Friday, January 06, 2006

A little fictional conversation

With these news of Nintendo buying 3D goggles from manufacturer eMagin, as well as there being a visor on a character in ´Animal Crossing´ for DS, the 3D and visor debate has been revived once more.

Concerning the first rumour, however, I would like to point out that if there really was a cooperation between those two companies, Nintendo would have no need to buy hardware from them (as they would be developing products together, anyway) and, more fundamentally, eMagin would not be commenting on any such purchase. The second story is quite intriguing, though, albeit a quirky little detail.

Anyway, the whole 3D and visor debate is back and there are more and more people who dismiss the possibility of 3D outright. Some dismiss it because they think it´s too expensive. I have written about this aspect at great length before and came to the conclusion that a 3D peripheral could be mass-produced and sold for a price of under $100. Go back to the old posts, if you haven´t read them yet. Others dismiss the possibility of 3D projection because they simply think that such a project doesn´t make sense in the light of what´s been revealed already. Purely for the sake of illustrating that it very well does, I would like to engage you in a little fictional conversation.

We are trying to work our way to the big final secret by starting with the info we already know. Let us reverse this process and think the other way ´round by looking at the debate from Nintendo´s point of view. Let us start with the assumption that Nintendo really does want to come out with a 3D console. Then, the following fictional conversation between Iwata and Miyamoto will lead us from the big picture down into some of the details we are already familiar with.

Iwata: I want the Revolution to be able to project games in 3D.

Miyamoto: But a 3D peripheral will cost around $100 on top of the console price.

Iwata: So let´s keep the console cheap so people will be able to afford both.

Miyamoto: In order to keep the console cheap, we could lower the hardware specs. Graphics power can be lowered when you are adding another dimension.

Iwata: Good. But what about the controller? What good is a traditional controller in a 3D environment?

Miyamoto: It´s useless. A traditional controller only operates in two dimensions.

Iwata: So we need a controller that works in 3D. Let´s use gyration technology.

Miyamoto: Great. But let´s also opt for a one-handed controller. That way you can actually feel like holding a sword, gun or fishing rod, rather than just seeing it.

Iwata: Great. But let´s not put all the cards on the table immediately. Our competitors might change their current plans and copy our idea.

Miyamoto: Right. We should reveal the 3D aspect as late as possible.

Iwata: But just showing gameplay footage would show us up compared to the competition. Without realising the footage will end up being projected in 3D, the fans will think the graphics are nowhere near the competition.

Miyamoto: True. We just can´t show any footage then, until we reveal the 3D projection.

Iwata: So we cannot reveal anything until then?

Miyamoto: We can. We can reveal the controller by itself. That will give the fans an idea where we are heading without giving away our plans.

Iwata: Agreed.

Do you see what I´m trying to do? If you take the controller for granted and wonder whether 3D projection is a possibility, you might not come to a conclusion. But if you take 3D projection for granted, then the controller becomes a necessity. So does not showing any games footage. So does everything else.

But don´t get me wrong. This is just a way of illustrating that some kind of new projection method, most likely 3D projection, would fit in with everything else we know and don´t know by now. I don´t want to boldly state that such a technology will be used. I also agree that it is best not to get your hopes up too high - especially for something that is, admittedly, hard to sell to a mass market. But I am also apalled by the fact that reasonable people get flamed on forums for mentioning the possibility of there being such a peripheral. All I´m trying to get you to consider is that it would really make perfect sense. And I´m sure wou will agree.

Sources: IGN, 4 Color Rebellion
Thanks to: Product_Number_18


Pekka said...

I wish... It would make for quite a gameplay experience.

Considering the graphical processes required for creating a stereoscopic view, wouldn't it require the GPU to render the same scene twice per each frame for both eyes? I wonder how graphics cards fair at a task like that...

Falafelkid said...

The computational power to generate stereoscopic images could be outsourced to the add-on. Also, the guys from that German 3D manufacturer I spoke to said that you didn´t require a cluster of three CPU´s anymore to calculate both pictures.

Falafelkid said...

Also, you might be interested in this message from the IGN boards. It is most likely fake. But its lack of spelling mistakes is striking, after all.

