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How the Nintendo 3DS Might Handle 3D Display 77

itwbennett writes "Blogger Peter Smith weighs in with some possibilities for how the new Nintendo 3DS handheld gaming system will provide 3D gaming without the need for 3D glasses. The DSi has cameras, which means the 3DS will have to have them too if it's going to be backwards compatible. We've also heard rumors that the 'next DS' will have tilt-sensors better than the iPhone. With either the camera or tilt-sensors either of these 'faux 3D' systems would work. But since we've seen the DSi do this already, it doesn't seem likely that the new hardware will rely on the same old trick. Enter our friends at Engadget, who uncovered some details from Japanese newspapers. If they're right, the Nintendo 3DS will incorporate parallax barrier LCD screens from Sharp (see also this explanation of dynamic parallax barrier screens). This is the same technology used in a few '3D Laptops.'"
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How the Nintendo 3DS Might Handle 3D Display

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  • Can I make a phone call with it yet?

  • When iPhone came on board with games, etc, I knew there will be potentially improved products from Nintendo and eventually Sony/Microsoft.

    Competition brings that.

    So the more variety of products (iPhone, iPad, Android, etc etc) the better it is for all of us.
    • by aliquis ( 678370 )

      This is why Apple hate competition.

      Hence better patent and sue ALL!

    • Mmmm, just what I'm hankering for is a bigger range of locked-down devices which I cannot upgrade nor run my own programs on.

      This segment of the market is the biggest threat to the general-purpose computer.
      • This segment of the market is the biggest threat to the general-purpose computer.

        Wow, that's just a big bag of crazy.

        How does a mobile gaming device threaten the general purpose computer? I'd say it actually strengthens it.

        As far as locked down devices go, phones have always been fairly locked down, same as PDAs, gaming consoles, etc. I can't say I've seen an open source gaming console take off. This is not to say I'm against open source, far from it, but you have to give respect where respect is due.

        I really can't understand this luddite attitude that seems to rule on a tech site. "Thi

        • These devices will only become more powerful and popular, so web sites and app coders will converge to that segment, making them more appealing to the everyday consumer (who to be fair has probably had their fill of malware on the general-purpose platform) - there's a real danger that the market for the general-purpose computer upon which one can run programs that aren't necessarily approved by the device's masters will contract to a level that makes it uneconomic.
  • Not full/real 3D (Score:1, Interesting)

    by morphles ( 1257124 )

    Yesterday i was checking anaglyph rendering capability of game i'm playing and then it hit me. Nether anaglyph nor interlaced glasses and probably not even VR glasses are full true 3d. Here is why:
    glasses give you perception of depth that is very cool effect and all, but one thing is missing: you move your head you see different stuff. Now head tracking gives joust that and it is also very cool in itself. Now what i would really like to try is some glasses 3d (preferably non anaglyph, cause anaglyph is hard

    • by gaggle ( 206502 )
      Indeed, your point is valid. It's a classic issue that we don't get perspective-changing 3d with the current round of 3d. The equally-classic response to your idea of "proper 3d" is that it causes problems for multiple viewers since you suddenly can't sit at an angle to the TV because it leaves you looking at the walls of the recording studio.

      How would you choose to solve it? I don't mean technically, let's just imagine it's possible in an easy and nonintrusive way, how do you then imagine the livingroom
      • Hm yeah quite an interesting problem. You stand by the side of tv and you side of scene (if your watching concert). Well maybe you could do something as nonlinear video angle change. Like when you are moving closer and closer to the edge angle change on video/picture gets smaller and smaller. So this way you could still see stuff from different angles adn get impressive viewing angle change while sidestepping at center of screen, but still not see sides of scenes/studios/whatever when sitting at the side o

    • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )

      Nintendo released a game using the DSi camera for head tracking recently (it's only available in Japan) so you can expect this thing to do head tracking.

    • I wonder... It doesn't make much sense to me to employ any kind of stereoscopic or similar display method on a device so small. Not only does the size of the screen mean any 3d effect achieved will be quite subdued, and I guess you'll end up calculating each frame twice (or three times for the triple-veil display?). Maybe the horizontal resolution for each angle is one third of the actual display resolution (don't know, don't care to look it up right now), but if so, that too seems like a picture quality co
      • Dammit, that's exactly what I said when mobile phones started to run games. Before I said "get out of my lawn", of course.

    • Nope, it's not true 3D. If it was, the bullets would come out of the screen and kill you.

