you're considering the processing and storage portion of it, but we (or at least I) don't know how much that 3D screen adds to the cost. I'm assuming that since its relatively new technology (3D without glasses), that it is probably a bit more costly than your standard Nintendo DS screen.


RE: Somehow..
By Samus on 10/1/2010 12:17:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yeah, because hardware specs make good games.


Totally agree. Sure it's cool to have Call of Duty, Half Life 2, and ripped versions of older games like Starcraft II and WoW, but in my lifetime, all the best platformers were in the early 90's.

Super Metroid, Super Mario World, Sonic the Hedgehog, Mario RPG, Castlevania SOTN, the list goes on. These are arguably among the best games ever created. The proof lends itself to that many of the more successful games of late are based on these, such as Metroid Other M and New Super Mario Bros. And none of them need more than a 33mhz processor.


RE: Somehow..
By shaw on 9/29/2010 1:51:49 PM , Rating: 3
As discussed in other places, the 3DS is capable of doing low resolution Xbox360 and PS3 games level of graphics. The 3DS is far superior to the PSP.

The two ARM11 CPUs are clocked by default at 266MHz but can run at up to 400MHz, also notice that it's a dual core processor unlike PSP's single core.

It also has 4MB of dedicatd VRAM, PSP does not have this.
64MB of system RAM.

It also has hardware self shadowing and normal maps, once again the PSP does not have this.

1.5GB of built in flash memory, has much built in does PSP have?

This thing blows away the Nintndo DSi completely and PSP is not in it's league.


RE: Somehow..
By maroon1 on 9/29/2010 2:33:09 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The two ARM11 CPUs are clocked by default at 266MHz but can run at up to 400MHz, also notice that it's a dual core processor unlike PSP's single core.


But does that mean that is better than PSP ?

PSP uses a different CPU architecture. So, making comparison between two is difficult

quote:
It also has 4MB of dedicatd VRAM, PSP does not have this.


Yes it does

The PSP has GPU clocked at 166MHz with 2 MB onboard VRAM

quote:
64MB of system RAM.


The original PSP has 32MB ram. PSP 3000 and PSP Go has 64MB ram
quote:


RE: Somehow..
By Einy0 on 9/29/2010 4:46:23 PM , Rating: 3
The PSP has two MIPS R4000 32bit processors. Both chips dynamically clock between 1-333mhz. One chip has 8MB eDRAM for the 3D chip the other holds DSPs for sound and hardware video decoding plus 2MB eDRAM. The embedded graphics processor clocks between 1-166mhz dynamically. The 1000 model has 32MB of RAM and all following models have 64MB. 8MB is reserved for the kernel. The remainder is used by software and to buffer i/o from UMD / Flash / Memory Stick. The PSP Go model has 16GB flash on board expandable by M2 card. The other models use Memory Stick Pro Duo. Including the newer faster Mark2 cards that can transfer 30MB/s. Memory Stick Pro Duo is limited to 32GB which are already available. PSP with proper software updates may support MS Pro Duo XC standard that allows up to 2TB.
The sepcs sound very comparable to me. The PSP doesn't have the fancy new 3D screen.


RE: Somehow..
By cknobman on 9/29/2010 1:54:23 PM , Rating: 1
Yep.

If I wanted to pay $300 for a handheld device with this kind hardware I would time warp back to 2004-2005 when this was cutting edge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More overpriced Nintendo gimmicks.

Ill pass until the fad of 3d wears off(and yes it will wear off just look at 3D in the television and blue ray market its sinking faster than the titanic).


RE: Somehow..
By Phoque on 9/29/2010 7:06:27 PM , Rating: 1
I think in the not so distant future, you won't even be able to buy a television that doesn't support 3D. Popular or not, the industry is going to force it into our houses.


RE: Somehow..
By Chocolate Pi on 9/29/2010 1:58:50 PM , Rating: 2
Traditionally, all Nintendo hardware has retailed for a 1:1:100 USD-Euro-Yen ratio. (Significantly cheaper in the US.)

Until otherwise noted, Nintendo's announcement basically confirms a $250 3DS, not $300.


RE: Somehow..
By Phoque on 9/29/2010 7:00:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm also surprised. I was expecting something closer to the GHz range. Still, since the Wii, Nintendo seems to be steering away from bleeding edge silicon technology to the profit of gaming experience. And it has proven sucessfull. I don't believe that 3Ds buyers are going to be pixel shader 5.0 fanatics. Cartoony looking games can be as much fun as more realistically looking ones.

Nintendo isn't in the best hardware race anymore and I think it is a wise move on their part. Good enough current hardware with novelty features does the trick.

PSP2 is probably the one that's going to come out with beefed up hardware specs ( and cry out loud about it ), as Sony doesn't have much left to surprise us in terms of 3D, motion or touch features novelty.


By Jason H on 9/29/2010 2:15:57 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have a source for that? All we know so far is that it will be out "by March 2011". The Wii actually launched in North America before Japan.




By Chocolate Pi on 9/29/2010 3:08:07 PM , Rating: 2
I believe "a date in March" was explicitly stated in the press briefing.


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