Surprise announcement reveals a 3D Nintendo DS

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The Independent Tech

Amongst all the talk of Xbox and PlayStation motion controllers, and 3D televisions being the next big thing, Nintendo has made waves of their own by announcing a new sort of Nintendo DS handheld with 3D capabilities.

The new console is provisionally named the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo is promising games with 3D effects that can be seen without using special glasses.

Exact details are sparse, as Nintendo is waiting until June's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles to make a full presentation. What form those 3D effects take will be subject to intense speculation over the coming months.

However, Nintendo is confirming that the new 3DS is intended to succeed the current DS series of consoles, whilst retaining compatibility with the DS catalogue of games. The 3DS is also timetabled for release before March 2011.

Interest in 3D entertainment has increased over the past couple of years, with many family-friendly films being released in 3D and technology companies readying themselves to sell 3D TVs and broadcast sports programs using the technology.

Hitachi recently displayed a 3D mobile phone at a press event in London, and a Japanese DS game called 3D Hidden Objects already makes clever use of the machine's camera to sense what angle the console is being held at, and alters the on-screen image accordingly.

Rumors had been flying about what Nintendo's next move would be, with executives recently ruling out a Wii successor that would have graphical capabilities boosted to approach the fidelity of the more powerful Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Nintendo also countered early interest in the technologically advanced Xbox Natal and PlayStation Move motion-based controllers by coming up with an add-on to enhance the precision of the existing Wii Remotes.