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Nintendo 3DS Processing Close to PS3, Xbox 360?

Sorry Nintendo, but the notion of a Nintendo-branded handheld gaming device that's nearly on par with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 is downright questionable. However that's what unnamed Nintendo 3DS developers are claiming, saying that its processing capabilities far exceed the Wii home console and are close to what's offered on the two HD consoles.

Could this be true? At this point, it's unconfirmed. Unnamed developers are also indicating that the upcoming device will not feature the Nvidia Tegra mobile chipset as originally reported. In fact, there aren't any real, confirmed specs on the device... at least, not until next week. But as it stands, the device will need enough horsepower to render the game field twice from a slightly different perspective, one for each eye. Still, until the 3DS rears its head next week, everything is mere speculation.

Gamers looking forward to next week's big show may get more 3DS news than they bargained. According to Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter, Nintendo may actually steal the show with its upcoming 3D-capable handheld gaming platform. He also said that Nintendo is expected to drop the price of the current model in the U.S. following price cuts made in the UK and Japan.

Could it be possible that the upcoming 3DS--set to hit the market by March 2011--will have the processing power close to the current HD consoles? If Nintendo wants to regain control of the handheld market here in the States, the new device will need the hardware and supporting software (games, apps) to rival Apple and its new iPhone 4.

Of course, that's a personal opinion, however numbers supplied by Flurry (via NPD) clearly show that Apple is slowly taking revenue away from Nintendo and Sony in the mobile gaming market. Both companies will need a hardware upgrade, and soon.

[Edited by Eric Wang]