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Nintendo 3DS GPU Revealed 133

An anonymous reader writes "The GPU for the Nintendo 3DS has just been revealed, and it's not made by Nvidia, ATI, or even Imagination Technologies. Instead, Nintendo has signed up Japanese startup Digital Media Professionals (DMP) in a deal that sees the company's PICA200 chip churning out the 3-D visuals. For the first time in Nintendo's history, the 3DS will feature a GPU with programmable shaders, rather than a fixed-function pipeline, meaning the 3DS is more graphically versatile than the Wii. Among the PICA200's features are 2x anti-aliasing, per-pixel lighting, subdivision primitives, and soft shadows. As well as featuring DMP's own 'Maestro' extensions, the PICA200 also fully supports OpenGL ES 1.1. The architecture supports four programmable vertex units and up to four pixel pipelines."
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Nintendo 3DS GPU Revealed

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  • Doom3 in 3D (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Yuioup ( 452151 ) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @04:07AM (#32674910)

    So, in theory, this should be able to run DOOM 3 in 3D. I donnow, it sounds cool to me.

  • by abigsmurf ( 919188 ) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @04:33AM (#32675014)
    Looking at just the gfx chip features would draw the conclusion that the PowerVR chips found in a good number of portables is more powerful. It seems to provide ammunition to Apple for them to say the iphone is more powerful.

    The demo vids shown are inconclusive though. The Metal Gear Solid demo vids is better than anything on the iphone. As is the suspicious Resident Evil demo. However Kid Icarus is on par with the best iphone games graphically and Star Fox and Mario kart in their current form wouldn't exactly max out the iphone.

    Depending on the trickery on display in the MGS and RE demos, the power of the 3DS seems to range from PS2 level to slightly above GC level. Although those two demos are likely not well optimised for the console, they also don't have the gameplay/AI overhead you'd get from a full game.

    It's probably safe to assume that the main CPU will be similar to that in the DSi and XL, probably at a higher clock (maybe with a few new instructions).

    The main advantage of the 3DS will likely be the battery life. Despite Apple's claims about how amazing the battery life for their devices are, they only ever do benchmarks for tasks offloaded from the main CPU or that aren't taxing. The second you start playing an intensive game, you're looking at a 2 hour battery life. This is something that almost every tech site ignores when talking about idevices as gaming machines.
  • No OpenGL 2.0? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dlafferty ( 1741262 ) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @04:57AM (#32675122)
    Seems odd to advertise programmable renders (suited to OpenGL ES 2.0), but only support OpenGL ES 1.1. Looking at the leaflet, it looks like they only allow vertex rendering programs and not fragment rendering programs. This might be preventing DMP from claiming OpenGL ES 2.0 support. Have to wonder if the lack of interoperability in this respect make these chips cheaper?
  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @07:41AM (#32676000)
    The GPU wars died about 3 years ago. There was a point at which people stopped willing to pay an extra $200 - $300 for a marginal increase in realism.
  • by abigsmurf ( 919188 ) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @11:41AM (#32678668)
    Video is 10 hours on Tegra 2 because it doesn't stretch the GPU or CPU.

    Look at an iphone. I can watch 8 hours of video no problem. Start up an intensive game like Espgaluda 2 and I'll barely get 2 hours.

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.