Waking up today to the news of an updated Nintendo handheld was a pleasant surprise. Now we all expected a new Nintendo handheld at some point in the near future, but who knew it would be something so innovative and fresh? Oh wait, this is Nintendo we’re talking about!
My thoughts on the initial news? I’m excited… in fact I’m just plain giddy about the idea of a new way to play video games! Reading the press release this morning brought me back to E3 2004 when the original Nintendo DS was unveiled. This was a defining moment for me because I was a complete non-believer. In fact, I thought the original DS was going to fall so flat on it’s face that I left Nintendo thinking I was bailing out of a sinking ship… Who would buy such a gimmicky device when the much sexier PSP was just around the corner?
Of course, I jumped back on ship just a few months later and was able to rejoin the big N just in time for the DS launch which was amazing. A new experience was what Nintendo promised, and it delivered with innovative games like Nintendogs, a touch screen Zelda and of course a true retro throwback New Super Mario Bros. So what will the Nintendo 3DS bring us? That’s where my excitement lays… we could be on the brink of a whole new way to play!
Rumors have been flying around for months that the new Nintendo handheld will be running on a modified GameCube graphics chipset and have built in tilt sensors. This morning we learned it will also have some kind of 3D technology that doesn’t require glasses… interesting indeed. I don’t think Nintendo will show anymore of it’s cards before E3 but it is encouraging to know that 3rd party developers already have dev units and (almost) everyone seems super impressed. A few Japanese websites posted a slew of additional details including an analog stick and 4 inch screen size, but again the only thing Nintendo has confirmed is the fact the Nintendo 3DS will be 100 percent backwards compatible.
My guess? This thing will look completely different from the current DS hardware iterations. Nintendo has stressed that this is not just another DS so expect the unexpected is the name of the game.
One of the more exiting aspects of all of the current rumors flying around is the fact the system will have the processing power of a handheld GameCube. Sure there are a ton of new ideas Nintendo will throw at us, but I hope some re-invisioning of a chosen few neglected genres will make into the mix. We haven’t seen a new F-Zero game in years, and a 3D remake of the Amusement Vision/Nintendo GameCube classic would be just fine by me.
One other classic gem that I would love to see be given the 3D treatment is Kirby’s Dream Course – the games mini-golf inspired landscapes scream 3D! Throw in a wifi mode and user generated content and N might find themselves with another pink puffy hit on their hands.
I’m sure we’ll see a Mario, Zelda and Pokemon iteration within the first few years of the hardwares life cycle, but my personal guess for a launch lineup will include a Nintendogs sequel. It’s been a solid 5 years since the first trio of games stole everyones heart and 3D might be that one thing that could rejuvenate the whole virtual pet market.
So, 3DS. I’m excited and you should be too. Can’t wait to get my hands on this thing come June at E3. Nintendo, make me a believer again!