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Nintendo 3DS: Portable 3D gaming without the dorky glasses

Nintendo's new 3DS handheld console will bring 3D gaming to the streets without the need for those pesky glasses

Gamers will be able to enjoy 3D on the move with Nintendo's unexpected successor to its DS series of handhelds, tentatively dubbed the 3DS. Offering 3D effects without the need for special glasses, the handheld promises to curb an outbreak of gamers wearing dorky '80s eyewear in public. 

Nintendo's flogged over 125 million DS handhelds worldwide and isn't prepared to stop this money-printing exercise any time soon. The company intends to corner the market with 3D technology rather than simply pinning its hopes on increased graphical capabilities.

With a planned release before March 2011, Nintendo will announce further 3DS specs -- no, not spectacles -- at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) held from 15 June in Los Angeles.

The company claims the 3DS will be backwards compatible with all previous DS and DSi software, suggesting that the new handheld will feature a dual screen and dual cameras. This provides potential clues for the handheld's 3D technology, owing to the release of DSiWare puzzle game 3D Hidden Pictures (featured below).

This Japan-only title uses the DSi's cameras to track its movements, adjusting the perspective of on-screen puzzles to create a 3D-like effect. It's not clear whether the 3DS will utilise this technology, or instead something like the headache-inducing glasses-free 3D tech demonstrated by TV manufacturer Samsung.

The announcement follows both Microsoft and Sony's intentions to release 3D video games on their home consoles -- the PlayStation 3 will even support 3D Blu-ray films starting this summer. However, unlike Nintendo's 3DS, both consoles require blooming expensive TVs and bulky shutter-glasses.