It’s is very rare for MTBS to comment on rumors because they are usually untrue or go unfounded. However, this story caught our eye about the Nintendo 3DS. The word is that the Nintendo 3DS has a secret processor that hasn’t been fully used yet, and game developers will have an additional 25% of processing power available for S-3D game development.
That in itself isn’t very surprising – we’ve seen this before in the PC market where GPUs are released, and future versions are the same tech with extra features that have been revealed and unlocked.
What is concerning is that its also rumored that Nintendo has found a more efficient way of putting out stereoscopic 3D content that puts far less strain on the CPU. Let’s all pray to the stereo gods that this isn’t another 2D+Depth implementation because this would seriously undermine what makes the Nintendo 3DS a unique piece of gaming equipment.
For those unfamiliar, 2D+Depth is a popular technique used by some console game developers (e.g. Crytek, Epic Games) that puts out pseudo 3D images based on a single camera view. It works and is easy to implement because the source data is the depth buffer that is already there, and the performance is very close to what you would get with a traditional 2D game. Unfortunately, 2D+Depth loses a lot of what makes S-3D gaming interesting, and we think this would be an unnecessary and harmful move for Nintendo.
That said, Nintendo may have indeed found a more efficient ways of putting out true stereoscopic 3D images – we’ll have to wait and see. Rumors are rumors!