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Nin­tendo, $349.95, nin­ten­ Out March 31

NIN­TENDO does not tread the pop­u­lar path. When other con­sole mak­ers were go­ing high-def­i­ni­tion, Nin­tendo cre­ated mo­tion con­trols. And when 3D glasses be­gan to sur­face, Nin­tendo cre­ated a 3D games sys­tem with no glasses re­quired.

The 3DS is just one month from stores and, fol­low­ing its Aus­tralian launch and pre­view, be­low are three things you should ex­pect from the one-of-a-kind games ma­chine. CUS­TOMIS­ABLE 3D As any good gamer knows, the Nin­tendo 3DS de­liv­ers 3D with­out the need for 3D glasses. It does this us­ing par­al­lax bar­rier tech­nol­ogy that Nin­tendo mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor Greg Arthur­ton says is built ‘‘like a Vene­tian blind’’, to de­liver im­ages to your left and right eye sep­a­rately. But just as each gamer will need to find the per­fect dis­tance to view 3D games, they will want to con­trol the strength of the 3D ef­fect. That can be done with a slider that takes 3D from su­per­strength back to sec­ond di­men­sion. AUG­MENTED RE­AL­ITY The 3DS will not only play new and old game cards, but also comes with pre-in­stalled games. These in­clude aug­mented re­al­ity (AR) games that are trig­gered when you place a game card in front of the con­sole’s cam­era. One ti­tle sees a dragon ap­pear from the card it­self, forc­ing you to move the con­sole around to aim and shoot it. How­ever, users need to be in a well-lit en­vi­ron­ment for the game to work. 3D ME­DIA Nin­tendo’s com­ing games sys­tem will not just be a so­phis­ti­cated play­thing. The con­sole is also poised to make the most of its 3D ca­pa­bil­i­ties. That in­cludes adding 3D photo cap­ture via two cam­eras on its lid. It will also be able to screen 3D movies in fu­ture, pro­vid­ing un­ex­pected competition for TV mak­ers. Stay tuned for Switched On’s full Nin­tendo 3DS re­view

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