Hello, IGN Revolution lobby visitors

The purpose of this thread is to inform you of an upcoming announcement regarding the Nintendo Revolution project. On Monday, January 16, representatives of Nintendo of America have scheduled to exclusively announce, in detail, the final secret of Nintendo's revolutionary free-hand controller to at 11:00 A.M. (pacific time). After this announcement, there will be another announcement of a final major secret regarding Nintendo's next generation console, which is to be revealed at the E3 press conference in May. Starting in early March, Nintendo will begin a steady, aggressive marketing campaign. I know this because I am directly employed by NOA. I cannot reveal any detail of my identification or employment, as you surely understand.

There is also another incentive for me to inform you about the upcoming announcement regarding the final secret of the controller nearly two weeks early. Although the controller's secret will be revealed in detail on January 16, an overview of all the revolutionary aspects of the free-hand device is available via e-mail to all members of My Nintendo at who register a minimum of 70 Nintendo products. This e-mail includes a brief summary of the yet to be announced controller secret. I say that, for any possessing the resources, this information is now available.

Taylor said...

It seems well-written enough, but the "70 registered products" thing puts me off.

RPGuy said...

The thread on IGN is intriguing, but, to my knowledge, there aren't 70 products TO register with My Nintendo yet. The service applies to Nintendo-published games that began some time after the release of Wind Waker.

Leon said...

I think that the secret it's related to the graphics, maybe the visor, maybe the graphich itself (cube mapping ecc)
surely it's something bigger than the controller or nintendo would have revealed it at TGS or E3.
i think that until E3 (when sony surely can't change anything in ps3) we will know everything about revolution. before that date nothing will be revelad, just speculations, fake... the same thing we had before tgs.

Anonymous said...

This is good stuff for conspiracy theorists. But I think the simple reason why the specs are low is because Nintendo plans on coming in at a low pricepoint. They are coming in a lower pricepoint because they want to attract more casual gamers and because most folks don't have hdtvs.

The 360 is overkill for playing the games at sdtv resolutions. Nintendo knows this and their games will look just as good at 480p as the 360s, but at a much cheaper entry point.

I could possibly see the Revolution having 3d games.

But they will be shown on a regular TV. YOu would need 3d glasses to play them.

I absolutely rule out the visor. Why? CAsual gamers. Nintendo has laid out their strategy and Visor doesn't spell casual gamer. I'm not sure it spells hardcore even. And I honestly don't believe they can put something like a Visor into a console at $149 or even $199 despite the weak examples cited.

I also rule out 3d projection. It requires too much of the consumer. Nintendo wants families to play together and suddenly they need to make sure they have a spare wall to project the games on? I know I would need a cart to put the Revolution on in order to use it on the empty wall in my living room. Plus a projector runs extremely hot and would be loud and take up lots of space. The image you get on a wall also probably would not be that great.

Go the store and check out projectors. And then you'll come to the easy conclusion that 3d projection is not in the cards.

Nah as I first stated the specs are low because one only needs half the specs of a PS3 or 360 to run the games at 480p and because they will come in at a lower pricepoint to attract the mass market.

Anonymous said...

Also let's look at a 3d projector, shall we?

Here's one offered. IT's $4000. Let's even ignore the price and let's look at the size of the thing. And again if you've heard a projector you know they are loud. If you've ever touched one you know they run hot.

So suddenly Nintendo is going to take this technology and put it into a $200 console the size of the Revolution? And have no heat or noise problems? Remember too Nintendo has said their console will be quiet.

Also note that you need glasses for use with this projector. And that this projector is an 'affordable' projector for the masses.

Anyway if they did 3d the route they would go would be these:

Wireless hi-tech glasses that allow you to see 3d on your monitor. These are $99. A 2nd pair is only $49. This aren't 'visors.' They make your games 3d even existing pc ones.

Still I have my doubts about these. It would get pretty expensive for the casual gaming family to buy extra controllers and glasses for all. Not to mention they'd have to stock different size models for different size heads. Wireless glasses also don't seem very casual gamer oriented or kid friendly which Nintendo is.

Anonymous said...


How much does the gameboy micro cost??? I can only imagine what a visor from nintendo would cost, especially if 2+ gamers are playing the highly touted Super Smash Brothers. Purchasing a controller and a visor for each person puts me off. Don't be so quick to dismiss the cost, there is a reason virtual boy is virtual gone. Also, read around and the general consensus for visors is cool in theory, but most people experience nausea. I do appreciate your research...keep em coming.



