Meet The Graphics Chip Powering The Nintendo 3DS

Earlier today, Japanese technology firm Digital Media Professionals sent out a press release confirming that they are the providers of the graphics chip for the new Nintendo 3DS.

It's called the PICA200, an older GPU (it's from 2006!) that DMP says provides "high quality graphics" with "low power consumption". Handy for a handheld, that! Because it's older, it's also presumably cheaper than something more cutting edge, and we all know Nintendo likes to keep production costs at a minimum (as the company sells hardware for a profit).

To give you a rough idea of the PICA200's power, here's an old tech demo dating back to the GPU's release. Being a tech demo, you have to take it with a grain of salt, but even four years old and covered in salt it looks a whole lot better than a DS.

[thanks everyone who sent this in!]


    As long as the GPU can produce graphics equal of better than PSP, then I'm happy.

    The only complain I have about 3DS is the resolution of the screen... still a bit low

      Well you will be waiting for probably the 3DSi or whatever the newer, slimmer or bigger screened model of the 3DS that will be released probably 12 months later to screw around the consumers even more.

      But then you will probably have to wait for what comes after the 3DS to get PSP graphics to which the PSP2 would have improved upon anyway.

    And the position of the Digital Direction Control (bad for fighting games like SSF4)

    It still looks pretty though. So the 3DS will be able to run games that have the detail of a 2006 game? The vid looks like oblivion graphically.

    I'm pretty unimpressed to be honest. You have to keep in mind that it will only be capable of producing graphics half that good to accomadate for the 3D technology. And the textures are pretty poor.

      I have to agree. I'm not sure what the exact process is for applying Nintendo's 3D technology, but if it is anything like the conventional technology of say, NVIDIA, then it will be rending more than what is being shown in that video at any one time...and it won't take long before that quality suffers (and probably dramatically). Nintendo are too concerned in wide spread audience, cheaper production and the application cutsie-wootsie titles, then to be catering for graphic enthusiasts.

    Can I just say, Crysis came out in 2007 :P So yeah. We haven't really moved forward from that now have we?

    Anyway I agree the DS needs a higher resolution, the XL hurts my damned eyes yet my iPhone doesn't. Needs far greater pixel density...

    I'd sooner see that graphical grunt powering more pixels than better graphics.

    So what was going with all the rumours of Nintendo using Nvidia's Tegra platform? Or do system on a chip systems not include a GPU?

    wow, that does look pretty good, makes me really excited to get my hands on the next generation PSP... :P

    If you saw the videos of the games shown at E3, they look as good as about half this graphics.

    While we haven't moved too far with PC and Console graphical limits, we've moved in leaps and bounds in the mobile sphere. New devices like the iPhone 4, HTC Evo 4G, Zune HD have processors like the A4, Tegra, Snapdragon that can be overclocked to 1.2 GHz and still offer decent battery life (a gaming device will likely use less power than a slate smartphone with 3G/4G browsing)

    Double post:

    The problem with Nintendo's set-up of making consoles extremely cheaply to start making an early profit is that their consoles have very little future proofing.

    This is why the Wii's built-in memory and RAM is pitiful and graphically, is beginning to show its age. Whimsical, interesting looks like Skyward Sword are all well and good, but at the end of the day, the Wii's never going to run HD.

    It's the same reason why the DS is still limited to WEP Wi-fi security, the console simply lacks the memory to log into the more modern WPA/2 networks, which today are nearly universal.

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