In Nintendo's latest Iwata Asks
interview, president Satoru Iwata pulled in the engineers that worked on the exterior design of the 3DS
to discuss the process. For example, the unique three-layer color scheme, which is a break from the usual monochrome design of DS systems, is designed to represent "how all kinds of content would come in, not just when you went out walking around with it, but also when you just had it sitting at home," according to Yui Ehara from the design group. The layers represent an "accumulation" of content, as Iwata put it. Like ... sediment?
Other new design elements include the 3DS's tapered top half (which makes the system easier to open) and a new, stronger material for the body -- "A type of high rigidity nylon with glass fiber in it," Hironori Akai from the product development group explained -- along with battery cover that comprises the entire back surface of the device. The team was especially proud of this feature, but sad that nobody got to see it at E3, since the back of the test units were covered.