Michael said...

Hey Falafel, love the site as always.

And, I appreciate your points and I think that you may be right but...... early. I can see what you are saying as a future possibility. I think the new controller is the beginning of the transition to full 3D. Start with the controller and then migrate to the 3D display. Plan on the revolutionary display for next gen possibly if the Rev sells well. If it doesn't then it probably won't happen for a while.

Also your theory doesn't account for the media demo of the controller. I think that demo was an honest attempt by Nintendo to demonstrate the potential of the controller for games on a TV. Also, what about the news that the revolution controller will work with zelda TP. Do you think they may be making a 3D version of zelda?

Anonymous said...

One day games might be relieved from TV.

Grandmaster B said...

If its 3d I dont think its projection but I would not rule outr visors.

Nintendos new business model will be going after non gamers so if this attracts a mass of people I doubt there will be a problem with current casual gamers following. After all the world is a flock of sheep.

In a similar circumstance, the early 1980s people saw computers for 'geeks' and 'nerds' and you can see how that has changed. A similar occurence also in the 90's or 00's when gaming was considered for geeks up until then.

People always speak about what the mass and market wants when its just generalizing. In the early days of automobile manufacturing and sales before the days of Ford's Model T, the automobile was said to "The ordinary 'horseless carriage' is at present a luxury for the wealthy; and although the price will probably fall in future, it will never, of course, come into common use as the bicycle".

Another quote by Steve Olsen from DEC in 1980's "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home". Not long after Apple II is released and I do not need to say more.

Now I'm not saying a visor will do the same for the gaming market but you can never tell what the mass want. When the mass purchase, psychological views on things change too.

There are always shifts in the way people think and perceive things.

If it plays well I am all for the visor. I am very bored of gaming and the way its played. I get more fun out of handheld. However with the new controller I will be interested in giving gaming some more time. After all I've been a gamer since 1982.

retro said...

Interesting, and it would make perfect sense, but I do not believe there will be a 3D visor, almost entirely on the fact that in the demo video Nintendo showed off at TGS '05, there was a TV, and we saw the visorless faces of game players. It is possible Nintendo will then show us a video of the same situation, but they're playing a game in front of a blank TV and then put on a visor and start playing for real, or the sensors next to the TV some how project the TV image into a virtual 3D visor (would is possible but extremely hard to make), but I don't think that this is the generation Nintendo is introducing true virtual reality. I have a feeling that is reserved for the generation after this coming one, where I believe that next nintendo console will feature and upgraded version of the Revolution controller, and it will be the virtual tool you use in the virtual reality games.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who thinks the Visor totally goes against almost everything they have been saying all these months?

How would a visor make the system fun for the whole family? If you only had one visor, than the whole family has to wait for their turn? Or is this another money-making scheme?

How about being affordable and cheap? Yes, I understand mass-production would reduce the price, but would it reduce the price to be under $50 or less?

A visor doesn't make things simplier, in fact, it makes thing even more complicated by the fact that if you want to play with more than one person, other people have to buy visors or be left out.

How about the games? I can only see games that deal in the first-person perspective benefitting from this. Other genres just won't benefit from a visor.

I'll pass on the visor and stick with the current set-up until we get those holodecks from Star Trek. Now that's full immersion.

nomadx469 said...

hey whatsup falafelkid,

IMO i think nintendo might be in a way mocking sony and microsoft or even us. for that tid-bit of news just to pop-up of no where. it's funny if you ask me, and lets not forget nintendo has done business with them before and we didn't know untill the sg007 started to spazz-out about visors.

And on a different page emagin i think does some sort of agumented reality (better than any visor IMO)and if nintendo headed anywhere with 3-D AR would be my bet

Anonymous said...

About VR. ...

By think like this. VR can as inexpensive as never
It's ... just like 2 lcd + controller's motion cencer ... even wireless I/O using controller. picture using in box system. it can make picture at less like cube but in real 3d.

...Maybe VR canbe optional for non hardcore gamers that set can sell as less as 150$

Anonymous said...

It's definitely not visors or 3d projection.

Teh Nitendo Revolution said...

I highly doubt that Nintendo would use a visor setup for the revolution. Even if the cost does come down to an acceptable level, isn't their whole aim this generation to bring non-gamers into the fold. With any outlandish attachment like this, the majority of people (who are accustomed to using a screen) will be somewhat alienated. This doesn't fit with Nintendo's current business model at all.

