Facebook Files: On Developers Using The Nintendo 3DS

By Ishaan . December 5, 2010 . 10:27am

With the Nintendo 3DS just months away from launch, the subject of how developers will put the system’s different features to use — or indeed, whether they even will use all the tools made available to them — throughout the course of its lifespan is becoming more of an issue.


Steven wrote:

With the advent of the 3DS upon us, I find myself wondering what kind of gimmicks will be utilized for this exciting new piece of hardware. Some of it’s initial limitations will make it an interesting task for sure.


Limitations such as having one wide screen (16:9?) dedicated to 3D and one normal screen (4:3?) being dedicated to touch functions. In many DS games the touch screen was a direct input method over the active screen itself, such as in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow and both DS Legend of Zelda titles. Does anyone think that the attention to the 3D screen will render the touch screen underutilized?


Anton wrote:

Mm, I can definitely see the touch screen being underutilized. Personally, there are only a couple of DS games that I own for which I absolutely had to use the touch screen. For the most part, the games I ended up playing the most used the touch interface as an optional control method.


I’m an old-school gamer. All of these new motion controls, touch-screens, and so on just seem a bit gimmicky to me. There are some excellent games out there that use the touch screen well, but I find I tire of them quicker than most other games.


Daniel wrote:

My problem is that these touch screens, motion controls and the like never seem like they are required; or in most cases the actions (such as character moving or menu navigating) could be done a lot more efficiently with buttons.


So, here’s this weeks Facebook Files topic: What other aspects of the system would you like to see developers focus on, beyond simply the stereoscopic 3D visuals the 3DS is capable of displaying?

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  • A limitation of the DS itself… I hope the 3DS has a better sound processor. I’m tired of this “chiptunish” music in current DS games.

    • kylehyde

      Maybe you don’t hear the music on the world ends with you? It sounds really great, in fact for me was really epic when the song “give me all your love” popped during the boss fight.Also in Henry Hatsworth even that the music was more simplistic it sounded really well, the Banson’s Aria was really catchy.

      Also I remember very well that in the development of “ni no kuni” it was mentioned that this game was going to be stored in the cartridge with most stored space on the whole DS. The reason, it was going to have orchestral compositions.

      • On the soundtrack for The World Ends With You, the music sounds great. In-game, obvious loss in quality.

        • Playing with headphones in greatly increases the music quality.

          • Not when they have a frequency range of 5Hz to 30,000Hz…

        • kylehyde

          Maybe somthing was wrong with your DS, because in mine it sound really well, also I was talking about th music on the game itself not on the sountrack.

          • I’ve noticed the speakers seem quieter recently. Even with headphones, it doesn’t make the music quality any better.

    • NeoTechni

      Being that 3DS still uses cards, its unlikely they’ll use CD quality music like PSP where devs have an all-you-can-eat buffet of space.

      • A UMD’s maximum size is 1.8GB. A 3DS game card is 2GB. http://www.1up.com/news/nintendo-3ds-game-cards

        • NeoTechni

          Yes, that doesnt conflict with what I said.

          Given the following:
          UMD, 6 years ago, when PSP launched, costs less than what 2 GB of flash costs NOW to manufacture.
          UMD had 2 options, 0.9 GB and 1.8 GB.
          3DS will have options of 4 MB in increments of powers of 2 till 2 GB.
          People claim 3DS has superior graphics to PSP (despite multiple games proving otherwise)

          That means, PSP developers pretty much had tons of space to deal with. They make a game that say has 220 MB, they have at minimum another 680 MB to play around with. But a 3DS developer, if they made a 220 MB game they’d probably opt for the 256 MB card, giving them 36 MB. (example) They dont get an all-you-can-eat buffet on capacity.

          Do you get it now?

          Worse, if 3DS is supposed to have better graphics, the game takes up more space. If we were to take the 1.8 GB God of War/Crisis Core on PSP and put it on 3DS, it should take more space. So either they’d have to keep quality the same, or remove content.

