Comparing the Nintendo 3DS to Sony’s 3D Efforts


Before anyone decides to remind me this is PS3Blog.net (look, it takes you back to the home page!) the reason I’m posting this, in the main page no less, is because of how we can compare Nintendo’s effort  to Sony’s 3D push for home entertainment thanks to 3D Blu-ray movies as well as the firmware released for the 3D enabled games available at the moment and in the near future for the PS3.

Now with that out of the way,  let’s consider what the 3DS has to offer at launch and how Sony has decided to price and market their 3D interest in new technology.

The 3DS will launch in Japan on February 26, 2011 at a retail price of 25,000 Yen. The release falls in place with what Nintendo had promised it’s shareholders (a release before the end of the fiscal year which concludes on March 31) but at first the price might seem a bit high (at the exchange rate, as of this writing, it is the equivalent of  $298.95). To put into perspective, 25,000 Yen was the price point for the Wii when it was set to launch in Japan but when the Wii released in the US the price got adjusted to $249.99 which could mean that the 3DS might be priced accordingly when it makes it’s retail showing.  No info was given for Europe and the Americas other than the fact we should wait for said data to come at a later date.

IGN said last week that it had acquired from a reliable source the final hardware specs for the 3DS. Nowadays IGN has fallen from grace with the gaming community but the specs do seem to be close to what developers have been commenting on:

  • Two 266MHz ARM11 CPUs
  • A 133MHz GPU
  • 4MBs of dedicated VRAM
  • 64MBs of RAM
  • 1.5GBs of flash storage

Several blogs and forums have already teared down these specs to pieces saying that they’re not that great and that Apple’s iPhone 4 has better specs than this but what we also need to remember is that the iPhone and other new multitask phones take a huge performance hit thanks to the OS that need to be running at all time so you can still get a call when playing a game, watching a movie, listening to music or viewing pictures. The 3DS is a gaming handheld first and a movie, music and picture player second and thus these specs are more than favorable for the new hardware. If you doubt that it is a graphical powerhouse the following might make you a believer:

Resident Evil: The Mercenaries for 3DS with Worldwide Online Multiplayer and Co-Op

Here’s the trailer for Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition so you can get an idea of what it can do.

For 25,000 Yen those that purchase a 3DS will get the handheld, an AC adapter, a charger stand, a telescopic Nintendo 3DS stylus-pen, a 2GB SD card and six augmented reality cards (they work in a similar fashion as the ones you use to play Eye of Judgment).

The next trailer shows some of the menus and features of the 3DS:

Now that you’ve seen that, let’s go into Sony’s court. If you want 3D games and 3D movies you first need a 3D enabled TV. There are several brands you can buy but for this article let’s focus on the Sony branded ones and several sizes and configurations are available. I think this specific bundle is the best entry point for the technology. You get a 40″ LED 3D TV, two pairs of glasses and a special 3D TV Transmitter so you can “synchronise the frame rate of the TV with the shutter speed of the glasses”. Price is set at $1,698, already almost 6 times the price of the 3DS which doesn’t use glasses for 3D. A family usually has at least one kid in the house but the average one has two so you might need an extra pair of glasses for your new TV. You can go with a single pair at the special Amazon price of $99 per glasses or spring for the deluxe set that includes two pairs of glasses and the Alice in Wonderland 3D Blu-ray Movie for the Amazon price of $268.99 versus the original $399.99 retail price. Again, other configurations are available but comparing all of them would take forever.

Some PS3 games are getting updates so they display in 3D and Sony is even giving away 3D PSN games when you buy select 3D TVs so the support for us gamers is slowly showing. I look forward to what Team Ico can do with 3D in the ICO/SotC Collection as well as what is being worked on for the Sly Cooper Collection but so far 3D hasn’t matured enough to make the investment a solid one. The current selection of truly 3D movies geared at the new TV sets is reduced to Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, Monster House, Alice in Wonderland, Open Season and Monster vs Aliens  to name a few (the list is sure to grow soon as Avatar is a given for the format).

