Just as TV makers and film studios are working hard assuring movie watchers that wearing 3D glasses isn't that bad, Nintendo just applied some extra pressure.
Out of nowhere, the game hardware maker announced Monday that it is planning on selling an updated version of its popular handheld with a 3D screen that will not require any special eyewear. This is a big deal, and means there will likely be more where this came from in the next year in the form of other devices.
We don't know exactly how the Nintendo 3DS will work. Nintendo is being tight-lipped about details for now, but has said it plans to reveal more at E3, the gaming conference to be held in Los Angeles in June.
Still, we can connect some of the dots. It appears there will be two 4-inch 3D-capable displays, and they might be using something called parallax barrier technology, according to Jennifer Coleman, director of display technology at DisplaySearch. A parallax barrier display uses one liquid-crystal display layered under another. Each has tiny stripes that will hide certain pixels so that some are only visible to your left eye, while others will only be seen by your right eye. In that way, each eye gets its own image, producing the illusion of 3D without the need for glasses.
Both Hitachi and Sharp have been using parallax barrier displays in cell phones and laptops in Japan and Korea for several years, so one of them could be the supplier for Nintendo's phone, Coleman guessed.
It's good timing. The 3D market is heating up, with 3D films raking in money at the box office, TV makers pushing the format, new 3D channels set to debut, and the first 3D digital cameras already on sale.… Read more