The Game Boys that never were

Nintendo might not have the sheer high-tech prowess of Sony or Microsoft, but they tend to be the ones who innovate. People raised their eyebrows when the touch-screen DS was introduced, but the touch panel and double-screen design opened up a brand-new world of games like Brain Age. And the upcoming 3DS will put glasses-free 3D into a £200 portable console before it's available in a £1000 TV.

But it seems that if Nintendo had had its way, these innovations would have been available years ago. The big 'N' recently showed off some old, never-released portable consoles at a developer's conference. One was a Game Boy Colour with a touch screen. Apparently, Nintendo decided they couldn't release a touch-screen device until they could find a way to combine touch with a backlit screen.

What's more, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said this week that the company first perfected its 'autostereoscopic' (read: glasses-free) 3D screen - soon to be seen in the 3DS - years ago for the Game Boy Advance SP. The problem, apparently, was that the SP's screen was too low-res to make it work.

We look forward to finding out the DSi was originally going to project holograms...

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