Nintendo wanted to do 3D gaming way back with Luigi's Mansion

At the time, it was too expensive and cumbersome

Many criticize Nintendo as being behind in the technological race, but did you know the Gamecube actually had "3D-compatible circuitry built in" during development?The only problem is that Nintendo never used it.

That's the revelation coming from the latest episode of Iwata Asks, a regular feature on in which Nintendo president Satoru Iwata sits down and discusses the company's progress and upcoming projects with fellow employees.

This edition focused on the 3DS, and in the course of discussion, Iwata pointed out that this isn't the first time Nintendo has dabbled in the 3D market. Of course there was the Virtual Boy (check out which of its games we hope are remade on the 3DS!), which has more or less been relegated to footnote status. But moreover, the company was seriously considering 3D technology with the Gamecube.

"The Nintendo GameCube system actually had 3D-compatible circuitry built in. It had the potential for such functions ... If you fit it with a certain accessory, it could display 3D images," said Iwata.

He goes on to say, though, that the company ultimately decided not to go through with it because the screen accessory would have been too expensive. That call wasn't made until late into the console development, though. During the period of discussing 3D possibilities, early versions of the launch game Luigi's Mansion were actually in 3D.

"We had a functional version of [Luigi's Mansion] in 3D ... Even without special glasses, the 3D looked pretty good," Iwata commented.

So it looks like the 3DS isn't just a flash in the pan, but rather based on tech that Nintendo's been working with for a while.


Jan 12, 2011

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