Sounds like awesome news for all Nintendo-lovers: you won’t have to wait too long to get your hands on the new Nintendo 3DS, as the company is planning to demonstrate the device in a mere three months from now at E3 2010, according to the NY Times. If you recall the last time a new device was unveiled by Nintendo (the Wii), fans had to wait nearly forever to get one of their own.
Nintendo spokesman Ken Toyoda said yesterday that “We wanted to give the gaming industry a head’s up about what to expect from Nintendo at E3”, in response to questions why the company made such a surprise announcement.
“We’ll invite people to play with the new device then”.
E3 2010 will be held in Los Angeles between June 15 and June 17, which is less than three months away. We knew we’d be seeing the thing there, but for it to be in a publicly playable state is a surprise. A pleasant surprise.
Unlike the recent flurry of three dimensional films and TV technologies, the new machine will not require users to wear special glasses to view images in 3-D, the company said. The new device will be on display at the E3 video game trade show in June, Nintendo said in a press release.
The popularity of 3-D films like “Avatar” from Twentieth Century Fox and “Alice in Wonderland” from Walt Disney Pictures — which required wearing polarized glasses for images to appear in 3-D — has helped propel the popularity of the technology after several false starts in the past.
Now, manufacturers like Samsung, Panasonic and Sony are racing to bring 3-D technology into the living room. The 3-D LCD televisions come with more advanced “active shutter” glasses, which darken and lighten in sync with the TV to help create the illusion of three dimensions. Sony has also said that games for its PlayStation 3 consoles will be available in 3-D.
Samsung of South Korea started selling 3-D-enabled televisions last month, with prices starting at about $1700. The Japanese electronics makers Panasonic and Sony have promised their own versions this year.
Hitachi, another Japanese manufacturer, released a cellphone last year that has a 3-D display that does not require glasses. Hitachi, together with Sharp, supplies LCD screens to Nintendo.
Nintendo would not say what kind of technology its new 3-D handheld employs or how much it would cost. The new console will be compatible with games for Nintendo’s older DS and DSi handheld models, the company said.
The Nintendo 3DS will go on sale in the company’s next fiscal year, which runs from April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011.
“We wanted to give the gaming industry a head’s up about what to expect from Nintendo at E3,” said Ken Toyoda, chief spokesman at Nintendo. “We’ll invite people to play with the new device then.”
The DS console from Nintendo — the company behind Super Mario and Pokemon games — has been a hit, selling 125 million units since it was introduced in 2004. The DS has outsold a rival handheld game machine from Sony, the PlayStation Portable, by a factor of two to one.
Nintendo has also scored successes, especially among casual game players, with its Wii video game machine. The Wii comes with a wandlike, motion-detecting remote controller that mimics motions in games, like a golf swing or boxing punch. The company has sold 67.5 million units of the Wii since it went on sale in 2006.
But the emergence of unlikely rivals in the mobile game market — the iPhone and iPod Touch, both by Apple — have raised the pressure for Nintendo to launch a new game system.
Apple’s multifunction phone and music players run games that can be downloaded from its online iTunes store, and have helped the company build a fan base among less hard-core game players.
Nintendo has struggled to maintain the stellar earnings it has logged in the past few years. Net profit for the nine months through December fell 9 percent to ¥192.6 billion, or $2.1 billion, as strong holiday sales were offset by a stronger Japanese currency, which reduces the value of overseas earnings when converted into yen.
The company, which derives 85 percent of its revenue outside Japan, has been particularly vulnerable to foreign exchange fluctuations. Nintendo continues to forecast a ¥230 billion profit for the full fiscal year through March, on sales of ¥1.5 trillion.
Source: NY Times.