          • You do realize there’s compression methods that can significantly reduce the size of a game, right? Several Wii games are maybe 1GB in size… but use a 4.7GB disc. Hell, most PSP games probably don’t even use the full size of a UMD.

          • NeoTechni

            You do realize that compression is not the reason those games take less space, right? Its simply cause they didnt use the extra space.

            The Wii games that fill 4.7 GB but only take 1 GB, are because data loads faster the farther from the center it is. So they pad it to push data to the edge.

            A lot of PSP games do take 1.8 GB.

            Compression is not a magic wand, it takes lots more processing power and RAM. Something neither PSP, nor Wii, nor 3DS have. Devs just started really using compression on the 360 and that was due to DVD’s lack of space.

            You’re also avoiding the whole point and arguing semantics.
            3DS developers do not have an all-you-can-eat buffet on capacity, and will PROBABLY not opt to pay more for a larger card just to use higher quality music. You are most likely not going to get many games that use MP3s, just like DS didn’t get very many.

            If compression and larger cards did mean 3DS was going to get them, DS would have gotten them more often as well.

          • Actually NeoTechni, I have yet to see a PSP game use 1.8GB. The highest I’ve seen is BBS at 1.64 GB

          • onilink888

            I’d like to know: what in the hell are you talking about, NeoTechni?

            “Being that 3DS still uses cards, its unlikely they’ll use CD quality music like PSP where devs have an all-you-can-eat buffet of space.”

            3DS carts will start out with a MINIMUM of 2 gigs. There’s an abundant amount of space to work with. >_>

            Sound quality will be entirely dependent on the the quality of the audio files used and the speakers (them being able to produce high fidelity audio and whatnot). Unfortunately, we know nothing about the quality of the speakers, so, I can’t really say that even if the audio files in the game were of a high quality that the speakers would be able to do them justice, so that’s up in the air for now.

            “People claim 3DS has superior graphics to PSP (despite multiple games proving otherwise)”

            That, good sir, was just plain dumb. The only advantage PSP games would have over the 3DS would be that they use higher resolution textures (even then, it’s no big deal as the pixel density on the 3DS’s screen is ideal, so games look nice and crisp). Unless you know of PSP games that have normal mapping, HDR rendering, gamma correction, self shadows and so on.

            It’s true, late PSP games look better than SOME early 3DS games, but that’s only natural. Don’t go looking at the Ridge Racer and that Konami baseball game for a good comparison. If you really want to see what kind of graphical brunt the 3DS is packing, look at the likes of Snake Eater 3D, Resident Evil: Revelations and Resident Evil: Mercenaries. And I assure you, there is no PSP game that looks as good those.

            Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to bash the PSP or flaunt the 3DS’s superiority or anything like that, I love the PSP, but the fact of the matter is that the 3DS is a new gen handheld and it can and does produce better looking games than what is seen on the PSP. Hell, when the PSP2 comes out, it’s quite likely to blow the 3DS out of the water in the visuals department. But for now, this “HERP TEH PSP R HAVE TEH 1337 GREFFIX AND THEY BETTER THAN 3DS LOL DERP” nonsense has to stop. Seriously.

          • NeoTechni

            “3DS carts will start out with a MINIMUM of 2 gigs. There’s an abundant amount of space to work with. >_>”

            Actually, 2 GB is the MAXIMUM. So the entire basis of your argument is backwards. 3DS cards have a minimum of 4 MEGABYTES and increase in powers of 2 UNTIL 2 GB. They don’t start at 2 GB.

            “Sound quality will be entirely dependent on the the quality of the audio files used and the speakers”

            No, it’s also dependent on having enough space for the music.
            And space is dependent on how much the publisher wants to pay for.
            Unlike PSP where they have an all-you-can-eat buffet of space.

            “”People claim 3DS has superior graphics to PSP (despite multiple games proving otherwise)”

            That, good sir, was just plain dumb”

            Howso? I’ve yet to see a 3DS game look better than PSP games. Believing what I’m seeing isn’t dumb. They put out an MGS3D trailer recently that shows downgraded graphics from the screenshots we’ve seen. It now looks on par with MGS:PW. Ridge Racer on 3DS looks WORSE than the PSP launch Ridge Racer. Meaning it’s even looking worse than some EARLY PSP games.

