Late next month, Nintendo is set to release the 3DS, the successor to their popular Nintendo DS handheld console. Besides a few bumped specs, the main selling point of the 3DS is its glasses-free 3D display, which Nintendo hopes will give their latest handheld a leg up on the competition… most importantly by giving them a clear point of differentiation from the DS’s number one competitor, the iPod Touch.
How long will Nintendo have 3D superiority over the Touch, though? Perhaps not as long as Nintendo thinks. A new rumor coming out of Japan suggests that the next iPod Touch will have the same glasses-free 3D display found in the Nintendo 3DS, based upon Cupertino’s multiple patents for 3D related technologies.
Japanse blog Macotakara further cites an unnamed source at an LCD panel manufacturer who claims that they are preparing production of a small glasses-free 3D LCD panel for the next iPod Touch.
Macotakara suggests that the new Touchwould support 3D head tracking through the FaceTime camera, adjusting the 3D for optimal viewing according to the user’s head and the position of the Touch as measured by its gyroscope and motion sensors.
This is an intriguing rumor, but I doubt it for many reasons, not least of which is because Apple is slow to embrace new fads like 3D, and if they did so, they’d roll it out across their entire iOS line, not just the iPod Touch. Furthermore, the 3DS isn’t even out yet… surely Apple would prefer to see how it does in the market before making orders for 3D panels. Only September will tell, though..