Nintendo hopes to continue its dominance over the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) handheld gaming unit by releasing a 3D-version of its DS.
Currently code-named 3DS, the new version of the DS will not require gamers to wear a custom pair of glasses when gaming in 3D. All current DS and DSi video games will work with the 3DS.
An official release date for the Nintendo 3DS hasn’t been disclosed, but it’s possible the device will be available by the end of Nintendo’s March 2011 fiscal year. The company will officially unveil the device during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) conference this June.
While most of the attention has been on 3D making its way into the living room, there is a growing interest in bringing 3D to video games.
The DS, which remains the most popular portable gaming unit on the market, has sold 125 million units since its debut six years ago. Last month, the company sold 613,200 DS units — a number higher than traditional consoles and handheld gaming models from Sony and Microsoft.
The Nintendo Wii game console is losing market control to the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 game consoles — but the company’s hold on the mobile gaming market remains strong. Nintendo, which remains dedicated to gaming alone, must embrace any new innovations in gaming to remain the leader.
Since the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch continue to encroach on Nintendo’s portable gaming business, I think now is a crucial time for Nintendo to innovate. The company is also now working with the Japanese government to bring the DS into schools across the country.