Nintendo's 3-D Gadget Faces Software Hurdle

As Nintendo Co. readies to launch its 3DS hand-held game player Saturday in Japan, software developers are still wrestling with how to best utilize the device’s three-dimensional graphics.

Sony Corp. opened the door to 3-D videogames for consumers who own 3-D-equipped TVs last April by upgrading its PlayStation 3 home consoles using a software update. Nintendo’s new 3-D portable device should accelerate the shift because the gadget, unlike the PS3, doesn’t require a separate 3-D display or specialized glasses. The success or failure of any 3-D game platform will hinge on the ability of videogame makers to highlight the technology’s appeal versus existing software. Many software developers said they haven’t fully explored how to exploit the technology to develop new types of games. Nintendo plans to have eight games ready for the launch in Japan, but those games have only scratched the surface for incorporating 3-D into gameplay.

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