Posts Tagged ‘3DS’

3DS Sales Have “Slowed Considerably”

Sales of the Nintendo 3DS have “slowed considerably” since the initial launch, according to analysts, with predictions suggesting the new portable will not match the success of the DS.

“Based on our recent checks, we believe that sales of the 3DS have slowed considerably since the initial launch window, although the Easter holiday could provide a near-term boost,” said Lazazrd Capital Markets’ Colin Sebastian, according to IndustryGamers.

Not suprising. It will come down to what unique games are available for the unit while it is competing with the DS.

When it inevitably replaces the DS, sales will most likely pick up. But the ’3D’ part of the ’3DS’ is a gimmick.

Posted: April 12th, 2011
Categories: Nintendo
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Some Nintendo 3DS Launch Titbits…

[T]he portable will have an approximate battery life of 3.5 to 5 hours when playing 3DS games, depending on operating conditions such as screen brightness levels and use of wireless features.

When playing DS or DSi games, the handheld will have a battery life of 5 to 8 hours. Fully charging the system’s battery will take around 3.5 hours.

The 3DS will ship in Japan on February 26 for ¥25,000, or $301, in “Aqua Blue” and “Cosmo Black” editions.

Ten games will release alongside the 3DS’s Japanese launch: Nintendogs + Cats (three versions), Konami’s Winning Eleven 3DSoccer, Capcom’s Super Street Fighter IV, Tecmo Koei’s Samurai Warriors: Chronicle, Square Enix’s Tobidasu! Puzzle Bobble, Namco Bandai’s Ridge Racer 3D, Ubisoft’s Combat of Giants, and Level-5′s Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle.

Nintendo also outlined its schedule for first-party 3DS titles in Japan: Steel Diver, Pilotwings Resort, andThe Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D will ship in Spring 2011;  then Star Fox 64 3D and Kid Icarus: Uprising will release in Summer 2011; and Mario Kart 3DS, Animal Crossing 3DS, and Paper Mario 3DSwill hit stores at a later date.

Posted: January 10th, 2011
Categories: Nintendo
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Video : Stolen Nintendo 3DS

Looks almost identical to previous DS units. But then if you saw one at any of Nintendo’s public demos that should be no surprise. Also this unit, which has apparently been stolen from the Chinese assembly line, does not have consumer firmware installed so it doesn’t do much.

“Leaked” details so far.. It has 96MB of RAM.

Posted: January 4th, 2011
Categories: Nintendo
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“PSP2 will be Dead on Arrival”

When speaking on the latest episode of his show Pach Attack, [analyst Michael Pachter from Wedbush Morgan Securities] said that he feels the market is reaching saturation point.

“We’re starting to see DS hardware sales crack, I think the big woody of the iPod Touch is cutting into the handheld market, I think the PSP is dead on arrival and I think the PSP2 is going to be dead on arrival.”

“It looks to me like young kids are just as happy playing with an iPod Touch or a Nano. The Touch is cool, it plays games, plays music, they’re going to put a camera in it and you’re going to get all kinds of cool stuff.”

He did, however, have some positive words to say regarding Nintendo’s new 3DS, but also that after an initial spike, sales will dip and hand the incentive back over to Apple.

“What’s the difference if you play Tetris on an iPod Touch or on a DS? Well, you pay a buck on the iPod Touch, you pay $20 on the DS. Parents prefer $1 or free software, I think the iPod Touch is going to sell really, really well. So, after the 3DS has had its little rush I think the handhelds will continue to decline.”

From gamrFeed.

Pretty much identical to the conclusion I came to a few days ago

People have theorised that the console market could be in trouble in the future simply because of the convergence of portable and home hardware.

I don’t think so. But I do think that the day of the dedicated portable console is over. Nintendo’s 3DS will most likely be the last marginally successful one, and for similar dubious reasons to the Wii.

But after that it’s going to be hybrid smart phones all the way for mobile gaming…

Oh, and iPads and iPods of course!

