Nintendo emphasizes 3DS is an "entertainment device"

Posted by Mike Luttrell

After years of consistently telling consumers that it focused exclusively on making games, Nintendo is saying that its latest device is about more than just games.

Perhaps in a bid to appeal to the iPhone crowd, or to answer to the critics who say a dedicated game platform is irrelevant in today's market, Nintendo is playing up the non-gaming features of its latest portable console.

"This is an entertainment device; make no mistake. It's not purely a gaming device," said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime in a recent interview with CNN.

Fils-Aime pointed out there are many non-gaming features on the 3DS, including the 3D camera and music player. Additionally, the device will be updated in the future with the ability to stream Netflix movies and possibly record movies in 3D.

Right now the 3DS is just a shell of what it will be. It hasn't been updated with its full online functionality yet, which will include a Web browser and an online storefront for downloading games and apps.

Nintendo is bullish about the 3DS, saying it sold more units on launch day than any previous Nintendo handheld. Is it because of the novelty of glasses-free 3D? That probably has something to do with it.

The company has actually had a storied history with 3D. Back in the day, the Virtual Boy was a huge innovation, but it backfired in a huge way. Nintendo also thought about doing 3D with the Gamecube - the same kind of glasses-free 3D tech used in the 3DS. But it would have requires consumers to buy a special screen and wouldn't have been a great experience.

Fils-Aime also hinted at plans for a successor to the Wii, saying nothing more than, "We've not said publicly what the next thing for us will be in the home console space, but based on what we've learned on 3D, likely, that won't be it."