The latest big raucous over something new and techy has to be the launch of the Nintendo 3DS on 27 March 2011, but does it live up to the hype?
Riding on a wave of general 3D interest the 3DS punches an early hole in the home gaming market.
To pick it up and look at it, it doesn’t look too dissimilar to the DS. First notable difference is the “Circle Pad”, an analogue slider that offers better control than the DS standard d-pad. The most notable advantage of using the D-Pad is whilst playing the faster games with more movement such as Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer 3D. You would never have got away with this on the old DS d-pad.
Next to the deal breaker the actual 3D effect, depends on who you speak to. Some people think it is the most wonderful thing ever to others it causes headaches and migraines after 20 minutes. The major thing to remember with the 3D is it takes a while to get it and keep in the “sweet spot”. A slight movement during an over exuberant gaming session can distract you creating a ghost image. As with anything though, practice makes perfect and once that “sweetspot” is found most gamers will not lose it.
The 3DS also comes with three cameras, one inside the clamshell above the touchscreen and two mounted on the back of the device. The inner camera can be used to take pictures of yourself, to help create your avatar for the 3DS universe, a “Mii”.
Meanwhile the outer cameras take “rudimentary” 3D snaps in that it overlays 2 x 2D images which creates a bit of a cheat if not a very interesting 3D style image.
More interesting is the Augmented Reality games which can be created via the outside of the cameras. This is 3D games overlaid on your kitchen table via means of a cardboard card which helps the cameras measure out the distances and sizes to overlay the 3D graphics. The 3D characters then seem to interact with the real world, this effect really has to be seen to be appreciated.
A list of some of the AR games are below :
AR Shot – A miniature golf style game.
Fishing – Fishing with your kitchen table becoming the pond.
Graffiti – A 3-D drawing application in which you can use several different paintbrushes and other visual effects, including fire to draw over the real world.
Using the WII Store “Virtual Console”, owners can download and play games originally released for the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Sega Game Gear and Nintendo Entertainment System, which extends the 3DS’s retro appeal further.
The Nintendo 3DS XL, was released in Japan and Europe in August 2012. It features a 90% larger screen than the original Nintendo 3DS.
So in finishing, is the 3DS worthy of your £130.00? Well kind of, you may want to try out a friends one first to see if the 3D effect is for you. Also, this is the first of its kind so liken it to the first gen of LCD TV’s which came out which were superseded quickly by high res models. At this moment in time there is nothing else like it so that makes it unique but it will be the first of many. It is also backwards compatible with DS incase you have a shelf full of the old DS games.
The emphasise here is in fun rather than serious gaming and the 3D effect benefits this medium greatly. Plus the kids will love it.