Nintendo dropped a couple of interesting tidbits in a fairly decent article from CNN recently, chief among them being this quote from Nintendo bigwig Reggie Fils-Aime:
"Glasses-free is a big deal," Fils-Aime said. "We've not said publicly what the next thing for us will be in the home console space, but based on what we've learned on 3-D, likely, that won't be it."
So what has Nintendo learned on 3-D? Well, Fils-Aime wasn't quoted as expanding on that statement, but a look at Nintendo's past will tell you that a depth-displaying system that doesn't require goofy eyewear sells like hotcakes, while VirtualBoy tanked. Hard. It's the only system Nintendo flat-out abandoned. Sure, there are many other things that the 3DS has over the red-and-black dud from the 90s, but Nintendo is probably also looking at the lackluster sales of 3-D HDTVs and thinking that the next generation of consoles will fight it out on different terrain. In fact, CNN quotes Hideki Konno, one of the 3DS' champions at Nintendo headquarters, as saying:
"I think at Nintendo, we realize that any sort of goggle-type 3-D technology was not going to work...In order to make 3-D technology viable with video games, we thought we needed to have glasses-free 3-D."
Coming from a company as secretive as Nintendo this amounts to a pretty clear statement about the direction the company will take with the future of its home consoles.
Interestingly, Konno also stated that Nintendo tried out a 3-D enabling device to be used with the GameCube, but abandoned it when they came to the conclusion that it wouldn't make it in the marketplace. This means that Nintendo tested out both of its current-generation marketplace-changing technologies on the GameCube - 3-D and motion control - but ultimately held them back and made a mint. Proof that thinking past the next quarter is good for business?