n-Space Talks Nintendo 3DS Pixel Tech


Shawn Leaf, Technical Director at n-Space, a developer that has pulled off some pretty impressive graphical performances on the current Nintendo DS (including all the Call of Duty games), has posted a blog analyzing the potential pixel tech behind Nintendo’s next handheld, the 3DS.

More specifically, Leaf explains per-pixel lighting, a computer graphics technique that greatly improves render quality by calculating the lighting at each pixel that gets painted on screen, as opposed to vertex lighting which only calculates lighting at the vertices of a 3D model. By his math, he projects that the 3DS GPU will allow them to repaint the 3DS’s two screens 49 times per frame, compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360 which are capable of 32 times per frame at 1080p and 72 times per frame at 720p.

I’m not a game developer, so all these numbers and terms are a lot of mumbo-jumbo to me, and thus I’ll let you read n-Space’s complete explanation. But the exciting thing about the 3DS having per-pixel lighting is that it opens the door to normal mapping, a rendering technique widely used in console games to produce more detailed textures on low-poly models.

So all the early speculation about the 3DS having processing power close to that of the PS3 and Xbox 360 may not be that exaggerated after all. Of course, none of this can be corroborated until Nintendo releases specific 3DS hardware specs and more developers are able to work with the device, but so far it sounds like the 3DS is going to be one impressive gaming portable.

More on 3DS pixels… [n-Space Blog]

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