Article 005: Nintendo 3DS Redesign rumors

A mock-up of a possible 3DS redesign
Ever since the french videogame website 01net published a news leak about seven months ago about a 3DS redesign, people have been speculating on what such a redesign would be like. The original article says, among other things, that the revamped portable would downplay the 3D, and include a second circle pad. This article purports to include information given to the website by an employee of nintendo.

Things have quieted down until a recent post on IGN with some great ideas about what the revamped 3DS would be like. I for one think this image is spot on, except for the removable street pass. Let's run through some of the ideas circulating about the alleged 3DS redesign.

The redesign will happen: Talk to a lot of gamers out there, and half will tell you that the idea of a redesigned 3DS is stupid, and half will tell you that it is obvious. However, I have to side with the latter group, considering that every Nintendo handheld has had some sort of redesign/revision over the years, and I would suspect that the 3DS is no different. The real question is how drastic would it be?
The current 3DS design. 
The redesign will include longer battery life: Let's face it, battery life is definitely a big gripe for 3DS owners. However, considering the reality of things, beefing up the graphics and processor will also beef up battery consumption. The PSVita is no different it its battery life, and I'd bet if you played an advanced game on an iPad or iPod, you would see similar battery drains. Nevertheless, battery technology is always advancing, and Nintendo could indeed add an hour or two to the battery of the redesigned 3DS.

The redesign will have a bigger screen: This is plausible, but totally uncertain. I for one would like a bigger screen, but you can't always get what you want. A bigger screen will also drain more battery (see above), and this could lead to other complaints.

The redesign will include a second circle pad: I think this is very plausible. The circle pad pro kind of makes the case that a second circle pad is needed, in at least some situations. There are suggestions that the next version of Smash Bros will be playable on both the Wii U, and the 3DS, and given that the Wii U has two circle pads, the 3DS would have to have them as well, unless the circle pad pro will be required for this game. Speaking of the circle pad pro, it also includes additional trigger buttons, so would those be needed for the redesign? Who knows. However, perhaps an included accessory that gives you better grip and additional trigger buttons will be included with the redesigned version of the 3DS. Building extra trigger buttons into the new 3DS would definitely add bulk to it, and limit its portability.

The redesign will update the home/select/start buttons: I would say this update is necessary. These buttons are arguably terrible. They are hard to press, and don't feel right, so new buttons that feel more like, well, buttons would be greatly appreciated.

The redesign may include a name change: The original 01net post suggests that the name of the redesign may include a name change. And the name change could downplay the 3D. When I first heard the name 3DS, I thought it was brilliant. It was a nice way of combining 3D with DS, and sounded clever at the time. However, I can also see now how the name could have confused people. Many people didn't realize that it was a completely new system. What with all the revisions of the DS, it isn't surprising. We had DS, DS lite, DSxl, DSi, it isn't terribly surprising to think that some people may have been confused as to whether the 3DS was a completely new system or just an incremental revision. However, if Nintendo are throwing out what could be viewed as a clever name, what would they replace it with? What name carries as much or more cache with Nintendo fans than the DS? What name is more synonymous with handheld gaming than DS? How about "Gameboy"? Is it possible that Nintendo is considering bringing back the Gameboy brand to this redesigned system? It could for example be called the "Gameboy Pro" or perhaps the "Super Gameboy". This is of course pure speculation, but no other name would carry as much weight for reviving a handheld game system franchise as the "Gameboy" brand name.

Thanks for reading,
Doctor X and the JoystickRobot


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