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3D-Enabled Handheld Game Consoles Arrive in 2011

Due to advancements in autostereoscopic 3D technology, it's now being utilized to view a variety of video content in mobile devices -- such as high-end smartphones and handheld game consoles.

Autostereoscopy is any method of displaying stereoscopic images (adding perception of 3D depth) without the use of special headgear or glasses on the part of the viewer. Because headgear is not required, it is also called glasses-free or glasses-less 3D.

As an example of the applications, Nintendo plans to release its first 3D-enabled handheld game console -- called the 3DS -- in the first half of 2011. According to the latest market study by In-Stat, this will be the beginning of what will result in over 11 million unit shipments of 3D-enabled handheld game consoles by 2014.

"The uptake of 3D in handheld game consoles will happen more rapidly than in other mobile device segments over the coming year," says Stephanie Ethier at In-Stat.

Apparently, this is primarily because the two leading handheld game manufacturers need something to differentiate from one another in this maturing market -- 3D technology applications will be that unique product attribute.

In-Stat's latest market study findings include:

- In 2011, handheld game consoles will account for 65 percent of all 3D-enabled mobile devices shipments.

- Lack of mobile 3D content will be the biggest barrier to 3D adoption in mobile devices over the coming year.

- By 2012, 3D-enabled smartphones will represent 45 percent of all 3D-enabled mobile devices shipments.

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