The launch date for Nintendo’s 3DS is fast approaching and some gamers still haven't decided if they will buy one at launch. There is a noticeable lack of must-have launch titles and the thought in the back of everyone's head that questions whether 3D gaming will last. No matter the doubts, seasoned gamers have learned to trust Nintendo, considering their track record with handhelds.
After being proven wrong with the original DS, which many people thought was gimmicky at first, many are choosing to wait and see how the 3DS fairs before raining judgement down on it. Without a marquee launch title, the graphics and processing power of the 3DS are its biggest selling point. This is affirmed by Nintendo's statements that they are setting their sights on appealing to hardcore gamers more than ever.
The 3DS packs considerably more processing power than the DS, but according to High Voltage Software, the DS may not be the most appropriate benchmark. In a recent interview, Matt Corso and Keith Hladik claim the 3DS' graphical power is quite impressive, so much so that it's more on par with the Wii.
"In some ways, it’s even more powerful than the Wii. The amount of power dedicated to the small screen opens a lot of possibilities, and the shading and texture ability is superior."
"From our internal testing we have been incredibly surprised at what the little system can do. From a strictly visual point-of-view, it is impressive. We are able to pull off many advanced lighting and texture techniques much more easily than on the Wii. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a cost to doing them, only that they can be done more easily. We do have 3DS kits, we are working on a number of different ideas, and we are definitely excited about what this system means to the industry."
High Voltage Software is mostly known for their Wii-exclusive FPS, The Conduit. During development of The Conduit, they constantly stressed the importance of graphics and were determined to squeeze as much as they could out of the underpowered and dated Wii. They ended up succeeding in the graphics department and releasing a game that was quite stunning (for a Wii title), but the overall reviews for The Conduit were highly mixed.
High Voltage knows what they are talking about when it comes to graphical power and techniques. They are finishing up work on The Conduit 2, and it will be interesting to see if they start working on a game for the 3DS. It would not be surprising for them to announce the development of a version of The Conduit or some other game for the 3DS.
A Nintendo portable with a lot of horsepower is probably not what everyone would have guessed after Nintendo's lack of attention with graphics on the Wii. Regardless, a move towards beloved Nintendo franchises being rendered in HD is something everyone can get behind. Time will tell exactly how good the graphics are and whether or not the 3DS delivers.
Do you believe that the 3DS will be graphically superior to the Wii? Does the 3DS’ graphical power factor into your purchasing decision?
The Nintendo 3DS will be available everywhere on March 27, 2011 for $249.99.