Unfortunately this Playstation Phone doesn’t stand a chance in that market.

Posted: December 7th, 2010
Categories: Sony
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What is Sony’s Plan For The PSP2?

So here’s the real question mark in my mind regarding the PSP Phone leak – does it really make sense for Sony, probably less than a year away from getting PSP 2 out into the public eye, to start building tech from the (pretty unsuccessful) PSPgo into phone handsets? One might argue that it could help to head off Apple’s assault on the gaming sector – and certainly, a phone that can play Monster Hunter Portable would be pretty attractive in Japan – but the potential for a PSX style high profile failure which would pollute a future, PSP2-focused effort cannot be discounted.

What is Sony’s plan?

We have heard that PSP2 hardware is with developers right now. And yet this week we are seeing leaked images and specs of a “Playstation Phone”. Which is apparently an ARM based smartphone with slide out controls.

Japanese console hardware, be it handheld or full size, is typically very focussed, low cost, high performance hardware (as long as you can do the programming equivalent of patting your head and rubbing your tummy).

As good as the current crop of 1Ghz ARM processors and their GPU sidekicks are, they are not really suited to emulating PS2, or even PSP games.

Even Nintendo’s underpowered 3DS has some fairly unique specialisations to its silicon. 2 CPUs (roughy equivalent to one original iPhone CPU) and a really ancient GPU. But a GPU that boasts some fairly specialised pipeline mods to an OpenGL ES 1.x base. All in all enough to provide a focussed and specialised gaming experience.

If the PSP2 and the “Playstation Phone” both come to market it is extremely unlikely that they will be compatible in any way. The former is likely based on specialised silicon and relies on proprietary languages and APIs. The latter is just a branded Android smartphone.

This is fragmentation of a brand and a hardware base of the very worst kind.

Colour me confused.

My fear is that Sony Ericsson just want in on the smartphone explosion. And we are going to see yet another Android handset. Which will achieve nothing more than killing the PSP2 outside Japan.

Perhaps it is just time to kill the PSP line altogether? If I was actually using my PSP developer credentials, and was half way through a project for that platform I would be very concerned right now.

Posted: October 29th, 2010
Categories: ARM, PSP, Sony
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3DS Launch Details & Prices…

The new system, which features a 3D display and does not require separate glasses, will retail in Japan for ¥25,000 ($298 / £188).

I think it’s a little expensive.

It was also confirmed that the Virtual Console store will sell Game Boy and Game Boy Advance titles for the system.


First-party software for the machine include re-imagings and brand new titles in the Kid Icarus, Animal Crossing, Paper Mario, Star Fox, Mario Kart, PilotWings and Nintendogs franchises.

Posted: September 29th, 2010
Categories: Nintendo
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Nintendo 3DS Specs. Leaked…

3DS is powered by twin ARM11 CPUs clocked at a relatively meagre 266MHz, while overall system storage (sans SD card) is 1.5GB. Onboard RAM is 64MB, with 4MB of video memory. DMP’s PICA-200 graphics chip is said to be running at a relatively lightweight 133MHz.

That’s two CPUs from the original iPhone running at a combined speed which is slightly less than its original single ARM11 was running at.

The GPU is a classic, in many ways. Classic as it has some neat hardware features I have noted before. But also because it is old. And under-clocked.

The RAM is the same as shipped in the original iPhone too.

But the VRAM is a fraction of what iPhone devs. got to play with on the 2G.

This is a typically quirky Japanese peice of hardware. I wouldn’t mind playing with one. Three chips is always more fun than two!

But it will take work to get anything epic out of this thing.

Posted: September 22nd, 2010
Categories: Nintendo, Technical Specs
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DS & PSP sales collapsing in iPod’s wake

Both Nintendo and Sony are watching their handheld console sales enter a free fall possibly triggered by Apple, NPD data showed today. Nintendo sold 383,700 DS systems in the US during May, which was not only a steep drop from 440,800 in April but just half of the 700,000 units sold a year earlier. Sony fared worse as it sold just 59,400 units, down from 65,500 in April and far lower than 100,400 in May 2009.

