Thursday, August 29, 2013

My wish list for Nintendo's 3DS successor

Yesterday's 2DS reveal got me thinking--and not just about the 2DS and its future success or failure. No, it got me thinking about Nintendo's next handheld, which I hope beyond hope will not be called the 4DS. (I'd also prefer that it not be called the HDS, as recently suggested by commenter Monster_Hunter2882, although I'd take that moniker over 4DS any day.)

My lame attempt at drawing a Nintendo 4DS
Specifically, it got me thinking about which features I'd like to see included in Nintendo's next handheld. Here's what popped into my head during that little brainstorming session:

* two screens, both touch-enabled
* both screens the same size/dimensions (a la the DS)
* two circle pads
* "HD" graphics (basically, a good bump up from those found in your average 3DS game)
* glasses-free 3D would be welcomed, but isn't needed
* backwards compatibility also would be welcomed, but isn't needed

That last one will shock a few people, I'm sure, and I included it here because I've come to the conclusion that I rarely take advantage of backwards compatibility when it comes to gaming hardware. To date I've played just one DS game (Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime) using my 3DS, for instance, and I believe I've only ever played two GameCube games (Animal Crossing and Super Mario Sunshine) using my Wii. 

I fully understand that offering backwards compatibility is a selling point for a lot of consumers, though, so I'd hardly shake my head if it were to be included. I'm just saying that I probably wouldn't make use of it and, as such, I wouldn't mind if Nintendo left it out in order to bring down the price of the system a bit.

So, that's my current wish list for Nintendo's 3DS successor. Is yours similar, or does it include different  (or additional) features and functions?


Josef Burn said...

Gosh to me backwards compatibility is almost essential when I'm buying a console, I want the new generation of a certain companies console to be able to handle the older one y'no? Probably just because I can't splash money around, so any way for me to pay less to play games is welcome.

I agree with all those things, though I'm not so certain we'll get a bump up to HD so soon.

Zaphod65 said...

I would welcome a second circle pad. I doubt Nintendo will ever become a haven for shooters, but it would certainly make things like Monster Hunter easier to play.

I wouldn't mind a return to a single screen, although gaming in general seems to be moving toward the two-screen experience. said...

I understand wanting backwards compatibility, Josef. Also, I sincerely doubt Nintendo is going to give up on it anytime soon--especially when it comes to the company's handhelds.

That said, I personally don't need it or desire it. I rarely if ever sell my systems anymore, so when I want to play, say, a DS game, I play it on my DS Lite. And when the 4DS (or whatever) comes out, I'll play my 3DS games on my 3DS XL, I'm sure.

As for Nintendo embracing or not embracing HD graphics on its next handheld: you may be right that won't embrace actual/technical HD. I do think they'll give us a nice bump in graphics, though--hopefully at least to Vita levels. said...

I really can't see Nintendo failing to put a second circle pad on their next handheld. That said, it could cause the system to be wider than usual, as I also think they're going to give us two widescreens of the same size next time around, and that would mean pushing the pair of circle pads out a bit.

I wouldn't mind a returning to single-screen handheld gaming either, to tell you the truth, but at the moment I have to say that I definitely prefer two-screen gaming when it comes to handhelds.

Monster_Hunter2882 said...

Knowing Nintendo it's also going to have something to separate it from pretty much every console before it. The question is what will that be


New Leaf Update: I found the pleiso torso today so you don't need look out for one for me anymore. Since I'm not digging up fossils do you think it would be OK if I posted a list of all the extra fossils I have in the next New Leaf post you do (if you're still doing them) so I can start handing out fossils to people who need them. It's OK if you don't want me too since I bet can find a place where I can but I would prefer a niche blog like this so my 3DS friend list isn't flooded with people I'll probably only play once with. said...

Yes, that's true, Sam, although it's also likely to share some similarities with the one or two that came before it (kind of like how the 3DS has two screens, just like the DS).

I'm most interested in seeing if Nintendo sticks with the two screens. Personally, I think they're a great differentiator between handhelds and consoles that connect to a TV, but Nintendo may want to change things up next time around.

As for you posting your fossil list in my next New Leaf post: yes, go ahead and do that if you'd like. I'll likely post one early next week, since some cool/interesting things have happened in my town in the last week, so be on the lookout.

Also, thanks for letting me know you no longer need a plesio torso!

michaelstearns said...

