E3 conference reveals wealth of information
Nintendo's recent E3 conference, held earlier today, has revealed much information to Pokémon fans, including the English name of the most recent Pokémon Ranger title and the first images of its upcoming console, the Nintendo 3DS.
The third game of the Ranger series, titled 光の軌跡 Locus of Light in Japan, and released on March 6, 2010 there, is now to be known to Western audiences as Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs. This title seems to draw reference to the Ranger Signs newly featured in the game, while its initials may be a reference to Pokémon Gold and Silver, as their remakes were the last main series Pokémon games released prior to this. The villainous team introduced in the game, previously known as the Pokémon Nappers, is now known as the Pokémon Pinchers. Little other information is known at the current point in time; no English boxart has been released nor has the game itself been yet mentioned on Pokémon.com.
Another upcoming game, PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure, has been given a US release date of "Holiday 2010", indicating a release in late November or early December of the year. The European release of the game will be in June of 2010, while the Japanese release was in December of 2009.
The Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo's upcoming successor to the Nintendo DS series, was finally revealed in earnest at the conference, having been revealed as a teaser in March of 2010. The console features several upgrades from the Nintendo DS series, including, for the first time on a Nintendo handheld, a control stick (dubbed the "gyro pad") in addition to the D-pad, as well as a third camera. The 3DS's most touted feature, its 3D effect, takes advantage of this third camera, which is mounted on the outside much like the secondary camera of the Nintendo DSi and DSi XL, to take 3D pictures. Motion-sensing technology, like that implemented in the Wii's controller, is also present; this may work in tandem with the inner camera to assist in display of the 3D images displayed. For ease of eyestrain, the 3D effect can be turned down and even off, using a small slider switch on the side of the console.
The 3DS's top screen is slightly wider than its bottom screen, taking a 16:9 aspect ratio instead of the now-standard 4:3 ratio. The bottom screen is very slightly larger than that of the original Nintendo DS and DS Lite, a significant shrinkage from the Nintendo DSi XL's large screen. The top screen measures 3.53 inches diagonally, while the bottom screen, a touch screen as with the DS series, is 3.02 inches diagonally.
Unlike the Nintendo DS series, the 3DS is capable of downloading updates to the system and other games even while playing a game or while in sleep mode, a feature similar to the Wii's WiiConnect24. All Nintendo DS games are fully compatible with the console, but will likely feature letterboxing of their top screen image, much as was the case for a Game Boy Color game played on a Game Boy Advance.
No Pokémon games for the 3DS have been announced yet; the next games to be released in Japan, Pokémon Black and White, have already been confirmed to be released for the Nintendo DS. Despite this, due to the compatibility of the 3DS with Nintendo DS games, all Pokémon games from Generation IV and Generation V will be playable on the 3DS.