I guess an explanation is in order. About four months ago at one of Agius's NARPS, I was asking Tactix why there have not been any Destructoid Community Discusses updates in quite some time. He basically told me that since he has been tied up with work and handling some of the SF community tasks, that he has not had time to carry fourth with maintaining the blogs. Long story short, he asked me if I wanted to help out with it, told him I'd love to and started getting an article prepped a few weeks later.
So I will be helping out in continuing the Community Discuess blogs until Tactix has enough time to pick it up again. The conversation I am about to present to you guys actually took place from April 8th - April 14th, so if you were wondering why the conversation seems a little dated, well.... it's because it is.
I am hoping that I can stick a bi-weekly schedule. It's been kinda tough finding time to update the blog, given that I got sick shortly after the conversation was concluded and spent the remaining months extremely busy at work, or sick at home with strep. So even though you guys probably had no idea that this was going to be started up again, I apologize about the lateness in posting the article and I will from this point on be able to keep a more regular bi-weekly schedule. As this is my first article, I wanted to keep the conversation light. So our panel this week consists of Joshhest, Chris Healy, and myself, with a little assist from Tactix. Here is the prompt as presented to them:
The Nintendo 3DS
Image stolen from Chris Kohler's Twitter feed.
With the announcement of the Nintendo 3DS, there has been more speculation made about the successor to the DS as opposed to actual facts about what the system is going to offer gamers. I know that I am paraphrasing, but the only known facts are that the system is going to have a 3D solution that does not require the use of glasses and that it is backwards compatible with all DS titles. There have been some questions about the timing of the press release as well, since the DSi XL was on the verge of being publicly available, as it seems as if Nintendo is putting the success of that particular hardware revision at risk with this announcement.
So my main question is that are you excited about this announcement?
Since we have not seen any new consoles since 2006, “and no new portable systems since 2005”, this will most likely be the first major system release in 4-5 years, given if the hardware is revised. Do you believe that the system will be successful, or will it drop off the face of the planet like their last stab at 3D gaming? Also, what kind of experiences would you like to be explored on the system?
I would like to start by saying I'm really excited by the impending release of the DS3. In theory. I would also like to say that I have complete confidence in Nintendo's understanding of what people want in portable gaming (I adore my original DS Heavy), but then I slip into that pile of gaming muck known as Virtual Boy.
Hopefully the pain and embarrassment of Virtual Boy's implosion is enough to ensure that this latest entry into the portable market doesn't rely too heavily on gimmicks at the expense of producing a fun, gamer-friendly machine.
Of course all of this hedges on what specs / features end up in the final product, so I'll wait and see--cautious optimism is my watchword.
Supposed leaked 3DS photo taken from albotas.com
I'm sort of in the middle, not too excited, but very interested. I can't quite say if it's gonna be successful or not yet, it's going to largely depend on how clear the 3D clear is and if it's going to add depth or pop out towards the player. I don't think it's going to hinder sales of the XL too much though because I think a lot of people had made up their mind about whether they were going to pick one up or don't read into video game news very much and don't know about it yet. If i remember correctly it's going to come out some time around spring next year in Japan which would mean a Fall or Winter release in America, I think that a decent amount of time from the release of the XL.
I think making the announcement so close to the DSi XL release was a bit of a mistep. I was dead set on buying an XL, but with this announcement and the knowledge that the system will be able to play my DS library, I figured that I can wait a year for the new version of the system. It seems to be the opinion shared by a lot of my friends as well.
I am excited to see what Nintendo does with the new 3DS. Given Nintendo's track record with handhelds, there is really no reason for me to doubt the potential success for the system, but some questions remain. Will this just be a simple DS upgrade like the evolution of the DS to the DSi, or will it be the portable system with Gamecube-ish graphics that has been rumored. As far as press releases are concerned, the release was very lacking in content and I was hoping for a little bit more information. Screens would have helped me form a better opinion.
I'm not entirely convinced that it's a misstep. Depending on how much of a leap the 3DS ends up being (and by extension how much it costs) it could open up an interesting market for people who aren't quite ready to make the jump and pay the premium for a new and slightly experimental 3D system.