I'd like to see something change to the DS's ergonomics, to really change up the way it feels in your hands. I like the hardware but I have to admit I don't find it very comfortable. Maybe I should just buy one of those grippy 3rd party accessories sometime?

I also have to admit ever since I got my 3DS, I keep regular old DS games in the pouch with it but I can only think of a couple times when I've actually played one on it. Over the same space of time, though, I have used the DS's backwards compatibility numerous times in order to play GBA games. I love the DS and I have a bunch of games for it but it seems that I don't feel compelled to go back to them very often! said...

I can see that, Michael. Although I found the DS Lite to be comfortable enough, despite being a bit on the small side, I find both the OG 3DS and the #DS XL to be a bit cumbersome--likely because both are so top-heavy.

That said, although I wouldn't mind if Nintendo made its next handheld more ergonomic, I also like the rather sleek nature of the DS, DS Lite, DSi, 3DS, etc.

I think it's great that you've used your DS to play GBA games, BTW. I'l guessing you're in good company there. Me, I don't think I've ever played a GBA game on my DS! I know I'm weird, but I just don't like playing games on anything but the original hardware (for the most part).

michaelstearns said...

I'd probably use a GBA but I never upgraded from the original non-backlit version until the DS came out. I was pretty good at finding adequate lighting, and saving my GBA SP funds meant I could feel good about buying a DS close to launch. Even if it ended up just being a weird gimmick that didn't go anywhere, I would still have a sexy new screen to play GBA on. :) said...

So, you have one of the original "dog bone" GBAs, Michael? I passed one those, for whatever reason, and only joined the GBA club after the original SP came out.

I also have a rarely used Micro, but for all sorts of reasons I prefer to play GBA games on my non-backlit SP. That said, I'd like to get one of the backlit ones someday--especially one of those adorable Pikachu ones.

I love that you bought a DS close to launch, by the way. Do you still have it? If so, which color?

I passed on the original DS, too--a decision I've since come to regret. Don't get me wrong, I love my DS Lite dearly, and I'm glad I own it, but I wish I had a DS Phat, too, as I really like the design of it :)

michaelstearns said...

Yeah I was first in line for a GBA! :) I was in Japan at the time and preordered it. I was away from home and hankering for some F-Zero, and with F-Zero as a launch title combined with the perception that the GBA was going to be some kind of 2D powerhouse (and quite inexpensive, to boot!) there was nothing coming between me and good ol' "Miruki Buru~!" :D

I think I got my DS in the early spring following the launch, I don't recall having a choice of color (I got one of the silver/grey ones), but I really like (I'm sure I've mentioned) the shape of it, just as a thing that I think is more fun to hold or touch than the DS Lite and 3DS. I especially like the "hump" on the top, it reminds me of the Genesis and SNES designs. I still have it, of course, it's what I play GBA on now. Having done backlit, I mean, I liked my old GBA well enough (and still have it), but I would never go back to it now. :) said...

Oh, that's a great story, Michael :)

Also, I agree with you about the DS Phat--it has so much more character than the DS Lite, etc. (although, like I said earlier, I love my DS Lite, too).

Zaphod65 said...

I don't mind if it's a wider system. The original GBA was that way, and the PSP and Vita have good form factors with the screen in the middle. But it's Nintendo. They do their own thing and it's never what anyone expects. lol

Monster_Hunter2882 said...

The first one on the list makes me wonder if touching the screen would interfere with the 3D affect in anyway more specifically touching it where something looks like it's popping out. One time when I was playing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate a text box that's suppose to look like it was on the surface of the screen appeared on something that was supposed to look like it's popping out and the affect was kind of trippy.

diaglyph said...

I too would like HD-like screens for next iteration. Same size too. Capacitive touch screen?
Backwards compat I think is a great feature. I have played a bunch of DS games on the 3DS like Radiant Historia. I dont want to carry a DS and a 3DS around with me. One system should be enough.
And yea 3D not necessary but likely to be there for backwards compat.

Zaphod65 said...

I'd like to see downloadable GameCube games on the next machine. A portable version of Resident Evil 4 would make my century. said...

Yeah, I don't mind it being wider either. An XL version, though, might look like a netbook! Ha ha :) said...

Interesting point, Sam! That's one reason I wouldn't mind Nintendo getting rid of the 3D effect--so both screens could be touch-enabled this time around. said...

Downloadable GC games on any of Nintendo's systems--handheld or console--would be awesome, IMO. said...