On a side note - did anyone else notice that Emagin's logo is a triforce in RGB. Perhaps this is part of the mythical "N-game". Perhaps not.

pi said...

Visor is only one thing it can be. It can make in not too expensive way. Also revolution have small resolution.

But all I know is there is 100$ more for nintendo to do some thing more. And it still not show yet.

Anonymous said...

"The goggles they do nothing." Im sorry I just had a GAF moment. The on rumors have apparently taken on a life of there own whether for better or worse. The problem at this point is making it all feasable.

Anonymous said...

Hallo Falafelkid,

Von der seite betrachtet gäbe es doch logischerweise nur zwei Szenarien die plausibel wären.


Nintendo Revolution wird die erste Konsole sein, die es dem Spieler erlaubt sich zu einem gewissen Grad kreativ auszutoben, sprich Revolution wird voraussichtlich mit einer art extrem fortgeschrittenem(in die Konsole integriertem) MARIO PAINT ausgeliefert.Dieses Szenario würde den "prepare to let your right brain go wild" Statements von Reggi(nator)Fils-Aime und einem -von dir etwas anders interpretiertem- Patent meiner Meinung nach gerecht werden.Außerdem würde sich der Remote-Controller perfekt als Eingabegerät für so ein(komplexes) Programm eignen wenn mann es sich denn mal vor Augen führt.

Das andere Szenario sähe in meinen Augen folgendermaßen aus:

Bei Nintendo Revolution handelt es sich um die erste Konsole, die es ermöglicht vorgerenderte Hintergründe in real-time, in eine echte 3D Welt interaktiv einzubinden.Dadurch etsteht ein Vorteil gegenüber der Konkurrenz, mit dem man mit geringfügigem technischen Aufwand bewerkstelligt die selben Ergebnisse wie Ps3,Xbox180 zu erzielen und somit imstande ist erhebliche entwicklungs-kosten zu umgehen.Diese Vermutung beruht auf sich im Umlauf befindende bzw. von dir behandelte Patente von Nintendo.

Was wäre deiner Meinung nach am plausibelsten ?

Anonymous said...

That's a well-structured argument, but I don't think it's quite as plausible as you make out. From what I understand, the controller knows where the tv is by having a sensor on either side of it. This allows the Revolution to know where the controller is pointed.
If you're not looking at the tv, but instead at the visor, then why have the sensors on either side of the tv?

Anonymous said...

The last secret is Mario 3D Paint.Its part of the system from the get go.
It allows users to create short 3D sequences,pictures and even 2D/3D gameplay through given but exchangable AI-routines.
Its also upgradable and compatible with Revolution games.

On a side note the Hollywood GPU will take advantage of several advanced rendering methods for modelling and scinning.

The final name will be Nintendo Intend.

Johnny B said...

I have always found the visor idea far fetched BUT I think there is just too much circumstantial evidence to ignore it.

While many people argue that VR or AR is better suited for next next gen, never is it acknowledged that there must be a transition period to VR. The Revolution will most certainly be playable on a standard television, but that doesn't rule out the possibility of an optional peripheral such as a visor.

Concerning the Emagin thing...Nintendo might have bought those visors for use with beta kits until they manufacture their own visors. Perhaps the story was leaked intentionally by Nintendo. Afterall, Emagin's NDA could have expired Dec. 31, 2005. Regardless, this is hard proof that Nintendo is interested in VR technology. What I find odd about the story is that Emagin is talking with M$, $ony and Nintendo, yet Nintendo is the only one that could make good use of the visor's immersiveness via the freehand controller.

Just as gyroscope rumors circled around months before TGS, visor and 3D rumors are circling now. I'm fairly convinced that the Revolution's final secret involves innovation in display, but just how Nintendo will employ that innovation is the question. Though it seems overly optimistic, I think 3D or, less likely, a visor are possibilites.

justchris said...

I don't see visors happening for one reason. Movement.

Sure, the revmote is a great controller, but when you're projecting pictures in 3d right in a person's face, the tendency to move not just the controller, but your entire body, becomes irresistable. Most people will do it subconsciously. Without anyway to control or utilize that impulse (which will likely conflict with the correct controller movement), a 3d visor is a flawed plan, and I'm sure Nintendo sees that.

