In 1989, Nintendo’s Game Boy changed video game history by making it portable. Now, with the Nintendo 3DS, the company is continuing its tradition of innovative gaming technology combined with convenience and fun.
Nintendo’s handheld console history actually began in 1980 with the Game & Watch. With a design similar to the Nintendo DS, the Game & Watch had two LCD screens and button controls. They were designed to play only one game each.
For the Game Boy, Nintendo used similar buttons but had only one screen. With an eight-bit processing system, the games had more detail, albeit in a greenish-gray color. More importantly, it had a slot for interchangeable game cartridges, such as Tetris, the wildly popular puzzle game that was sold with the console.
Over the next few years, Nintendo made minor adjustments to the Game Boy. The Game Boy Pocket, released in 1996, was smaller and required less power. In 1998, the Game Boy Color was released. Besides the obvious addition of color, this console was more powerful and held more memory.
Three years later, Nintendo made a completely new handheld console, the Game Boy Advance. It had a significant design change in which the screen was between the controls, rather than above. The device was wider rather than taller. It could still play Game Boy games as well as its own 32-bit cartridges.
Two versions of the Game Boy Advance were released. The Game Boy Advance SP combined the designs of the original Game Boy its screen-over-button arrangement with the clamshell of the Game & Play. The Game Boy Micro, like the Game Boy Pocket, made everything smaller and lighter.
The Nintendo DS was released in 2004 with many new features. The biggest was a touch screen that sat below the usual gameplay screen. Also included was Wi-Fi compatibility, which meant players all over the world could connect to each other.
2006’s DS Lite was its inevitable smaller, lighter version. The 2008 DSi included cameras and a greater emphasis on Internet connectivity with downloadable software and a web browser.
In 2011, Nintendo is set to make another technological leap with the Nintendo 3DS. An autosteroscopic screen can create three-dimensional images with the use of special glasses and added cameras can capture 3D images and even allow video messaging. Sensors within the console can track its motion. Like Nintendo’s Wii, the company will set up a Game Boy library with downloadable content. Last but not least, the Nintendo 3DS will be able to play videos.
The Nintendo 3DS, will not just be a gaming device, it will be a portal for entertainment, news and social interaction that can compete with devices like Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad.
This was a guest post by John for HMV.com where you can buy the new Nintendo 3DS handheld console.