The design of the Nintendo 3DS was rendered back in 1983!
Thanks to Kris Pyrz in the Facebook Group, I Am a Classic Videogamer, for the heads-up on a rendering of Palmtex’s PVS handheld videogame system in the May 1983 issue of Video Game magazine. Here’s what the bottom half of page 10 of that issue looks like:
Notice anything familiar? Yep, it looks an awful lot like the Nintendo DS Lite (2006) and today’s Nintendo 3DS handhelds:
Much like many of the artist renderings from back in the day, the final design of the released version of the PVS was not quite the same. In fact, it looked quite a bit different as you can see here and here (Bonus: Here’s a video of one of its relatively impressive games in action!). Nevertheless, it’s fascinating to note that what we think of as a relatively modern design had its roots relatively long ago. Of course, Nintendo clearly didn’t take inspiration from Palmtex’s rendering as they had their own Game & Watch handheld, shown below, with actual dual screens well before, but the similarities with the PVS rendering, despite its lack of a second screen, are still more striking.
As always, there’s a lot to love about videogame history!