Nintendo has become the latest group to bet on the craze sweeping screens of all sizes, as it plans to release a games machine with 3D images: one with no need for the silly glasses.
The Japanese gaming giant announced yesterday it was to release a handheld device currently dubbed the "Nintendo 3DS" sometime before the end of its next financial year, which runs to 31 March 2011. The machine will succeed its existing DS series of handheld gaming devices, which have proved hugely popular, selling a total of 125 million by last year.
Excited gamers will have to wait until June to get a sneak peak at the devices, as the company said it would announce further details at the annual video games show E3 in Los Angeles.
Yesterday's news took the gaming community by surprise, and the sparse announcement prompted a wave of speculation over how the 3D effects would be realised and other features of the device would contain.
The gadget website Gizmodo speculated that the 3DS may have motion-led gaming, similar to games on the iPhone and iPod Touch, and possibly 3D control sticks. There was also speculation that the device would contain a 3G sim to allow downloads including ebooks.
This month Sony said it would bring 3D graphics to the PlayStation 3, while executives predicted the company would sell 2.5 million 3D ready televisions this year. Sony first demonstrated what 3D games could look like on the PlayStation 3 at the industry trade show CES in Las Vegas 2009.
The success of Avatar in cinemas has prompted electronics companies to race to back 3D technology with a series of TVs set for release, while broadcasters are upping 3D content.