            “Unless you know of PSP games that have normal mapping, HDR rendering, gamma correction, self shadows and so on.”

            The first portable game to ever have HDR rendering, was Death Jr. A PSP game. Though neither of those effects were what I was referring to.

            “But for now, this “HERP TEH PSP R HAVE TEH 1337 GREFFIX AND THEY BETTER THAN 3DS LOL DERP” nonsense has to stop. Seriously. ”

            It’s nonsense cause I didn’t say that.

          • kylehyde


            Actually is not a reply for you is a reply to @NeoTechni, but since I can’t reply him and the only option avaliable was a “like” and I don’y like his opinion, well I have to post the reply in this way.

            @NeoTechni Where is your source for your claim that the minimum is 4 megabytes, where?

            that 4 MB is the minimum of the DS cartridges and actually the maximum of the DS cartridges is 4Gb (512 MB).

            Many media claimed that the base of the 3DS cartridges will be 2GB at launch. So show me who says the opposite, if you can’t then your comment lack of value.


          • doomspeller10

            I just think it’s normal that the 3DS has better graphics or processor power than the PSP, I mean, the PSP was released 6 years ago, and the 3DS has yet to be released.
            We should compare the 3DS with the PSP2 once it gets finally announced and videos of actual gameplay surface. But still, graphics is not everything a good console needs.

          • Tom_Phoenix

            2 GB will only be a maximum AT LAUNCH. Larger cartridges will be available later on.

          • NeoTechni

            that STILL doesnt conflict with my point

  • kylehyde

    For me it will really suck if the touchscreen is relegate to task like displaying the map screen. In my opinon many of the best DS games were the ones that give a proper use to the touch screen, games like:

    The world ends with you
    Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword
    The two Zelda games
    Hotel Dusk
    The whole Professor Layton series
    GTA chinatown wars
    the two trauma games
    Elite Beat Agents
    and some more.

    For that reason I’m a little bit wary of the 3DS. I know that it many promising titles, but still I wanted to see a grown in the touch input, in factI think that this still have an unexplored potential and is sad that nintendo didn’t think about it when designed the 3DS.

    • Yesshua

      Well I hardly think Nintendo should try to provide incentive to take advantage of hardware features by not providing others. The touch screen is still there after all. I think it’s good that Nintendo provides as many ways to interact as possible within a single device. More ways to interact allows greater creative freedom for developers, which translates to a wider variety of games for us.

      In theory at least.

  • doomspeller10

    I agree on the control scheme thing. Touchscreens are awesome, but in my opinion buttons are far better since you’re not covering any part of the screen in order to play, though this isn’t as annoying as I find it is on the iPhone. I’m actually looking forward to that back touchpad that the PSP2/PSPhone (can’t remember exactly which one) is rumored to have.If Squeenix decides to release a REAL remake of FF5 and FF6 I might change my mind and save money to get one.

  • malek86

    I think the 3DS will end up being a more traditional console than the DS. Even with the double screen and touch features, we probably aren’t going to see much innovation in that regard: most developers may want to concentrate on the 3D capabilities as a selling point instead. That, and the fact that most of the late DS games ended up using the standard controls – kinda like how many companies (including Nintendo) seem to have half-abandoned the concept of motion controls on the Wii, usually resorting to just the IR pointer, or simple wrist flicks at best.

    I don’t doubt there are going to be some good games that will use the touch screen, but unlike the DS it won’t be the focus this time.

    • Yesshua

      I agree that the 3DS will end up more traditional than the DS, but with two exceptions.

      1. First Party Nintendo games. Nintendo always manages to use most or all of their hardware resources. The Wiimote speaker and the DS mic are good examples of hardware features that are largely ignored, but well used by Nintendo.

      2. Visual novel games. I’m not sure what the genre is called exactly, but think Phoenix Wright, Trace Memory, Professor Layton, Hotel Dusk, etc. These games have made something of a resurgence on the DS, and I suspect we’ll see some on the 3DS too. These games often feature clever puzzles that require unusual inputs. The 3DS adds even more potential interactions to their arsenal.

