Nintendo is set to ship the 3DS, planned to be launched in the US on March 27, along with six augmented reality game titles included. These games will be based on specialized cards which will have to be placed on a flat surface and the camera of the console focused on them. Once the AR card is recognized by the 3DS, it will initiate a game in the console which will also be based on real life environment. It will alter the surface and the user will be required to complete tasks such as moving the console physically to aim at different targets or similar other forms of gameplay.
However, the 3DS will not be the only portable console to offer such AR games for long. At this week’s Game Developers Conference, Sony announced that it’s about to be released Next Generation Portable will offer augmentative reality games too. At the demo, Tsutomu Horikawa, director Sony Computer Entertainment, gave an example of this by using an old 1995 demo of a dinosaur. The director first pointed the outward facing camera of an NGP test unit on a poster of a T-Rex and then as he panned the camera up towards the ceiling, a T-Rex actually appeared to be towering over the crowd on the screen of the console.
AR gaming capabilities was not the only feature of the NGP that was revealed at the conference, another service called “near” was also shown by the developers. This is basically a location based service which will let the users know of their locations during the day along with the names of the popular games in those areas. The 3G version of the device will use the GPS for determining the location while the non GPS version will use “Skyhook” for the purpose.