Nintendo 3DS: what the future holds

Nintendo 3DS
The Nintendo 3DS caused plenty of excitement at E3 2010

The Nintendo 3DS was undoubtedly the big news at this year's E3 in Los Angeles, somewhat overshadowing the Kinect and Move motion-control games on show from Microsoft and Sony.

While Nintendo is often accused of being slightly behind the curve with its home console strategy, with the Wii still not embracing high definition gaming years after many of us have already invested in HD TVs, its handheld strategy continues to lead the way, with the new 3DS console offering 3D gaming without glasses on the go.

Nintendo 3ds: will it prove to be appealing to the hardcore?

3DS: Will it prove to be appealing to the hardcore?

From talking to numerous developers and publishers that are working with Nintendo to create 3DS games, we expect that the new Nintendo 3DS will be released at some point around Easter 2011 in the UK.

Perhaps the most impressive news that we learned from E3 last month is that there are currently over 70 3DS games in development, including first-party Nintendo titles such as a new Mario Kart, Pilotwings, Animal Crossing, Paper Mario and Nintendogs and Cats.

Robust third-party support for 3DS

Not only that, but there seems to be pretty robust third-party publisher support for the 3DS, something that Nintendo has been criticised for in the past (in terms of giving far more development and marketing support to its own first-party games over and above third-party products from the likes of EA, Activision, Ubisoft and all the other major games publishers and developers in the market).

With 3DS games on the way in 2011 such as Capcom's Resident Evil and Super Street Fighter, Konami's Metal Gear Solid, Namco's Ridge Racer, Sega's Sonic, Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed and plenty more, it surely seems like Nintendo's latest venture would have to be completely borked to fail?

3DS hands-on: everybody we've spoken to that's played it is impressed

3DS Hands-on: Everybody we've spoken to that's played it is impressed

TechRadar's Mike Jackson had plenty of hands-on time with the new Nintendo 3DS out at E3 this year and he was quick to inform us that as cool as Sony's PlayStation Move controller and Microsoft's Kinect systems surely are, Nintendo "totally stole the show at E3 2010 with the Nintendo 3DS – the true successor to its popular two-screen handheld that's able to display full stereoscopic 3D without the need for glasses."

But will Mr Miyamoto and co. seriously be able to create good enough 3D games to ensure that the 3DS is taken seriously six months and beyond after launch? This is surely the question that most Nintendo fans are secretly asking themselves…

Sony 3D vs Nintendo 3D

We know that Sony is embracing 3D TV with its PlayStation and Bravia brands, but 3D 'in the hand' is a very different proposition altogether.

And as we informed you in the Nintendo 3DS review from E3: "While the bottom screen is a normal 3.02-inch touch panel, the upper screen – a slightly larger 3.53-inch display – uses lenticular technology which, all babble aside, means that you get the same 3D effect as a 3DTV without having to don those hideous specs. And it works brilliantly."

3DS in the hand: nintendo takes the lead in portable 3d

3DS in the hand: Nintendo takes the lead in portable 3D

Believe it or not (and, of course, you won't fully believe it until you try it) the 3DS really is "pin-sharp" and it also "never feels like its straining your eyes" and you don't get that annoying ghosting you now and then catch at the cinema when you are watching the latest Pixar or Disney 3D blockbuster.

As well as those games mentioned above, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata also revealed that there are some truly great hardcore and casual 3D games planned for 3DS, from the likes of Kid Icarus: Uprising through to Nintendogs and Cats. All this in mind, it really is hard to see how it could possibly fail.

But don't just take our word for it. TechRadar spoke with a number of devs working with the tech, as well as with specialist Nintendo editors that were lucky enough to spend some proper time with the new 3DS handheld at E3 this year to find out more.

Adam Hartley