Rumours suggest that the next handheld from Nintendo, which has been tentatively nicknamed the 3DS because of its 3D gaming capabilities, will be much more powerful than the full sized Wii home console.
Some have claimed in the run up to the E3 gaming expo that the 3DS will have a graphics chip and central processing unit so powerful that it will be able to directly compete with the Xbox 360 and even the monolithic but often under-utilised PlayStation 3.
Although critics have continually derided Nintendo’s choice to make the Wii a cheap, cheerful but ultimately underpowered console, if the rumours about the 3DS are true, it would pose a serious threat to the other handheld gaming platforms.
Nintendo’s strategy of courting the mass market and offering its consoles at a low price point has made it billions over the last half decade, but it has seen its profits tumble as the Wii’s popularity wears thin, partly due to a lacklustre catalogue of games and a disinterested casual audience who will not invest in software on a regular basis.
The rumours about the 3DS and its powerhouse performance capabilities have come from developers cited by gaming site IGN, with industry murmurings suggesting that the 3DS will be able to match up to the major HD home consoles in terms of graphical fidelity. Since the 3DS is going to have to generate 3D images, this news of processing prowess may not be a huge surprise.