From ipodnn.

The iPod has certainly had an effect. But how much of this is the fact that the Sony PSP is simply not popular anymore, and that people are waiting for the Nintendo 3DS? Time will tell I guess.

Two things are certain though.

  1. Sony need to bring out a PSP2 as soon as possible.
  2. Nintendo need to make the 3DS a success.

It would be nice if Nintendo actually bothered to get in touch with Indie Developers who apply for 3DS development status. I am still waiting Nintendo. Apple’s success is based on opening their devices up to everyone. You need to do the same. Times have changed.

Posted: July 2nd, 2010
Categories: Analysis, Apple, Nintendo, Sony, iPod
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Jon Peddie on the Nintendo 3DS, DMP and its GPU…

The company has been investigating various semiconductor and IP suppliers since 2006 having looked at their partner ATI (Wii), ARM (DS), Imagination Technologies, Nvidia, and others. The decision to use DMP’s PICA200 design was made over a year ago and testing and development have been going on for some time; it’s not as easy as it may seem to license a core and integrate it into an SoC and get the costs (die size), power consumption (has to run forever on small batteries), and performance (clocks and memory management) balance. So as you learn more about this device if you wonder why it took them so long, keep all that in mind.

Founded in 2002, DMP, a graphics IP core supplier in Japan, has adopted a business strategy of focusing on the digital consumer market.

DMP first told me about the PICA architecture in early 2005 which was their first IP core based on Ultray architecture. The president and CEO of DMP, Tatsuo Yamamoto, told me then the Ultray allows real-time photo realistic rendering with physically correct lighting and shadowing such as soft shadow casting and position dependent environmental mapping.

Ultray is unique in that it uses hardware parametric engines for certain graphics features rather than shaders. With this approach, clouds, smoke, gas and other fuzzy objects can be shaded and rendered at an interactive rate.

This is what will make or break the software we see.

At Siggraph 2005 (LA) DMP revealed in more detail some of their techniques for hair, skin, and gaseous shapes. Yamamoto said then that the Ultray could boast lower power consumption due to hardware pipelines, and smaller number of polygons to achieve high-quality graphics based on pixel-level shading (Phong, BRDF, etc.) vs. vertex-level and polygon subdivision.

Posted: June 23rd, 2010
Categories: Analysis, Nintendo
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Dev Costs For High-End 3DS Games Expensive?

According to Iwata :

Because the visual capabilities of Nintendo 3DS are more powerful than the existing Nintendo DS, if you are going to take full advantage of the graphics capability of Nintendo 3DS, the development cost is … expected to rise.

Therefore, if developers decide to try and maximize the graphical powers of the system, then the cost would be more expensive than what it is currently for Nintendo DS and may potentially approach the cost of developing Wii software.

Major titles for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 can cost between $20 and $30 million. A Wii game may cost as little as a third or fourth of that amount. DS titles cost even less to develop.

Iwata said that implementing the 3D effect on the handheld will not require much extra effort on the part of game developers. He added that creating the effect is just a matter of capturing the same image with two cameras, one for each eye.

I don’t understand why Iwata is trying to put devs off. The 3DS is just a glorified iPod Touch or iPhone. It has a 3D screen, admittedly, but the stereoscopic effect is simply generated by drawing two versions of the same scene, as if from two offset lenses of a real-world 3D camera. It is not rocket science. And the graphics hardware in the 3DS is OpenGL ES based, and, as nice as it is, frankly its based on technology which may well have heralded from biblical times!

When you look at what Indies can produce for Apple’s range of mobile devices I don’t understand why Iwata is being so elitist about it.

I suspect the really “expensive” bit will be the restrictions, hardware costs, and percentages that Nintendo themselves pass on to developers.

Posted: June 23rd, 2010
Categories: Nintendo, Opinion
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