      Be careful how much reality you really wish for. :)

  • I understand why 3D television is the current fad. Since a decent number movies are now being made in 3D, there is some logic in a range of big-screen TVs for those into their audio-visual experiences. But, for the rest of us? Either you'll have recently upgraded to HDTV and one of the appropriate services (cable, Sky+HD, Freesat, whatever) and be wondering what the fuss was about, or you've up-upgraded one of those services, or your TV.
    Similarly with gaming, good on Nintendo for trying something differe
  • types of 3d (Score:5, Informative)

    by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:57PM (#31613078)

    While 3D seems like a simple enough concept, faking 3D on a screen can go several different routes.

    the kind you have in theaters or with shutter glasses approximates supplying each eye with a different image just like it would in real life. So what's the catch? well you get the same two images no matter where you sit in the theater. So 1) it can't be perfectly correct for every point of view in the theater 2) you don't see the expected change if you move. that is if you move you'd expect to be able to see around one object blocking your view of another. but that does not happen with this kind of 3D.

    then there are ones that try to broadcast a different image at every different angle. You can't really do that in practice so you broadcast one or two images at a couple angles and let interpolation happen.

    lenticular lenses and these blocked screen do this second type.

    this recovers the head-motion 3d but has the drawback of having less of a sweet spot where each eye gets the perfectly registered image. However even when this fails, it can fall back to monocular 3D where at least the view point is right.

    this kind of 3d is better for up close viewing by a single person. that is, for a hand controller.

    A final kind of 3D is monocular 3D. there there is one image but you eye track or tilt track in a way that lets you update the image for the new point of view.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sam0737 ( 648914 )

      that is if you move you'd expect to be able to see around one object blocking your view of another. but that does not happen with this kind of 3D.

      Apparently, Nintendo has done this...and it's available today in NDS!

      Please see this game: []

      The 3D environment move when you look around the NDS screen. I think it's done by some image recognition with the front facing camera.

      • by Tacvek ( 948259 )

        that is if you move you'd expect to be able to see around one object blocking your view of another. but that does not happen with this kind of 3D.

        Apparently, Nintendo has done this...and it's available today in NDS!

        Please see this game: []

        The 3D environment move when you look around the NDS screen. I think it's done by some image recognition with the front facing camera.

        Actually that is something he already described:

        A final kind of 3D is monocular 3D. there there is one image but you eye track or tilt track in a way that lets you update the image for the new point of view.

  • by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:57PM (#31613080) Homepage

    ...but I'm more interested in:

    Screens that are more resistant to scratches, hinge mechanisms that don't get all loose and weird, higher resolution displays, better sound (with headphones the DS actually puts out decent sound, but the internal speakers are worthless), and larger ad-hoc wifi range.

    The DS is a fantastic piece of hardware, don't get me wrong...but those are the improvements I would like to see the most, ESPECIALLY the larger ad-hoc range. When a bunch of friends and I are playing Civ Rev and I have to go to the bathroom, or one of them decides to dip out for a quick cig, it would be nice to be able to keep the wireless connected.

  • Speculation! From a non-source.

    Seriously, who cares how someone thinks they MIGHT or COULD do it? Unless someone has some info as to how they're LIKELY, or PROBABLY doing it (as good as it gets before actual announcements), it's just spitballing and time wasting. Come back when there's at least some evidence of how they'll go.

    • Well, it's admittedly speculation.

      Speculation is a big part of pre-announcements. Look at all the crazy Apple guys and their authentic looking mockups when they have hardly anything to go by. I'd say this article is rather tame by comparison.

  • Hmmm... this was just covered on the news this morning (or late last night) where they actually revealed how they are really doing it. Thus, I guess this speculation is late and outdated already...

    • by Jer ( 18391 )

      Link? The only news I've seen is that Nintendo is going to be demoing them at E3 this year.

      • Link to an "over the cable" news report? Sure...


        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          Link is slashdotted, anyone have a mirror?

        • by Jer ( 18391 )

          You saw a report on the tee-vee news that outlined how the Nintendo 3DS is going to function, and there's no reporting about it on any tech blog or gamer site that even says "OMFG - CNN/Fox/MSNBC/Local TV station reports on how the new DS will handle 3D graphics?" When every tech blog, gamer site and newspaper that shows up on Google News suggests that Nintendo isn't releasing any hard information about how it's going to work until E3?

  • Best Buy to sync the cameras for me
  • Please increase the power. I'm a dissapointed DS owner. The graphics suck so bad for 3d games it's hard to tell what the hell is going on. Things like mario are ok. But trying to play Madden or NFS.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hatta ( 162192 )

      Oh the graphics are fine. They're easily better than the N64 and some of the greatest games ever were on that platform. I've yet to see an ugly DS game that wasn't shovelware.

