The Nintendo 3DS is a crucial launch for Nintendo. Already out in Japan, and shipping later this week in Europe and North America, the handheld is an obvious iterative successor to the runaway success of the original Nintendo DS; its primary innovation is a glasses-free stereoscopic 3D screen.
Nintendo is obviously hoping that by packing the handheld with features it can engage audiences and have another supremely successful generation -- but times have changed since the 2004 launch of the original DS. Features like the StreetPass and SpotPass smart online functionality are innovative and fresh, but will they help bolster the appeal of the handheld in a meaningful way?
To find out more, Gamasutra interviewed Hideki Konno, the head of the 3DS project. A 25-year veteran of Nintendo's Entertainment Research and Development division whose first directorial job was on the 1988 NES favorite Ice Hockey, Konno brought a fresh perspective to the development of this bit of Nintendo hardware.