Tagged: 3D

Nintendo 3DS (2011 – )

The Nintendo 3DS is a handheld game console launched in 2011 as a successor to the Nintendo DS. Its main feature was the ability to display stereoscopic 3D effects on the upper screen without the need for special glasses. Nintendo’s previous attempt at a 3D handheld game console (the Nintendo Virtual Boy) was a commercial failure, and required a special headset to view monochrome 3D effects.

The Nintendo 3DS competes with Sony’s PlayStation Vita handheld console.

Several versions of the 3DS have been introduced since its launch, including the 3DS XL with a much larger screen, an entry level 2DS (without the clamshell form factor or 3D facility), and the ‘new’ 3DS and 3DS XL with a faster processor and other upgrades.

It is backward compatible with the Nintendo DS and DSi, and Game Cards for these consoles will fit into the 3DS. Games for the 3DS are prevented from being inserted into the older DS/DSi by a small lug on the card. 3DS Game Cards can hold between 1 and 4 GB of game data (compared to the DS card which held between 8 and 512 MB).

As well as loading games from ROM cards, the 3DS can connect to the Nintendo eShop to download games. Games, audio and picture files can be stored on a Secure Digital or SDHC card (or microSD on the new 3DS/DS XL)

Despite disappointing early sales, the 3DS family become very successful and as of September 2016 had sold over 61 million units.

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Stereoview (1850s – 1920s)

Stereoviews consist of two nearly-identical images, each taken a few inches to the side of the other. When viewed through two lenses set 2½-inches apart, approximately the space between the eyes, the result is the illusion of a three-dimensional image. They generally consist of two photographic images pasted onto a 3½-inch by 7-inch card, although earlier ones were sometimes images on glass.

They became popular first in Europe in the 1850s, followed by the US in the 1860s. Until the 1880s, most of the photographic images were created using wet plate negatives printed on albumen paper. From the 1890s, dry plate negatives printed on gelatin silver paper were produced by large companies, such as Underwood & Underwood in the US, or the London Stereoscope Company in the UK.

They faded in popularity in the 1920s, but the idea behind them was used in later formats like View-Master and Vistascreen.

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Nintendo Virtual Boy (1995 – 1996)

The Virtual Boy was a 32-bit video game console released by Ninteno in 1995 to the Japanese and US markets (it was never released in Europe).

Although advertised as a portable system, the console was a table top model requiring a flat surface to rest on, with the player looking into a headset. It was promoted as the first portable game console to  provide an immersive 3D experience.

The display used red LEDs for cost reasons, but the console was still initially expensive.

The 3D effects were a result of two linear arrays, each one directed to an eye that are presented to the player through oscillating mirrors that cause the Virtual Boy to emit a murmur. The 3D effect could cause eye strain, and there was an option to pause the game every fifteen or thirty minutes.

Nintendo initially showcased three games for the Virtual Boy, and planned to release two or three each month. By the time is was discontinued, 22 titles had been released.

The cartridges (‘Game Paks’) themselves were not compatible with any other Nintendo system, and unlike other Nintendo Game Paks, had a small removable cover for the pins.

The Virtual Boy proved to be a commercial failure and was discontinued in 1996.  Nintendo did not release another 3D console until 2011 with the Nintendo 3DS.

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