But what exactly is the point of that?
When it comes to other forms of 3D media (movies, TV, console games), there is of course a split between 2D and 3D, because 3D requires the use of glasses and an HDMI cable. But for a system that has 3D natively built in, will there be a spot for 2D content? Absolutely, says Nintendo.
Visionary Shigeru Miyamoto made that very clear during a call with investors this week. As to be expected, the 3DS was an important point of conversation. When asked about how the new system will handle 2D and 3D, Miyamoto said:
"When asked 'what will we do on 3DS,' the answer is, of course, we'll make both. They both have their own appeal."
Of course, the 3DS's main appeal is its innovative use of autostereoscopic 3D technology - that is, technology that can display a similar kind of 3D effect that we see in movies, except you don't need to wear glasses. This is achieved through the use of thousands of tiny mirror that make a flat display appear as though it has depth.
As such, it would be possible for pretty much every piece of content to have some sort of 3D presentation on the device. But clearly Nintendo realizes that might not be suited for all players, so there will be specific, non-3D content created for the device. However, even 3D content can be tuned down thanks to a 3D "switch" on the device.
So anything programmed in 3D can be presented in 2D, but Miyamoto's announcement now confirms the company will be targeting content that will never be developed in 3D as well.
Autostereoscopic 3D is still a very new technology and Nintendo is taking a big risk by using it in such a mass-market device. But even if it doesn't amaze gamers, the 3DS's internal specs make it far more powerful than the current DSi, and even more so than Sony's PSP. So it has the goods to deliver.