Nintendo spurns Nvidia Tegra for 3DS

There's already been a lot of creative conjecture concerning whose hardware will be packed into Nintendo's next-generation handheld, but one company that is apparently out of the picture is Nvidia.

The green goblin's ARM-based Tegra platform had been widely rumoured to be forming the backbone of Nintendo's forthcoming 3DS console, which will be able to provide a 3D illusion without the need for extra glasses.

Seeing as Nvidia is already riding the stereoscopic wave with its 3D Vision technology, it would make sense for Nvidia to team up on the development of the 3DS, but reports say that Nintendo has instead decided to go with a Japanese chip maker. Sharp has a 3D screen that looks like it could be right up Nitendo's alley.

The Digital Foundry blog claims to have spoken to two independent (and unconnected) sources close to the development of the console, who say that the 3DS "features a design totally divorced from the Nvidia Tegra SoC (system on chip)."

The report is also backed up by IGN's sources at developers, who have said off the record that the new portable gaming gizmo won't be using Tegra either. Interestingly, IGN's sources also claim that Nintendo is planning to seriously increase the processing power of the 3DS, not only over previous DS consoles, but also over the Wii.

This wouldn't be particularly hard, given that the Wii is barely any more powerful than a couple of GameCubes strapped together. However, IGN reports that the 3DS will actually be closer to the Xbox 360 in terms of power, suggesting that there's possibly a half-decent graphics chip inside the device.

As always, none of this is official yet, but Nintendo is expected to reveal the 3DS at E3 next week. The company has invited the public to tune in for an announcement on the Web on 15 June, which could well be the first unveiling of the 3DS.