Before the Nintendo 3DS was called the 3DS, it had a codename. It was a prototype that Nintendo was developing as the Nintendo DS's successor. And initially, it did not have 3D.
The portable's console manager Hideki Konno tells Famitsu that the planning for the DS's successor commenced when the original DS was finished, complete with prototypes.
The goal for the successor was to make sure it was backwards compatible with the current DS, meaning that it needed to have two screens, with the bottom one being a touch screen.
Sometime after 2008, Nintendo began thinking about using 3D for its new handheld. To test out 3D, the team connected a 3D monitor to the Wii to check how games ran in 3D. Konno liked how Mario Kart Wii played in 3D, and staffers were impressed how figures of Mario and Luigi demoed in 3D.
The system's gyrosensor wasn't added until late in the game - right before last year's 3D, actually. Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto pushed for the gyrosensor, saying it was "missing something" and adding that with a gyrosensor gameplay "could change greatly". Miyamoto, it seems, could very well be right.
3DS Development Trivia With Hideki Konno [andriasang][Pic: Getty]