    • vadde939

      Definitely agree about the 3DS being a more ‘traditional’ console. Most developers are going to want to focus on that 3D top screen and analog nub at the expense of the touchscreen. In a way that could be a good thing as the analog nub will be much more comfortable than those awkward ‘use the touchscreen to move your character’ DS games like the DS Zeldas. Half-abandoning the Wii motion controls was also a good thing for devs to do as the IR pointer and simple wrist flicks work very well but the wiimote is too inaccurate for excessive motion control to be anything but game breaking.

  • NeoTechni

    “Does anyone think that the attention to the 3D screen will render the touch screen underutilized?”

    I personally hope so! The 2 Zelda game had the worst controls ever! They even made my gf with cerebral palsy cry! Stick to normal controls.

    • kylehyde

      Unfortunately that could be the case.

      I know many people who don’t like the zelda games on DS, but I know many people that loved them, in fact is more the people who loved those games.

      But still I recognize that those games weren’t the best at touch controls. However there were many titles that did it really well in that area, like Team Ninja with the Ninja Gaiden DS. It plays really smooth. And what about elite beat agents? many of the proud DS users wanted a sequel of it.

      If your complain and opinion about the touch controls are only based on the zelda games I think that you don’t too much about DS.

      • NeoTechni

        Though the people who hated the controls are far more than who hated normal controls in other Zelda games

        • kylehyde

          I wasn’t not talking about the zelda exclusively I was talking about the whole DS catalogue, and I’m not saying that theres people who hated the normal controls, I’ve never brought the “normal” controls in first place, so don’t words that I haven’t said.

  • karasuKumo

    The 3D camera and augmented reality are the two I’m really interested in. I’d like to see something that used both to a good extent. Imagine an augmented reality “Pokemon Battle Arena” that works by using the 3D camera to detect the distance and shape of the surrounding environment to create a battle arena. It would detect the objects better than an ordinary camera because of it’s depth advantage. It could even use grass, bushes and trees for special Pokemon to be found in. Just a thought :) There’s tons of possibilities for these kind of games.

    • doomspeller10

      That last part sounds a bit like Invizimals, but still it would be a nice addition. After all, pokémon popularized the idea of catching monsters.
      I’d rather have a pokémon game with 3D models that take advantage of the 3d screen and the console power (at least only for the battles), but that would require some real effort; I mean, they’d have to model, texture, and animate LOTS of creatures, or at least the new generation ones that haven’t appeared in the home console games. One can only hope.

  • I like how Golden Sun did the Touch Screen mechanics: have the Touchscreen controls present but not make them required.

    And I agree with what he said: as awesome as TWEWY is, I never feel like playing it again because of the Touch controls.

    • Aara_Malik_Davoodi

      Yes! I loved that. I thought I was going to have to Stylus everything, but I was so happy that I don’t.

    • luckgandor

      I’d have to disagree with you. I was hesitant to pick TWEWY up at first because it looked as though it absolutely required the touch screen. Once I got into it, TWEWY became the first game that I enjoyed using the stylus for. Every now and then, I’d get back to it just to experiment with pins by fighting noise.

  • I hope developers focus on improving the character models in games. Perhaps i have my eye focused on the wrong thing but I do not like seeing character with blocky fingers. I hope environments are detailed too. I think presentation is vital for the system so I hope everything in that regards is done much better than they have been for the DS. I cant really think of anything that doesnt deal with what one can see.

    Oh I hope there is a robust online connection and support for incentives or a rewards system that can provide updates visible via a PC or computer interface too. I love being able to communicate and share progress with friends through the use of trophies or other updates (like the autolog in NFS, or the photos in Dragon Age, etc). Oh I wonder if there would be an ingame photo mode?

    • Exkaiser

      You do have your eye focused on the wrong thing.

      You should be more concerned with shooting the core.

  • stylus always is better for walking and menu navigation in any rpg :3

  • ibuyvideogame

    ok good

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