Portable device with glasses-free 3D depth display to launch by 2011; more details at E3

Nintendo working on 3D handheld

A successor to the DS is on the way from Nintendo.

Called the Nintendo 3DS, the device will feature 3D displays with added depth and detail.

The 3DS will, Nintendo says, allow users to play "games [which] can be enjoyed with 3D effects without the need for any special glasses".

Currently, a raft of games engine, middleware and hardware manufacturers are pushing a move to 3D content in the home for games and film. Sony is expected to launch 3D games for the PS3 this summer.

However 3D setups come in a mix of configurations to view depth-perception tricks on a 2D screen, from basic colour-tinted (anaglyph) versions on home DVD and Blu-ray, grey-tinted (polarised) versions in cinemas, or high-end active shutter glasses used by Sony TV sets. And many say this presents a technical barrier to making 3D accessible to mass market consumers.

3DS will be backwards compatible with older DS games and will launched in Nintendo’s financial year starting this April – giving it until March 2011 to roll the device out.

But it’s most likely the firm is planning a Q4 2010 release – just as rivals Sony and Microsoft launch their motion controlling devices Move and Natal to compete with the Nintendo Wii.

In the official, if brief, press release detailing the 3DS, Nintendo describes it as the successor to the DS – a platform which has already sold over 125m units globally.

The firm also says Nintendo 3DS might be the device’s temporary name – although DS was also first described as such back in 2004.

More details will be given at E3 in LA this June.

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