Well, well, well. It's been quite the day. In case you hadn't seen today's big announcement, Nintendo has officially announced the 3DS, a brand new handheld that will offer 3D gaming without the need for glasses.
This news has got ONM Towers buzzing, with everyone and their dog (not that we have animals in the office) chucking in their own tuppence worth about how they think it'll work, what they'd like it to do and what games they'd like to see on it. So, before I hand you the same opportunity, here is my own wish list.
The 3DS has already been confirmed to be backwards compatible with DS and DSi games, so that also confirms two things about the hardware: there will be at least two screens again and there'll be at least one touch screen. The DSi's cameras will be back too, because Nintendo specifically stated that the 3DS will include support for all games "including the ones for DSi". So...
1. GameCube-style graphics
I'm sure we'd all agree that it would be nice for the graphics to get a boost. Yes, the DS does a great job as it is, but the visuals are the one area where it could be improved. Give it GameCube-era graphics and you'll be able to open up a whole new world of handheld possibilities, especially with the 3D display. Also, imagine a range of classic GameCube games re-released on handheld and in 3D. I'm talking Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi's Mansion, Super Smash Bros. Melee or Wind Waker.
2. Lenticular technology?
As for the 3D itself, just how are they going to manage this without glasses? I'm a bit of a 3D effects buff, and I reckon they could use lenticular technology. It works in a similar way to those pictures you can get where you tilt the page and the image either changes or looks 3D. This technology has come on in leaps and bounds and it might be the way Nintendo chooses to go, though it might still be a bit too pricey to manufacture and that wouldn't really go with Nintendo's mantra of cheap, affordable gaming.
Either way, it's going to be very interesting to see what Nintendo reveals at E3. People might think today's announcement ruins the surprise but what Nintendo has done is actually very clever in my opinion. By not showing anything at all everyone's going to be talking about the 3DS by June, and owners of other systems who wouldn't have paid much attention to Nintendo's E3 conference will now be tuning in to see exactly how they're going to pull this off.
3. Pokémon 3D
As regular followers of my blog will know, I'm ploughing through a very popular game just now, a game which is taking over every free minute of my life. So, as soon as I started thinking about possible 3DS games, one thing immediately sprang to mind. Pokémon. We already know there's a fifth generation Pokémon game on the way. Could it be that it's coming to the 3DS?
I hope so. Imagine if the next proper Pokémon game was in 3D? When an opponent chucks a Pokéball, the Pokémon could burst out of it in front of your face! It could also offer potentially much better graphics than the likes of Platinum and HeartGold. It would be a sure-fire way to shift millions of 3DSes. We could find out more about this soon when CoroCoro magazine reveals more details on Pokémon the fifth generation.