Sony’s bet for 3D is a high-entry one at the moment and it still  needs to convince several consumers to jump from DVD to Blu-ray, let alone from DVD to a new 3D TV, a 3D enabled Blu-ray player (a PS3 will do just fine but most don’t know it). It will be interesting to see how the public responds to the “no-glasses” 3DS release worldwide and how Sony is tinkering around with their own 3D technology to make it more user friendly and available at a mass-appeal price.

So, are you interested in 3D? Will you buy a 3D TV? What do you think about the 3DS?


Written by: EdEN - Owner / PR / Editor-In-Chief


  1. #1 by Jonaskin on September 29th, 2010

    I’ll be getting a 3Ds for sure. I really want a 3D TV and will get one hopefully within the next year but I want to see what happens with Glasses-free technology first. Apparently Toshiba is bringing out a 3DTV that doesn’t need glasses.

  2. #2 by EdEN on September 29th, 2010 [ 142696 Points ]

    Yeah, read about the Toshiba display. Apparently it uses tech similar to the 3DS but with a larger margin angle-wise so up to 9 people, if I recall properly, can see it. A camera is involved as well to track each individual and in essence display several images at once. Still, the Toshiba display is in the prototype stages and will probably be released in mid-2012 at the earliest.

  3. #3 by Ratchet_Co on September 29th, 2010 [ 65 Points ]

    I’m going to wait a bit on the 3DS, I really want to see reviews if whether or not the 3D is worth, same goes for 3D for the PS3, but it’ll take me a lot more convincing because I’d have to buy a new TV and glasses lol.

  4. #4 by premiersoupir on September 29th, 2010 [ 17020 Points ]

    What’s the beef with IGN (despite the fact that people sometimes disagree with their ratings)?

  5. #5 by Oly on September 29th, 2010 [ 132360 Points ]

    THIS IS A PS3 BLOG!!!

    Oh. and I want a 3d TV without glasses too!
    As long as reg tv can play on it! 8-)

  6. #6 by EdEN on September 29th, 2010 [ 142696 Points ]

    Oly, Oly, Oly… hahaha

    A 3D TV without glasses is still some years in the future, at least one that is affordable and doesn’t require you to get a second job to buy it (mmm, where have I heard that?).

  7. #7 by Shamun on September 29th, 2010 [ 680 Points ]

    All this 3d thing is very expensive bah =\

  8. #8 by EdEN on September 29th, 2010 [ 142696 Points ]

    @Shamun: Not if you buy a 3DS or two instead of a 3D TV.

  9. #9 by Eddie on September 30th, 2010 [ 44542 Points ]

    EdEN: @Shamun: Not if you buy a 3DS or two instead of a 3D TV.  

    the 3DS is expensive. Way too expensive actually. Needs to be $199 at most.

  10. #10 by EdEN on September 30th, 2010 [ 142696 Points ]

    @Eddie: It will probably be $249 over here with some software, demos or free 3DSware game. Still, when 3D glasses are $99-199 for each person a 3D handheld doesn’t sound that crazy, specially with all the new features (really like how the 3DS communicates and interacts with other consoles even if the game is not in it).

  11. #11 by derrickgott007 on September 30th, 2010

    Alot of tv makers are including 3d glasses in package deals with 3d tvs now. I myself will be waiting before I make the jump to 3d. it’s still too niche right now. I work in the cable tv industry and from all reports and info I’ve seen in the industry, 3d broadcast cable tv is still 2-3 years out. They still don’t have a standard of how they will push 3d over existing cable plants (tech term for cable systems).

    3d broadcast cable tv takes 14mhz per channel to be useable. Regular analog cable takes 6mhz per channel, and digital takes about .6mhz per channel. There is only so much bandwidth that cable companys can use to provide both Internet and hdcable on coax, so until someone finds a way to encode 3d at less bandwidth, you can only look forward to maybe 1-2 3d channels right now, and that’s pushing it. So don’t be afraid to wait a few years for 3d tvs to drop in price.

  12. #12 by EdEN on September 30th, 2010 [ 142696 Points ]

    @derrick: Yeah, actual 3D broadcasts are a tricky situation and since mostly everyone has cable the investment so far isn’t there. Also, with current TVs the content needs to be encoded in 3D while the 3DS converts the upper screen from 2D to 3D in real time and for all content shown on the screen which would be the way to go for me to actually buy a TV: Let me see all my content in 3D without glasses.


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