Chris said...

Falafel- This is my first time commenting. I really like your site and I really like falafels (yum!).

I think there are two problems with the visor theory. 1.) As D-bone said, nausea is a common side effect from using 3-d visors or headgear. I remember when the whole virtual thing was cool, it was advisable to play no more than an hour at a time. I experience nausea from watching others play FPSs, and I think it would be too common an occurrence to work.
2) The fact that I can't look away from a visor. To me, Nintendo is all about making games that people can play together, like Mario Party. But if I can't turn to my friend to celebrate or talk trash, I lose the experience of playing with others. I don't want to be confined in a box, I want to easily relate my experience to others, and a visor doesn't allow me to do that.

Also, when Iwata hinted at another secret, he talked about it having to do with the controller itself. He, or anyone else to my knowledge, has ever suggested that there is another secret having to do with the console itself, yet a lot of speculation goes to a certain graphical ability. Do you think there are two more secrets, both for the console and the controller, or is the last one a secret about both (like a visor, which fundamentally changes both)?

Keep up the good work.

Chris said...

Weird. Justchris and I are not the same person. And Justchris- I move my whole body with the controllers I have now. Yeah, I'm that guy, the guy who can't turn Link without violently jerking one way or another, up or down. I can't wait for when I'm playing my Revolution and I accidently break my friend's nose.

Iceleaf said...

Like i said earlier:

When searching "nintendo revolution"
on googles images it came up with..

For some reason.

Anonymous said...

Non gamers who nintendo want to get onboard, are NOT attracted to visors.. FFS they designed the controller looking like a remote so that it looks familiar to those people, you really think they would use a visor now?
Not on my watch.

Shoxware Games said...

i don't think, that there's a visor at all. it's just too uncomfortable for multiplayers, that everyone has to buy a visor... especially with nintendo's "pick up and play" philosophy.

it's just like with the controller. everyone knew the secret, and in the end it was a remote, and noone came up on that.

nintendo is a master at keeping secrets, so there will be NO visor, maybe something completely different, what no one expected.

but we just have to wait!

pi said...

But *IF* that visor is some thing for hard core gamemer and it just optional.

Now thing like this.
If you are a hard core gamemer buy that visor.
If you not you can get more controller for the rest at your home.
If you new to game buy that box. and one controller. It's 50% off if you look other.

I still don't know that VR made in 1995 and rebuilt in 2006 will irresistable or not but any thing possible.

And yes maybe it's not visor. It's about 100$ and it's tendency like nds ... to make more communicate between human and console.

Falafelkid said...

Hi Iceleaf. The Siemens ´Global Player´ is ancient. I used it myself at the last CeBIT I attended and that was at least three years ago. Again, the gadget didn´t wow me. And to my knowledge Siemens never pursued this product line.

Anonymous said...

forgive me if this has been mentioned already. But, if the revolution will feature a visor, how will multiplayer be supported?


Grandmaster B said...

Anonymous said...
Non gamers who nintendo want to get onboard, are NOT attracted to visors.. FFS they designed the controller looking like a remote so that it looks familiar to those people, you really think they would use a visor now?
Not on my watch.

Just like the personal computer (PC) had no use nor anyone wanted a personal computer in the early 80s? I didnt know you could speak for over a billion people worldwide.

I'm not saying there is a visor but dont generalize on technology as to what people want. Creating a boom in an industry is usually giving people what they didnt know they wanted.

Nintendo have obviously done their research over the years and we will see what they have come up with soon I guess.

pi said...

so it's better than visors and still fit in 100$

Anonymous said...

The guys who mades the control identical to the revo controller had too a pair of visors for 69 U$S who runs some playstation 2 games in 3D. So, it´s possibly that nintendo had some of them too, you will can play the games with the visors or without (sorry my english :) )

Anonymous said...

Ah, and the adress (if you want to see them) is :


Anonymous said...

this is so sad.
if micheal jackson would only have known it just took really poor writing about a nintendo console to get 10-15 year old boys this excited...

MadJo said...

But how does a 3d visor get Nintendo to the non-gamers? Do you see your elders with some 3d goggles on? I guess not.
3D visors are cool for hardcore gamers, but even casual gamers might balk at the thought.