It is not something we did not expect, but Nintendo has officially announced that this November a new system update for the portable Nintendo 3DS game console will enable the capturing of 3D video footage. So with the 3D camera of the portable 3D console you will soon be able to shoot not only 3D pictures, but also record 3D video and then preview it on the device’s autostereoscopic 3D display (not requiring you to wear special glasses to see the stereo 3D effect). Nintendo however still hasn’t revealed what format and resolution will the video be recorded in, but we can pretty much guess that it will be optimized for the resolution of the 3D display of the console. Just a reminder, the two cameras that make up the 3D camera functionality on the 3DS are with resolution of 640×480 pixels and the display of the console is with resolution of 400×240 pixels in 3D mode. So it will probably look quite good on the small autostereoscopic 3D display of the 3DS, but won’t be that great if you want to play it on a big screen 3D HDTV. But we’ll get to know that for sure in about two months anyway…
On November 13th Nintendo will release the Super Mario 3D Land game for Nintendo 3DS, the first Mario game for the portable 3D-capable console. But this 3D Mario platforming adventure will not be the only one featuring one of Nintendo’s most popular game characters, he will be the star in Mario Kart 7, a racing game for the 3DS and it will be available on December 4th. Both games are already quite anticipated and could turn out to be exactly what Nintendo needs to push up the sales of the 3DS console. And on top of that Nintendo is going with another game based on the hit The Legend of Zelda franchise – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword that launches on November 20th in honor of the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda. After the recent price cut and the release of the Nintendo 3DS Flame Red console Nintendo has gotten increase in user interest in the console, but not as much as they’ve expected.
How about printing yourself an autostereoscopic 3D display or actually turning your existing 2D monitor into a 3D capable one that does not require you to wear any glasses to have a perception of depth. The user Cybereality has managed to create his own DIY autostereoscopic LCD monitor mod using parallax barrier printed on a normal printer and he explains how this can be made in the video above. He is using a transparency film with printed parallax barrier for his monitor and then aligns it to his LCD screen and by adding the iZ3D driver with the Vertical Interleaved setting. Of course this method is far from being perfect and the quality you will get won’t be the same as a commercial autostereoscopic 3D display (it is hard to print the absolutely right size of the barrier as well as to perfectly match in on the display), but it can still be fun to try out and build your own autostereoscopic 3D solution on the cheap… very cheap, provided that you have all the required tools and materials handy. Then there is of course the number of vertical lines being halved (similar effect to the passive polarized display with halved horizontal lines in the resolution), the fact that you need to stay still while watching the monitor and be at a fixed position for optimum results and some other drawbacks. But still, if you are interested you can read on the full guide with more explanations from Cybereality by following the link below. I personally do plan to play a bit with this method in the next few days, maybe trying to cover some laptop screen of up to 12″ (enough for a single A4/Letter transparency film sheet as I don’t have access to A3 or larger size printer) to see how it goes.
Nintendo’s new portable gaming console 3DS that features an autostereoscopic 3D display, meaning that no glasses are needed to see the 3D effect, is going to be hitting the market at the end of March. Nintendo has just officially announced the release dates and pricing of the Nintendo 3DS consoles and according to the company it will be available in Europe on March 25th with a price of €249.99 (Euro) and on March 27th for $249.99 USD in North America and this comes a month after the Japanese release date of the 3D console that will happen on February 26th with a price of ¥25,000 (Japanese Yens).
Initially the Nintendo 3DS system will be available in either Cosmos Black or Aqua Blue color with more colors probably to come at a later time. The console uses two screens with the lower one being a touch sensitive one and the upper one being the autostereoscopic 3D one. The depth of the stereo 3D images being displayed on the screen while playing games in 3D mode can be adjusted with the help of a physical slider and you can even disable the 3D mode and getting the game “flattened” just like if you played it on a 2D screen (this is actually the 2D mode of the console). And besides a 3D-capable screen the 3DS console also comes with dual cameras allowing you to take photos in stereoscopic 3D format (there is also a third camera pointing at the user), but so far you will not be able to record videos in 3D with these two cameras (this functionality may come as a future update).
The Nintendo 3DS console will be able to take advantage of augmented reality technology and it comes with six augmented-reality cards, called AR Cards. When the two outer cameras are pointed at these cards, they can be recognized by the console and it can superimpose images and animations onto the scene. Developers will also be able to use this technology to add creative new experiences to their games.
The 3DS comes with built-in Parental Controls that can be used to limit Internet access or some of the wireless functions and by using a PIN code, parents also can turn off the 3D function altogether, or limit the ratings of the games that their kids can play. The parental control feature is important for concerned parents that want to limit the 3D functionality of the console so that too smaller children won’t be able to use it.
During the launch window (between the launch date and the E3 Expo in early June) more than 30 games will be available to Nintendo 3DS owners. These include Nintendo-created games like Pilotwings Resort, which has players soaring acrobatically over iconic Wuhu Island; nintendogs + cats, a new version of the Nintendo DS classic with a feline enhancement; Steel Diver, a side-scrolling submarine adventure that gives the illusion that the player is peering into an aquarium. Other Nintendo 3DS games in the works include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Star Fox 64 3D, Kid Icarus: Uprising and new installments in the Mario Kart, Animal Crossing and Paper Mario series.
More details are already available on Nintendo’s official website, so you can also check it out.