Saturday, June 19, 2010

Nintendo 3DS…The possibilities of real 3D gaming?

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The Nintendo DS series of handheld gaming consoles has been a majorly popular handheld released earlier this decade.  It has gone through 4 iterations, the original DS, the DS Lite, The DSi, and the DSi XL.  Now, Nintendo is on the verge of releasing the 3DS, a 3D DS with the graphics power to rival that of the PSP.  A handheld that is rumored to have the graphics pushing power on par with the PS3 and Xbox 360.  I have to wonder if that is mere speculation, but some of the games, from screen shots, look amazing.  I would have to compare them to more on the lines of Gamecube or Wii graphics, but maybe the system has the power to deliver such graphics.  Nintendo has expressed a level of concern over the iPhone and iPod Touch in recent months, considering the devices can push some moderately impressive graphics.  I think the push for “real” 3D is Nintendo’s attempt at remaining relevant, and ahead of the competition.

We all have read about what hardware the 3DS has on it.  Front and outward facing camera’s, an analog stick/nub, 4 face buttons and two shoulder buttons, touch interface, and pretty much all of the familiar things you expect from the DS line of systems.  What the 3DS offers is a 3D display that can be turned on and off dependant on users tastes.  The 3D has gotten some mixed reviews lately, but no one has actually had the chance to play any games to determine what the 3D effect is truly like.  Regardless, over the years, developers will learn how to take advantage of this new feature and release some great titles.  The question with the developers is how will they implement the 3D element into their games to give us an “off the screen” look?

I have some speculation for you in regards to what we could expect.

First Person Shooters: This is a genre that almost seems obvious when it comes to realistic 3D.  When polygons were first638020 introduced to the gaming world, First Person Shooters took off thanks to the level of depth that was achieved.  With the 3DS’s 3D effect, the perception of depth and distance could see a brand new level of realism.  Players that want to throw grenades will have a more accurate perception of distance to determine angle of throw.  The possibilities are impressive.

Racing:  Again, like FPS games, 3D gives a more accurate level of depth perception.  This will come in handy when trying to avoid fender benders.  Who hasn’t played a high speed racer where a slight bump caused you to either loose some speed, or even spin out.

Platformers:  Platformer games took a major change with the entrance of polygonal 3D games.  Because of that change, it has been a bit of a hit and miss, literally.  Many a times have I had my controller leaving my hand at high velocities because my character not make the jump because of poor depth perception.  Well with a 3D effect the 3DS can deliver better perception of depth when you need to jump from spot to spot.

The possibilities are only limited to what the developers can come up with.  It is really interesting to find out what the can, and will, do.

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