We're learning some interesting details about Nintendo's next handheld before its official unveiling at E3 next month. One, 3D isn't required and can be turned off. Two, 3DS is simply a tentative name that Nintendo assigned to the product since it was announced ahead of schedule. According to comments from Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, translated by Andriasang, 3DS is not the final name.
"We've said that it will be released during this term," said Iwata in response to an investor question, "so the announcement of the formal name [for 3DS] will not be too far off."
3DS seems to make the most sense as a direct extension of the established DS brand name, but if 3DS is actually Nintendo's "next generation" handheld, maybe it requires something totally different.