Tag Archives: Agnes Alfandari

Nintendo experiment at the Louvre

I’m not the only one who was excited about the Louvre/Nintendo announcement (from the Dec. 15, 2011 AFP [Agence France-Presse] sourced news item on physorg.com),

The Louvre said Thursday it has teamed up with Nintendo to hand out 3D game consoles to guide visitors through its vast art collections, as part of a stepped up digital drive at the Paris museum.

Starting in March, the world’s most visited museum will gradually replace its traditional audio-guides — used by just four percent of its 8.5 million annual visitors — with 3DS pocket consoles.

“We are the first museum in the world to do this,” Agnes Alfandari, museum’s head of multimedia told AFP.

The Japanese giant Nintendo is supplying 5,000 of the latest-generation consoles, which offer 3D vision without the need for special glasses, as part of a partnership with the museum.

After searching online I’ve found only one source article (the one produced by AFP) which every other media source quotes from and neither the Louvre (list of press releases) nor Nintendo (list of press releases) appear to have distributed a press release about this experiment.

Leslie Horn in her Dec. 16, 2011 article for PC Magazine did note this,

The AFP said Nintendo has developed the content, but the Louvre retained “editorial control.”

This move is not just good for the Louvre; it’s a welcome boost for the 3DS as well. Nintendo’s launch of the device was disappointing, and the company lost close to $1 billion in the last six months. Between March and September, it sold just 3 million units, far below its original expectations.

The Louvre, which is the most-visited museum in the world, is making a big push toward digital, and it believes the new guides will be attractive to gamers and those who use touch-screen phones and tablets. It’s also cooking up revamped smartphone and iPad apps and it recently redesigned its Web site, the AFP said.

While the Louvre has retained editorial control, Nintendo has created some content as Chris Velazco notes in his Dec. 15, 2011 item for TechCrunch,

On top of that, Nintendo has also produced original content for the Louvre, though it’s still unclear what they have in mind. While we’ll certainly see some educational software trickle on to the devices, I’m still holding out hope for an elaborate RPG [role playing game] that takes players gallivanting up and down the Richilieu Wing. Sadly, the Louvre retains editorial control over what goes on their 3DSs, so we can probably kiss that epic boss battle atop the Pyramid goodbye.

For anyone who’s curious about this new console to be used by the Louvre’s visitors (from the Nintendo 3DS Features page),

The Nintendo 3DS system opens up a whole new world of eye-popping gameplay possibilities. The stereoscopic 3D display of the upper screen gives objects within the game world a feeling of space and depth that extends far into the back of the screen. It becomes easier to see the position of characters and obstacles in the world, making many game experiences even more intuitive for all types of players.

Portable play control reaches a new level with these amazing features, allowing for new & unique gameplay mechanics. A built-in motion sensor and gyro sensor can react to the motion and tilt of the system, so whether players are twisting their systems side to side or moving them up and down, their motion-compatible Nintendo 3DS games respond instantly.

Here’s a video (largely in French) of an event introducing Nintendo’s 3DS consoles in February 2011 that was held at the Louvre,

Mostly enthused, even this group of young gamers comments that the new console requires a period of adjustment for their eyes.

Finally, here’s a short video (1 min., 19 secs.) in English from Mashable about this experiment at the Louvre,

I would love to hear more details but I imagine we’ll have to wait until March 2012 when the new 3DS consoles come into play (pun intentional) at the Louvre. Meanwhile, this experiment provides a view into how high culture and popular (sometimes called low) culture support each other’s interests/businesses.