My guess is that since the DSi XL seems to be more or less a body redesign with a slightly bigger screen, Nintendo is hoping to get a few more people interested with a product that they don't have to spend much more research or development dollars on (unlike the 3DS).
That being said, I want to wait for June and get some details.
Also, can we have a round of applause for how awesome Nintendo's Hype Machine has become? I have no doubt that regardless of how cheesy or flop-worthy this 3D ends up being, it will inspire the same Tickle-me-Elmo level of consumer fever that the Wii did: moms fighting, kids burning stuff, Jim Sterling shitting all over it--the whole bit.
I don't see it as a misstep too much either. I believe a lot of people who didn't make the jump from the DS to the DSi are still gonna go out and get the XL then sell their old DS.
Putting out such a vague press release was a smart decision in my opinion, because it gets people talking about what it's gonna be able to do and it's going to get a whole lot of people to check out their E3 press conference to find out more.
I will definitely agree that this thing is going to get a lot of hype, if only for the fact that it's going to be doing 3D without glasses. Little kids across the world are sure to be entertained by that alone.
We can only hope. :-)
In response what Tim said about holding off on buying the DSi XL because of the announcement of the 3DS, I dont think those are the core market that the DSi XL is really aimed for anyway. I'm sure that those that would be most appealed to the DSi XL are the more casual DSi owners who probably dont read Dtoid or Kotaku or whatever.
For them, I bet that they are probably consumers who have seen the DSi and kinda wanted one....the release of a "new and improved DSi!" is probably all they need to have them pick one up. Take into account that the XL comes packed with Brain Age games, and you know that the system is totally marketed for Grandmas with bad eyesight.
So even if Nintendo doesnt get the hardcore gamer money with the XL, I'm sure they are more than satisfied to get it later with the 3DS.
I kinda want to know what you think about how the 3DS will work? There is tons of speculation on it....one thought is that it will be like the Japanese Wii Ware release game (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5QSclrIdlE&feature=related
) which uses the camera to track motion and give the DS a sort of "pop in" 3D effect. In the most recent Game Informer magazine there was also some speculation about multiple layers of screen that might give a "pop out" 3D effect. What do you guys think will be the case? (that video is amazing btw :P)
Eh, I see it as a mistake where Nintendo could have easily made a ton more money sitting on the announcement while they push the XL for a few months. They are only charging $20 extra for a bigger screen and we all know Nintendo will not release a system unless they can turn a profit on it. I just think Nintendo could have pushed the announcement back to E3 and still would have been okay as far as getting enough pre-release hype.
Aaaaaaaaand enough about the DSi. :-)
As far as the Nintendo 3DS's tech is concerned. I am really hoping they use camera motion mixed with the parallax barrier tech that Hitachi is developing. (http://www.destructoid.com/potential-nintendo-3ds-screen-hitachi-s-3-1-inch-170782.phtml
for more info on the screens and it's maybe a possiblity for Nintendo's new handheld.)
The only thing that I have an issue with the camera tracking is that the effect can be very frame rate dependent. I remember during E3 2007, a bunch of companies, "along with Sony" were demoing potential camera based head tracking solutions that was demoed earlier in the year with that amazing Johnny Lee YouTube clip for the Wii. Although it did work, quick and sudden movements did not really give an effective 3D effect to any of the items demoed, due to the framerate being unable to keep up with the movements. With that noted, I really want to see how convincing the Hitachi screens look, regardless if it does not end up on the 3DS.
I'm hoping they use the hitachi screens as well. From what I've read about them, they seem like a perfect fit for the 3ds.
As for the framerate issue, it's been a few years since those demos and they could very well have worked out those problems by now. Since it's a handheld too, I don't how much quick and suddens movements would be used.
All in all, I'm very excited too see what nintendo has in store for us at D3. I can't wait to see what the 3ds look like and how the games look. It's sure to be a very exciting press conference.
And that concludes the 20th Community Discusses. Please note that all of my CD blogs will be denoted with an asterisk, as they are not written by Tactix. I am looking to start up a new discussion at the end of the week, so we can all talk about the craziness that is E3 this week. So if you are interested, by all means send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be sure to keep in contact with you guys. Thanks for reading and stay awesome.
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