  • Now that there are a lot of 3D solutions for PCs that actually work, I'd love to see a new version of Descent. []

    I have NO interest in 3D television. I've seen it back when Pepsi did that 3D superbowl commercial - it was the only superbowl I ever watched and it was to see the 3D advert, and it's nice and all, but I don't want 3D television. Why? If it introduces ANY flicker, I am not interested. If it tempts directors to have things move toward the camera just for the 3D effect, like most 3D movies, it will

    • Now that there are a lot of 3D solutions for PCs that actually work, I'd love to see a new version of Descent. []

      It is absolutely infathomable to understand exactly how much you just blew my mind.

  • The controls on the DS change to allow for 3D interaction. Now that would truly enhance the gameplay experience. fail
  • Idle speculation for nerds. Stuff that's likely completely irrelevant.

  • or 3M LCD screen? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheSync ( 5291 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @01:33PM (#31613772) Journal

    Here is a rumor that the 3DS will use the 3M film 3D LCD screen [].

    The screen is a frame-sequential two-view autostereoscopic system based on directional backlight. The left eye frame is displayed with the backlight applied on one side of the 3M film that directs the light into your left eye, the right eye frame is then displayed with the backlight applied to the other side of the 3M file to direct the light into your right eye.

    I have one on the viewfinder of my Fuji FinePix Real 3D [] stereoscopic digital camera, and it works pretty well. You do have to position yourself fairly precisely in front of the screen to get the stereoscopic effect, but that is not too hard with a portable device.

  • by rm999 ( 775449 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @01:37PM (#31613874)

    The Virtual Boy, Nintendo's first attempt at a 3D video game system, was an utter failure; I bought mine a year after its release for 30 dollars, marked down from 200.

    I actually kind of liked playing games in 3D, it really does change the experience. But the system game me pretty severe headaches after an hour of playing. I'd like to see how they can avoid that this time around.

    • I do in fact remember Virtual Boy. From an engineering standpoint, it's actually quite fascinating. They're using a single row of red LEDs and a set of mirrors to create the image. It's almost like DLP.

      I was actually considering buying a whole Virtual Boy set off of eBay. There's only like 10 or 20 games in existence, so it wouldn't be hard to get the whole collection.

    • Yes, the Virtual Boy is why I no longer see the color red.
  • I hate the fact that some people are confusing holographs with 3D.

    3D means you can view more than 2 dimensions. As humans have only 2 eyes, and we get the real life 3d effect from using both eyes, if you provide different information to each eye, you get 3D that is as "real" as anything in real life. It provides specific detailed information about which item is 'in front' of and 'behind' each item, unlike a photograph where you can do silly tricks like make it look like you are pushing the leaning Tower

    • The definitons aren't defined properly. Our perception of depth is based on stereo vision, you stereoscopic images are a pretty perfect representation, at least for a fixed view.

      For a perfect representation from every view you of course need to recreate the complete vector field of photons, which is pretty inconceivable.

      A lot of people like to talk about two technologies: Hologrophy and Volumetric displays.

      But Hologrophy is also incomplete: It completely lacks perspective. Holograms are made at one viewing

  • We are talking about a low powered, portable toy. Face tracking isn't likely to be part of the trick.
    1) There's not enough processing to track the face. You could make it work, but I personally don't feel that it fits in with the pattern Nintendo's previous elegant design solutions.
    2) The user will naturally keep their face in the 3D focus sweet spot. An HDTV is hard because people are spread across the room. But for Nintendo, the user is always in front of the screen, and they are always within arm
    • Truth be told, dynamic parallax barrier screens aren't even necessary, for precisely the reasons you outlined. They're useful for displaying different pairs of 3D images to two different viewpoints, in effect having more than one simultaneous sweetspot, and they're useful for head-tracked systems that allow large motions by "steering" the sweetspot to follow the viewer. There's no need for any of that in a handheld. A completely static barrier, like the original Varrier, works just fine.

      That solution sou

  • The story had a related article from earlier. In it, they posted a picture of a GBA next to the DS article... ...unless the next gen DS is going retro on us. :P
  • by i4u ( 234028 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @03:00PM (#31615412) Homepage

    Researchers at the University of British Columbia have developed a cool 3D display dubbed pCubee. Imagine the Nintendo 3DS be like this interactive cube, Sony would start taking the 3DS seriously.
    Users playing with pCubee experience new interaction techniques for 3D scene manipulation in a cubic display.
    Watch the awesome demo video here [].

  • I assume that any of these 3D screen technologies are unable to switch from landscape to portrait without losing either the 3D effect or the picture altogether. That is assuming also that the 3DS will have two unique screens. This may hurt the DS/DSi backwards compatibily aspect. It could also be a single screen device where the screen would be virtually split in two and rotated to portrait for DS/DSi games.

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.