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AndrewL9008

March 26th 2010 5:51 am

Capacitive displays on the 3DS

Anybody think we'll see capacitive screens on this? It would obviously make sense given all the phones that have moved to that technology and the finger friendly goodness it would bring. That resistive panel on the current gen DS's is seeming so outdated at this point. I'm not so sure Nintendo would automatically go for this though.. they like cheap, and capacitive is certainly more expensive. Also many games have very small elements on-screen that need to be tapped, so a stylus might be a necessity no matter what. It's also supposed to have backward compatibility and all the old games have been made to work with the resistive screen it has now. The transition may not be so smooth if they switched up the technology. Maybe they could include a stylus that is compatible with capacitive displays?
Anybody have any thoughts on this?

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14 replies
Glenskey

a capacitive display wouldn't increaes usability on the DS, imo.. in fact i can see it making it less functional, with resistive displays you can achieve soo much more accuracy when compared to capacitive. and the accuracy is really needed for many of the games/much of the gameplay that nintendo implements, however i could see them using some of stantums resistive tech, it mimics very precisely the finger-friendliness of a capacitive screen, and you can use a stylus aswell, which is a welcome bonus( www.engadget.com­/2009­/02­/19­/stantums­-mind­-blowing­-... ) and ( www.engadget.com­/2010­/01­/20­/stantum­-multitouch­-sla... )
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AndrewL9008

I have to agree about the whole accuracy issue. I know I've played games that have had tappable elements that are literally only a few pixels wide. That tech you linked to looks really interesting. It would seem like a logical choice as long as it's not too expensive to implement.
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soren121

Notably the close button in PictoChat. That little X is impossible to get at without a stylus.
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teapower

We still know so little about this device, it's hard to say if capacitive would be better. If it's an iPhone style device, a 3.5-4 inch touch screen slate, then I would have to say capacitive would probably be better.
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jackgopack4

Well, companies like HTC have been making capacative styli, I should think one of those would not be too hefty to slide into the side of a new 3DS. And there's no telling what the 3DS's interface might look like; those little "x's" in pictochat might be completely banished from any place in the interface.
I certainly think designing games so that they would be 100% finger-friendly could have negative impact, as @AndrewL said before, so again, I think for those situations, a capacitive stylus would be the answer.
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doctran

Only if there's an accurate capacitive stylus. Precision is really necessary for games like Elite Beat Agents.
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drawkward

Precision capacitive stylus technology:
www.cypress.com­/­?rID­=40297
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AndrewL9008

It does seem like there are technologies out there that could bridge the gap, and hopefully we'll see something like a capacitive stylus or a resistive panel on steroids that has capacitive traits. As much as moving away from resistive might hurt game play, I'm kinda hoping they ditch it or improve on it in some way. It would really constrain the device if it has two big, high-resolution screens and a tegra processor inside, but they don't improve the touch input in some noticeable way. I want it to feel high-end and I don't want it to be that far removed from something like the iPhone or the Pre, and resistive will keep it rooted in it's old ways.
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deinfinityx

I may be one of the few but I don't see the resitive screen on the DS being bad. It may be game related and that could be a possibility but i have been playing then new pokemon game recently and i hardly ever use the stylus. Yes sometimes I have to tap a button twice but its not horrible. For a phone I think captive is perfect, especially with hardware buttons to support it. For a game console resistive is ideal more percise, but i do see where having a captive edge would help. I think a walcom like interface that deals in both captive and resistive is the perfect solution although IDK how much bulk or cost that would add to the device. Honestly I don't think i would by the 3DS if it had just a captive screen and i don't think Nintendo is going to put one in it, especially since the 3DS is supposed to be backwards with the DS's.
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AndrewL9008

For sure, the backwards compatibility might be the biggest issue, even if they wanted to upgrade the touch panel, it might not be able to support all the old games.
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deinfinityx

I think that is the biggest thing, unless it is a hybrid they can't change the screen easily without killing the majority of the portable line. They took a big risk with the DSi by taking out the GBA compatibility which honestly wouldn't bother me but at the same time is the reason I didn't upgrade to the DSi. I will probably by the 3DS when it comes out unless they butcher it(which I highly doubt they will.) They do try hard to maintain backwards compatibiity. The Wii runs every Gamecube game out there, and the original DS tried to keep the support of the GBA. They are probably the best when it comes to making sure the investments their gamers have stay with them through generation changes.
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deinfinityx

Another thing to consider is that with a pure captive screen anything you do that involves touching means that your finger is going to be obstructing some of the screen space. With resistive the amount of space that is block is significantly less which means that you can see what is going on around in say a shooter or something along those lines.
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AndrewL9008

So true, I didn't even consider this. I know this has annoyed me to no end on my iPhone and my Pre, as much as I like being able to game on them both. A few people have suggested a capacitive stylus.. That could be one way to get around the problem.
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deinfinityx

Captive stylus or the ones I have seen are near twice the size of the DS's stylus since it need to conduct the small amount of charge. I guess it could be done but everything I have read about the captive stylus's say they are just not as accurate.
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