Nintendo has never been big on the movies. While the company has occasionally allowed big screen adaptations of their properties (Super Mario Brothers), it has never really hyped its consoles as entertainment centers in the same way Microsoft and Sony have. You pretty much use a Wii for playing games, not as the center of a multimedia digital entertainment center. But it looks like all that's about to change with the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo's CEO Satoru Iwata recently detailed the uses the Entertainment Industry might have for the 3DS.
"When we show 3DS to people from Hollywood, they express tremendous interest," said Iwata. "We believe many people will be happy if we make it so that you can use the 3DS to watch things like, for instance, 3D movie trailers."
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While noting that Nintendo is a game company and thus tends to place its focus on games, Iwata said "One of this device's values is that it can play back 3D videos." There are many video playback devices throughout the world, he noted, but few that can play back 3D videos.
Nintendo is in a unique place when it comes to marketing 3D movies -- there's a ton of content coming out from Hollywood, and other than trailers in theaters, there's really no way to show off the 3D-ness of depth-ful movies coming from Hollywood. Not many people have 3D TVs yet, so movie marketing is forced to rely on flat versions of their movie trailers. 3DS to the rescue.
On the other hand, the kind of 3D available in movie theaters and the kind on the Nintendo 3DS are entirely different things, so it will be interesting to see how trailers of huge-budget blockbusters look when shrunken down to the size of a pack of cigarettes. It's still not an optimal solution.
No word yet on if and how full-on 3D movies might be streamed to the device in the United States, but in Japan, Fuji TV and Nippon TV will be distributing free 3D videos to the system. These, almost certainly won't be full length movies, though.
So what do you think? Are you interested in the 3DS as a movie-watching device?