I know I'm weird when it comes to backward compat. And, really, it's not like I'm saying I don't want Nintendo to include it in future systems--I think it's a great feather in the company's cap to keep offering it. I'm just saying I don't need it or even use it myself, so I won't be bummed if ever Nintendo DOES stop including it.

Monster_Hunter2882 said...

Some GBA games would be nice too. I mean the 3DS already has some made for it already for the ambassador program. Now they just need to put them on the eshop so everyone else can buy them. said...

I agree, Sam. Really confusing that they've yet to do this, I have to say :|

anothergamerthatsgay said...

Gaygamer - did not expect to ever come across a blog like that:) Kudos! Anyway I am browsing the web to figure out if Nintendo has plans to upgrade the 3DS to a respectable screen resolution, because that is what I really, really want. I own a 3DS XL simply because I find the original 3DS' screen too small, but the resolution scaling simply hurts my eyes in an age where my iphone 5 pushes out beautiful HD+ screens (albeit with lesser games). How hard can it be to add such a screen to the 3DS right? Furthermore I wouldn't mind an HDS name.. it fits the tradition and would do justice to a great and long awaited upgrade to HD graphics (I have seen ppl discuss in 2011 already!). Furthermore, in an ideal world there wouldn't be a need for a Wii U tablet like controller, you could just use the 3DS to play the console games (as well as 3DS dedicated games). In other words, a unified platform, with handheld possibilities. Ok thats it! Best, a new fan of this blog:) said...

Hello there, anothergamerthatsgay :) I love your username, by the way--even if it is temporary (or is it?).

I hate to kill your dream, but I'm pretty sure there's no chance Nintendo will upgrade the 3DS (XL or original) to have higher-res screens. I would expect the company's next handheld (the 3DS' successor) to have higher-res screens, though.

I hear ya about the XL's screen resolution, BTW. Although I've gotten used to it, I still prefer how games look on the OG's screens. If only they weren't so damn small!

I also wouldn't mind a unified platform, by the way, but I'm not sure Nintendo will go that route for a few reasons--one of which is that they likely think they can make more money off of software if they have two systems rather than just one. Case in point: they've sold millions of copies of Mario Kart 7 for the 3DS to date and they're likely to sell millions of copies of Mario Kart 8 for Wii U after it's released. Would they sell just as many copies of a Mario Kart game that's released for just one unified handheld-console system? I'm not so sure.

Still, I'd really like it if they made a handheld that can be plugged into the TV--whether that's the company's only product for that gen or not.

Finally, thanks for the comment and I'm glad to hear I've found a new fan :)

Hairee Pothead said...

These are my predicted specs
for 3DS successor to improve the graphics and have backwards
compatibility. These chips will be dirt cheap a few years from now and
produces PS-Vita graphics at a fraction of the cost of Vita's launch
like 3DS doing PSP graphics 5 years later at a much cheaper cost and
will handle improve ports from original Wii instead the downgraded Wii
performance that 3DS gives us. (Donkey Kong 3D lower framerates and
lower texture and Mario Kart 7 retro Wii tracks having lower polygon

Main CPU: Quad-core ARM Cortex A5 @600-800MHZ (Can run ARM11 268mhz code for 3DS games)

GPU:DMP SMAPH-S @250-400MHZ (Simiar to 3DS's Pica200 but with a
programmable shader architecture and more polygons rather than fixed
shaders on 3DS).

Sound: 32 bit Ceva DSP teaklite 3@200mhz Good for around 150
voices,Advanced filtering effects and 92KHZ sound and can run sound
code for 3DS games(3DS uses a custom original 16 bit Ceva teaklite
DSP@134mhz and has 32KHZ-44KHZ sound around 24-64 voices with limited
filtering effects)

RAM: 128MB eFCRAM on the main die for backwards compability+ acts as a
very fast cache in native next gen mode (Embedded make the ram much
faster)+1GB of external slower LPDDR2 for OS and general use in next gen

Next gen resolution should be 800x480 (same as Wii U gamepad but at a
higher retina PPI) to achieve a smaller screen and 2x exact scaling of
3DS games and 320x240 for bottom screen. Nintendo games do REQUIRE
normal buttons hopefully that 2nd analog that 3DS lacked.

Hairee Pothead said...

For Gamecube the next handheld would have to have a Power PC and ATI GPU and Macronix DSP based chipset like Wii and Wii U as ARM is not strong enough to emulate GameCube but that would break Backwards compatibly with 3DS, DS and GBA games which all run ARM code.