June 08, 2010, 9:32 PM — Sometimes we hear a rumor so often that we start to accept it as fact. Case in point, the rumor that Nintendo's next handheld, the Nintendo 3DS, will be powered by Nvidia's Tegra chip. We've heard that rumor for so long, without either Nintendo or Nvidia disputing it, that it seemed like a done deal.
Or at least it did. Now Eurogamer is reporting that they've got two unconnected sources saying that there's no Tegra chip in the 3DS. Instead, an as yet unspecified chip from a Japanese partner will be powering the 3DS. Further, Eurogamer sources (cautiously... "barrel-loads of salt" are mentioned) IGN as saying that the Nintendo 3DS will approach the Sony PS3 and Xbox 360 in terms of processing power. That's a pretty audacious claim, I'll agree.
Next week is E3 and we should learn a lot more about the Nintendo 3DS, including if it'll actually be called the 3DS. In terms of what kinds of games will appear on the new system, a post at Game Informer suggests that Nintendo has given third-party developers the OK to talk about their works-in-progress.
Another interesting question surrounding the 3DS. Since the games (at least some of them) will be in 3D, how will companies market them? It's all well and good to show game journalists a particular title on the show floor, but how will web sites and television commercials show off the graphics in a 3D (only) game? This conundrum isn't limited to games of course: 3D movies have the same challenge. But generally movies are released in both 2D & 3D versions. Presumably 3DS games will only work in 3D. Showing off the hottest new graphics in an upcoming video game is such a standard part of the marketing process: it'll be interesting to see what kinds of solutions Nintendo and their partners come up with.