3DS is Nintendo’s fourth 3D machine

The industry is hoping that the upcoming 3DS will finally thrust 3D into the forefront of modern gaming, but Nintendo has confessed that its experiments with 3D gaming date back further than we think.

The fate of the ill-fortuned Virtual Boy is well documented but speaking in the regular Iwata Asks series, Nintendo president Saturo Iwata has confessed to toying with two other 3D machines.

"Making three-dimensional images that can be seen by the naked eye requires a special liquid crystal, so we tested it out by putting it in the Game Boy Advance SP," Iwata confessed.

"But the resolution of LCD was low then, so the stereoscopic effect wasn’t very sharp – it didn’t look that great and it never made it to being a product."

And it doesn’t stop there.

"To go back a little further, the Nintendo GameCube system actually had 3D-compatible circuitry built in," he added.

"The liquid crystal for it was still expensive. Simply put, Nintendo GameCube could display 3D images if you attached a special LCD, but that special liquid crystal was really expensive back then.

"We couldn’t have done it without selling it for a price far above that of the Nintendo GameCube system, itself. We already had a game for it, though – Luigi’s Mansion, simultaneously released with Nintendo GameCube."

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